Garden club restores English-style knot garden at East End Arts

TOWN HISTORIAN COURTESY PHOTO | The Davis-Corwin house with a formal boxwood garden to the east of it, as it appeared in 1976.

The 75 year-old Riverhead Garden Club has begun restoring the traditional English-style knot garden that sits between the town’s two landmark buildings on East Main Street, the Benjamin House and the Davis-Corwin House.

The houses front Main Street on the East End Arts property.

The knot garden has four corners edged with boxwoods and a triangle shaped garden edged with boxwoods in the center. Each of the beds are planted with seasonal annuals by Ivy Acres owner Jack van de Wetering, and some of the beds have rose bushes.

“I love the idea that the garden Club has adopted the restoration of the downtown knot garden,” said Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter. “This is just one more piece of the downtown revitalization.”

According to records in the town historian’s office of Georgette Case, Ambrose Corwin, who was a pioneer Buick automotive dealer in Brooklyn, married Ethel Skidmore in 1904 and moved into the Skidmore family’s ancestral home, now known as the Davis-Corwin house.

Mr. Corwin employed a gardener and the house was soon known for its beautifully landscaped grounds, “including a formal boxwood hedge.”

According to the garden club’s restoration committee head, Judy Kayton, the garden club is replacing 20 boxwoods in four of the five beds for a cost of around $2,000.

They purchased them at wholesale cost from Shade Trees Nursery in Jamesport, which also donated the use of its truck for the planting.

Volunteers on hand Wednesday morning were Danielle Raby of Riverhead, Marge Lawrence of Riverhead, Linda Gianelli of South Jamesport, Luci Mueller of Aquebogue, Fay Young and Armando Beldran of Avery Young’s Farm in Aquebogue.

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