October 8, 2008

Grounds Keep Color Year-Round

By Donna M. Perry

WILTON - Tom Saviello likes his yard to have color during all seasons. A killing frost has taken its toll but there is still some beauty that lingers.

"I tried to get different colors to come up at different times of the year," he said, as he walked along the grounds surrounding his Applegate Lane home. His dog, Baxter, tagged along for a while before he went off to explore.

"I love perennials. I've learned that they are some you can plant without effort. Just keep the weeds away from them and they'll come back time and time again."

When he bought the place in 1991, it was known as the Keene Morrison Apple Orchard. There were 22 old apple trees, MacIntosh and one delicious, but a few were lost when his family's home was built and others lost for other reasons.

The yard is full of fruit trees and bushes, colorful flowers and lush green plants, the result of what he learned from his late father, Carmine, known to have a "green hand," and his Uncle Hugo, a landscaper he worked with for a decade, and his own efforts.

"When I bought the property, I didn't want to cut the apple trees. I wanted to give them a chance to grow," Saviello said.

He has planted dwarf apple, plum, cherry and peach trees among others, under the older apple trees so when they die the smaller trees will remain.

Saviello had his property recognized as Yard of the Month for September in a contest sponsored by Rocky Hill Landscaping & Nursery of Wilton and the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce.

His front lawn - old orchard grass - is buffered by a perennial garden along the road and dotted with fruit trees and separate gardens.

Another garden runs along the front porch of the cape-style home.

"I used to prune the trees, but now I have someone else do it," Saviello said.

His gardening is something he enjoys during his spare time after work and his volunteer efforts.

"I get to relax. As one might say, 'I have a busy life.' I come home and fight with the weeds. I lose," Saviello said.

Originally published by Staff Writer.

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