Exuberant Gardens Win Recognition

Amid mountain mint, Muhly grass, echinacea, coreopsis and dozens more native plants, Jacqlyn Diamond encourages wildlife to visit her Swarthmore garden, and clients to experience nature daily.

The Delaware County Master Gardeners recently presented awards to winners in the 27th annual Delaware County Garden Contest. Entries in seven categories were judged in June and July during peak garden season; harvest time brought the awards to several local fine garden proprietors.

Jacqlyn Diamond of Harvard Avenue in Swarthmore was first place winner in the Ornamental Native Wildlife Gardens category. A psychologist and therapist by profession and a gardener by nature, Jacqlyn finds serenity in working amidst her lush native plant collections, among the pollinators and birds they attract, and with the chickens that fertilize her garden. She noted recently that her clients, too, find therapeutic benefits by getting outside.

“I advise clients to incorporate nature into their treatment — to spend 10 minutes outside every day, and as they progress, to take their shoes off, to plant and care for something,” Diamond said. “People come into therapy because they feel disconnected from their contemporaries, from their families, from themselves … and connecting to the world they live in helps restore these connections.”

Camille Morrison of Rose Valley has expanded her hobby farm to cover a carefully planned and intensively productive garden including vegetables, fruit, and flowers. Her Wetherill House Farm tied for second place in the Residential Vegetable Garden category. “It was a great year for the garden, especially beans,” Camille said this week. “I just picked the last of the Italian pole beans. The cannellini did well, but I have to grow more of them next year … and only two zucchini plants!”

The site was shared by previous owner and former Rose Valley Borough Council President Mary McLaughlin as a Victory Garden during World War II. In that spirit, Camille and husband Kevin Morrison open up their garden for the gardening efforts of neighbors, who share the patch with a flock of chickens (common theme)!

Among other winners, Eiki Koyama of Wallingford tied for third place in the Ornamental Pollinator Gardens category. The awards were presented September 30 at the Master Gardeners Fall Fest in Smedley Park.

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