August 8, 2022

Blanding Library Walkout Plantings Dedication


On May 4, 2022 at 5:30 PM prior to the annual business meeting of the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society (RAS), a dedication was held to celebrate the completion of the landscape plantings by the Rehoboth Garden Club (RGC) for the basement walkout of Blanding library. This culminates the walkout project to allow access by disabled children to the children’s reading room. RAS President Rebecca Smith welcomed everyone and introduced Susan Gerbi McIlwain who is the Chair of the RGC Civic Beautification committee who spoke about the project. Following her talk, she was thanked by RGC President Sally Phillips.

Susan McIlwain described the history of the project that was accomplished within the limits of a constrained budget. The total funding of $1120 including a gift of $375 from the RGC to commemorate the 375th anniversary of Rehoboth, a grant of $500 from the R.I. Federation of Garden Clubs (RIFGC), and a gift of residual funds from Paula Muggleton in honor of her mother Evalyn Muggleton who was a RGC member. Susan McIlwain acknowledged the gifts of materials and labor from many people and concluded with a tour of the new plantings.

Special thanks to (i) Adam Latham who procured and transported the plants for this project at a sizeable discount, (ii) Warren Leach of Tranquil Lake Nursery who donated and planted the Virginia magnolia tree, (iii) John Ferreira of J&J Materials who donated and delivered mulch as well as 50:50 mix of loam plus compost for the planting beds, (iv) the RIFGC for the red Prarifire crabapple tree in honor of Arbor Day. For their donated labor, we gratefully thank: (i) Greg Latham, RGC Treasurer (bed preparation), (ii) Rob Johnson, Rehoboth tree warden (dug and planted the Kousa dogwood), (iii) Jim McIlwain (hose reel repair), (iv) RGC members for weeding and dividing daisies (Mary Divver, Susan Hannah, Linda McHugh, Kelly McNaughton, Deb Sears, Lori Waterman), and (v) friends of the RAS for weeding and gravel bed preparation (Jonathan Beskid, Deb Craft, Dennis Mello, Rachel Smith, and Girl Scout Troop 1021). We are grateful to the RGC members who donated perennial flowers from their gardens (Ellen Corvi, Judy Doty, Marge DeAngelis, Linda McHugh, Susan McIlwain, Gail Romanovich) as well as plants from Adam Latham and Julia Emlen.

We encourage members of the Rehoboth community to come and enjoy the new garden at the Blanding library. The dwarf rhododendrons Yaku Princess are in bloom and soon to bloom are the peonies, fragrant lilac Miss Kim, and bearded iris followed by other perennial flowers and hydrangeas in the summer.


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