Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ proclaimed Shelton’s city flower

The Olde Ripton Garden Club of Shelton will celebrate its 40th Anniversary of continued service to the Shelton community in 2016.  With the theme “Growing Together”, the Club plans a number of new projects this year in the City. One of these projects came in the form of an announcement and proclamation by theCity Board of Aldermen at their meeting on Thursday, Feb. 11 to designate the“Orange Coneflower” (Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm”) as the City of Shelton’s official flower.  The Club is encouraging residents and businesses to grow this flower in their gardens and around the City.
 The large, daisy-like flower is named for its orange-tinged petals in keeping with Shelton School’s colors.  It is easy to grow and can be grown in containers or naturalized in meadows and planted freely around homes.  The Orange Coneflower, also known as “Black-Eyed Susan”, is a native plant that will grow readily in our area and is a perennial assuring that it will return to our gardens year after year.  It is attractive to birds, bees and many pollinators that are needed for our gardens to thrive; it blooms from midsummer through the fall; and provides a long season of color.

The Club will offer the plant for sale at its May 14 annual plant sale, come rain or shine, at St. Paul’s Church parking lot across from the Huntington Green.  All proceeds will go to the purchase of city flowers that will be planted in the gardens maintained by the club at many locations throughout Shelton including the libraries, the green, and the Community Center where the focus this summer will be on developing pollinator gardens in our community.

The Club is also planning a first-time ever Garden Tour in July where the city flower will also be featured. Displays of garden club memorabilia will be set-up around town.

The Olde Ripton Garden Club was organized and federated in 1976 by a handful of enthusiastic gardeners to encourage the betterment of the community through projects that beautify our neighborhoods and protect our natural resources.  The club is proud to still have founding members of the Club participating today.

Anytime the city needs beautification, the Olde Ripton Garden Club has provided that service to make Shelton more beautiful.  The club members work together to either grow or buy flowers, or arrange them to be donated.  They also donate their time planning, planting and watering the gardens around Shelton and have been providing those services to the community for 40 years.

Today the Club has approximately 45 active volunteers who participate on committees of their choice such as working on community gardens, decorating the Osborndale Museum for the holidays, making fresh evergreen wreaths for public places for the holidays, and a garden therapy program for an assisted living community.  The Club also provides a High School Scholarship annually to a Shelton High student planning to study a related field.

Meetings are held monthly (except January and February) on the first Monday of the month at the Plumb Memorial Library.  Each meeting features lively guest speakers, a garden-themed program as well as horticulture and artistic floral displays plus a festive pot-luck lunch.

For more information, visit www.OldeRiptonGardenClub. or call Renee Protomastro at 203-775-6645 or Joyce Donnelly at 203-929-9988 for details about the anniversary programs.