“I wish to create a garden, a place to relax and dream, to experience the unfolding of nature.” - Judy Black 1948 - 2015
The gardens at the Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens were to Ms. Black the main attraction, as she envisaged the beautification of the former gas station lot. So central to her plan were the gardens that she wanted them to encircle and define the boundaries of the property. She wanted no fences to block the view of the garden. She wanted passer-bys to enjoy a full view of the rich variety of plants, flowers and trees that define this community space in every season of the year.
"He who plants a garden, plants happiness" says an old Chinese proverb. “Judy loved color and texture,” explained Richard Rosiello, of Meadowbrook Gardens in New Milford. Judy chose Mr. Rosiello, a garden designer with a Master in Fine Arts, as her partner in the design of the gardens. “She wanted it to be very full and joyous. She loved nature and wanted to build a happy sanctuary in the center of town.” Judy’s sentiments clearly echoed those of 19th century philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The earth laughs in flowers.”
Ms. Black’s dream was no minimal park-like setting with groupings of manicured boxwoods. Instead, she wanted this central space to be surrounded by a colorful combination of a “cottage” and “collector’s” garden – with the informal dense plantings of the former and the variety of unusual plants of the latter. With a variety of species of flowers, trees and shrubs, the gardens represent the diversity of nature.
Tovah Martin, a local garden writer, described the gardens in the Litchfield County Times at the time of the 2015 formal dedication of the Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens: “What she envisioned was a flower-filled space with an expansive plant palette. The plant list for this installation is pages long. Unlike a typical public installation, she was thinking of a space with a vast color range, an expanded cast of characters, and plenty of personality. She wanted the full garden experience, including shrubs, rare conifers, and plenty of personality.” That garden experience includes the full beauty of Connecticut nature, enhanced by curving stonewalls, rocks, and benches. Stone paver pads embedded in the lawn inspire playfulness among the visitors and offer platforms for sculpture.
Not only a lover of gardens, Judy was a lover of all genres of art. She was delighted with “Currents,” a graceful, undulating, 45 foot, polished granite sculpture by Mark Mennin, commissioned by other generous donors. Judy lived long enough to bless the final design of the park; and to select personally the daffodil bulbs that would bloom early each spring. Judy left this earth before ground was broken for the park and gardens, but she left behind gardens for the pleasure of generations to come. In the words of actress and humanitarian Audrey Hepburn: “To plant a garden is to believe
The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens is located in the center of Washington Depot, CT and is easy to find using GPS.
One Green Hill Road, Washington, CT 06794
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