Garden club adds crabapples to Washingtoncenter
The Washington Garden Club is still celebrating last year's centennial in style.
Club members and town officials recently gathered at the Bryan Plaza in Washington Depot for the ceremonial planting of three Robinson crabapple trees.
The trees are the club's gift to the town in commemoration of the club's centennial, celebrated in 2014.
The Malus Robinson trees are a popular variety of crabapple because they are fast-growing and disease-resistant.
With large deep pink blossoms in the spring and decorative fruit in the fall, the crabapples will attract birds and butterflies and bring color to the green lawn of the town hall each year in early spring.
The trees, purchased with proceeds earned by the club's "Pick of the Crop" garden tour in 2012, were planted by Meadowbrook Gardens.
The desire to better the appearance of Washington Depot, the town's commercial district, has been a driving factor in the Washington Garden Club's community efforts for decades.
"Since the club's founding in 1914, we have been involved in local improvement, education and beautification," said Sarah Jenkins, club president.
One of the club's most significant civic efforts came as a result of the Great Flood of 1955.
Immediately thereafter, the club took a strong hand in bringing order and beauty back to the water-devastated area.
Their actions included replacing the lost greenery with new trees, shrubs and flowers.
Notable among these efforts was the planting of a Dawn Redwood, a rare deciduous fir tree; the creation of a town park along the Shepaug River and the planting of several Northern maple trees at Bryan Memorial Plaza.
"The tree planting that I remember the most clearly was the beautification project at the site of the pavilion near the River Walk, completed several years ago," said Natalie Dyer, who attended the recent planting and has been a member since 1969.
"The trees and shrubs we had put in are all natives, which provide food for pollinators, birds and other wildlife," she said.