A Garden for All Blossoms at HRM!

Recent visitors have no doubt taken notice of the beautiful and welcoming new garden that is now blooming in front of the Hudson River Museum. This four-season garden is the brainchild—or shall we say “flower child”?—of the Morsemere Garden Club, a volunteer organization committed to stimulating interest in conservation, horticulture, artistic arrangement of plant material, and community service. The Club successfully applied for and acquired funds from the National Garden Clubs’ Plant America Grant to beautify this space and create a welcoming experience for all at the Museum. We are grateful and thrilled with the results!

The 2022-23 Club Co-Presidents are Elizabeth Fitzgerald and Susan Blanchard. Vice President Shannon Daughtery organized the grant, and Timothy Tilghman, Head Gardener, Untermyer Gardens Conservancy, provided expert advice on design and plant selections, taking into account special requests from the Museum for deer-tolerant, sun-loving plants, with a preference for bird and pollinator-friendly native plants. The grant allowed the Club to purchase numerous varieties, soil, and mulch.

The Club and a group of multi-generational volunteers (some of whom are pictured here) worked over the course of several weekends to prepare the soil and to plant a total of 41 perennials, shrubs, and grasses. In addition, 18 flats of annuals—more than 200 individual plants—were generously donated by Untermyer Gardens Conservancy, adding to the garden’s vibrancy; not only a kind gesture, but a true demonstration of teamwork. The Club members also amended the soil with nutrients, sand, and peat moss, and covered the area with mulch.

The garden offers beautiful views from every angle. Shrubs and perennials include inkberry, Japanese cedar, red-bark dogwood, pink muhly grass, ‘Ruby Ribbons’ switch grass, coneflower, butterfly weed, lavender, yarrow, and several types of bee balm. Annuals include geranium, sweet alyssum, purple pepper plant, million bells, autumn sage, and globe amaranth. These plants, many of which are native and part of the pollinator pathway, will now be integrated into upcoming science programming for all ages at the Museum.

The Museum recognized the Morsemere Garden Club and its members at our July 8 reception celebrating the opening of our new exhibitions, Order / Reorder: Experiments with Collections and Federico Uribe: Plastic Reef. Shannon Daugherty addressed the audience and shared information about the group’s history and projects. We are deeply appreciative of their contributions to our Museum and our neighborhood.

Stay tuned for seasonal changes and additions! In the fall, the Club will plant bulbs for spring color. And if you’ve got a green thumb or would like to be part of helping to care for this beautiful addition to the Museum and our community, let us know! Contact us at admin@hrm.org.