Helen Henken, Irene Duque, Nancy Capobianco, Lucy DeVito, Dean Yoder and Jonathan Grimm. (Photo by Kassie Roth.)

Locust Valley Garden Club Recreating 18th-Century Museum Garden

Locust Valley Garden Club members started the new year by working on their Raynham Hall Garden project. Club President Dean Yoder, the museum’s board president, got them involved in the creation of a historically accurate 18th-century garden at their 20 West Main Street, Oyster Bay site.

Nancy Capobianco with a view of the Victorian section of Raynham Hall Museum.
(Photo courtesy the Locust Valley Garden Club)

Formerly designed as a Victorian garden, it will reflect the colonial heritage of the house museum that covers two eras.
The project was researched and planned by Raynham Hall board member Dr. Richard Iverson, retired professor of agriculture from Farmingdale State College. His goal included finding the appropriate plants grown at that time. He worked hands on with LVGC members in September. Kassie Roth called it a teaching moment. “Dr. Iverson told us how to dig up and take the roots completely out in preparation for planting. He also talked about each of the plants to be put in. We also learned how to prune.”
The next day, they worked at pulling out English ivy and transplanting pachysandra and boxwood to new locations.
Dr. Iverson is not new to the group. Several of the volunteers visited the teaching gardens at Farmingdale on a September LVGC trip. The gardens are the work of Dr. Iverson. He had completely revolutionized the Robert F. Ench Teaching Gardens, making them a showplace for learning and community outreach.
The first week of January, Dean took over the teaching position as they pruned hydrangea bushes and removed English Ivy growing up trees. Irene Duque, Lucy DeVito, Kassie Roth, Nancy Capobianco and Helen Henken, worked with Dean and Jonathan Grimm, LVGC VP.
First, they cut the hydrangeas down to 18” and then worked their way down, pruning and getting rid of all the dead branches and then cleaned the soil from around the roots to avoid contamination.

Time to warm up with soup from Sweet Tomato: Lucy DeVito, Irene Duque, Nancy Capobianco, Helen Henken, Dean Yoder and Jonathan Grimm. (Photo by Kassie Roth.)

The team pulled the ivy from six trees, and then cleared out those roots to stop future growth. They then raked and bagged up about 10 bags of trash. Next was a walk to Sweet Tomato on north Audrey Avenue, for soup, sandwiches and small talk, said Kassie.
“After that Dean gave us a tour of the house. Irene, Helene, and Lucy had been there many years ago, but the private tour showed the changes they have been making, including handwoven reproduction rugs,” she added.
On March 20, the LVGC meets in the Locust Valley Library Community Room at 10 a.m.
There is a $15 donation for a program and lunch. For information contact President Yoder at: [email protected].
—Submitted by the Locust Valley Garden Club

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