Since April, members of the Garden Club of Orange have been working tirelessly in the herb garden at the Stone-Otis House across from Town Hall.
Maryellen Holden redesigned, planted and maintained the gardens around the rest of the property, making it a butterfly paradise, full of color and a splendid variety of flowers of all shapes and sizes. When she first took over, she cut back the coveted hops plant that had been donated to the Historical Society by the folks at the Warde-Heitmann House in West Haven almost to the ground, much to the dismay of at least one society member who lamented that it had been killed. But now the hops plant is a perfect showpiece, covering the new well and getting a lot of attention from anyone who happens to see it.
The herb garden is so beautiful, now that it’s been brought back to its former magnificence from when the Orange Historical Society won the Federated Garden Club of CT award for the Best Herb Garden in the State.
On Thursday, Aug. 24, the Garden Club partnered with the Historical Society to host an open house/garden tour from 5 to 7 p.m. Well, “if you build it, they will come,” the event was well attended with a steady stream of visitors, both men and women strolling around, admiring this town treasure.
To demonstrate what anyone can do with herbs and plants from the garden, Rachel and Katherine Holden served up some very special lemonade, offering guests a choice of natural mint, lavender or basil flavoring to add to the lemonade.
Katherine explained that a homemade simple syrup was infused with the leaves from the plants and how just a tablespoon of the flavoring was needed per cup. Which one was most popular, you may ask? The lavender went over amazingly well.
In our previous story, we teased that there were many uses for herbs and other plants of which you may not be aware, but we didn’t share because that would have ruined the surprise for visitors at the open house.
Here is the list: (Some may surprise you)
Here is a diagram of the Herb Garden layout