Garden Photo of the Day

The garden at the McCarthy Observatory in Connecticut

Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

There’s a treasure in my little town that not enough people know about: The John J. McCarthy Observatory on the grounds of New Milford High School. It’s an amazing facility, and every second Saturday we try to make it to their open house, where crowds of kids get a chance to peer into space through the massive telescope. A few months ago I noticed they have a great garden, too, and as I’ve gotten to know and talk to one of the founders, Bob Lambert, I love it even more. So here it is on the GPOD!

Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

Bob says, “The McCarthy Observatory is an all-volunteer observatory complex dedicated to exciting students in the western Connecticut region to science. In celebration of the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s incredible discoveries in astronomy with a telescope he made in 1609, the volunteers began construction in 2001 of a 3,000 square foot teaching garden named “Galileo’s Garden”.

Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

“The design concept was for it to be an activity space for student visiting groups, as well as being a place of repose for the community. There are now seven Master Gardener interns and two Master Gardeners supporting the completion of this wonderful space.

Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

“Donated granite tooling for telescope mirror making and testing was used as the base for the hardscape, and perennial plants surround the whole the space, walling it off to be a “floral classroom”.

Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

“Student sunflower beds and a large stainless steel sundial designed by the volunteers are focal points of the garden, along with a six-foot sun that is the start of a six-mile “true-scale” solar system model that traverses the whole town of New Milford . The next phase will be to plant Renaissance medicinal plants in a part of the garden, consistent with the gardens where Galileo taught in Padua, Italy.”

Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

So, so cool. Hey cwheat000, you need to go! Wonderful, Bob, I can’t wait until my next visit!

Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

It’s STILL prime time to take some photos in your garden! So get out there with your cameras and send some in! Email them to [email protected]

Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

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Comments

  1. Dombal 09/19/2013

    Hey i guess it is really nice place to visit!

  2. user-1020932 09/19/2013

    very cool! makes it fun to learn and exploring the entire town to learn about the solar system, great. AND it's always important, i think, to sneak in horticulture along the way for children. they do remember when they grow up. i've planted so many flower/vegetable gardens with girl and boy scouts and now they are buying homes and developing their gardens so at least that part "took"

  3. crizmo 09/19/2013

    The story of the observatory so fits a poem by Emily Dickinson that I want to share it:

    We introduce ourselves
    To Planets and to Flowers
    But with ourselves
    Have etiquettes
    Embarrassments
    And awes

    PS How lucky we are to have New Milford's example of what a community can do.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 09/19/2013

    What a wonderful and impressive community endeavor...the mission statement on their home page says it all. The icing on the cake is the development of the surrounding garden that is so aptly named in honor of Galileo. That large stainless steel sun dial is amazing looking...truly such a handsome piece of garden art as well as being very instructional for visitors

  5. tractor1 09/19/2013

    Wonderful sunflowers, how apropos! As a youngster I visited the Heyden Planetarium often, then one of my first jobs was for for an animation company that took me to the Heyden Planetarium to maintain their animations. There's another great planetarium in Winnipeg, one of my favorite cities.

  6. TeriCA 09/19/2013

    I wanna go!!!.....I have never been to the North Eastern coast, only as far up as North Carolina. I so want to take a trip to the East Coast for visits to Washington DC and some of the gardens I've been keeping track of through GPOD!! Thanks for sharing...

  7. Sheila_Schultz 09/19/2013

    This is such an incredibly cool concept! What a gift to the community, young and old... and to bring in so many volunteers makes it even more wonderful. Lucky you, Michelle, to be so close!

  8. pattyspencer 09/19/2013

    Very nice - looks like it would be a great learning place

  9. cwheat000 09/20/2013

    Michelle, thanks for the heads up. This does look cool and I have never been. I can't pass up a local garden.

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