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  • Writer's pictureCat Meholic

Volunteer Day at Wyck Historic House and Garden

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

A small group of volunteers from Women in Horticulture joined Emily Conn for a workday at Wyck Historic House and Gardens. Emily started the day by giving us a short overview of the long history of the House and Garden and then told us about some of the unique roses that they care for. The rose garden at Wyck is the oldest extant rose garden in its original plan in North America. This history is punctuated by unique specimens such as the 'Elegant Gallica' and 'Lafayette', both are plants that have existed at Wyck for close to 200 years! As none of our volunteers were trained rosarians, it was exciting to learn about the diversity in heirloom roses and the incredible fragrances that accompany them! To me, most modern roses have lost the charm and elegance that these antique varieties displayed so perfectly for us that morning.

Ann and Laura edging

Emily had us help dig up roses that were running outside their place in the garden beds. We then potted up these divisions, in the hopes they can be used in the plant sale at Wyck’s Honey Fest on September 16th. We then groomed and edged garden beds throughout part of the garden. All while enjoying conversations about our respective work challenges and opportunities. As Wyck uses organic practices in their garden, comparing strategies for organic pest control was a hot topic. All the attendees also had a professional focus on native plants and were delighted to explore historic plants outside of our usual plant palette.

Emily Conn

It was exciting for all of us to learn more about Emily as well as the garden! Emily’s background is in plant curation and they had training at both Longwood Gardens and Morris Arboretum. Presently, Emily works at Wyck as the Manager of Living Collections and as the Plant Recorder at Stoneleigh: A Natural Garden. It is incredible to me that Emily can manage two strikingly different collections as well as they do!

Women in Horticulture appreciates Wyck and Emily for hosting us for this volunteer day! We all left feeling excited about the work we did and with new information to help us in the gardens that each of us manage.

We encourage anyone interested in learning more about Wyck’s history and present-day community activities to attend their Honey Fest on September 16th.

A bee reminding you to go to Wyck's Honey Fest!

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