May 25, 2020

Garden Club Visits Seekonk Topiary Garden


(Seekonk, MA, October, 4, 2019) The Barrington Garden Club paid a visit recently to the Topiary Garden of Judy and David Murray in neighboring Seekonk. On a sun drenched, crisp morning members of the Club gathered for a tour, not knowing what to expect.

Garden Club president, Cynthia Johnson met Murray at St. John’s Church on County Road. David is the head of buildings and grounds and Cynthia is a member of the Flower Guild at the church. It didn’t take long for the invite to be extended.

“Work? It’s not work, it’s a passion!” Murray has been a gardener since 1959 and still learning. But in 1980, after a visit to Green Animals, in Portsmouth, Murray decided he could welcome some animals to his Seekonk garden, too! Of the many topiaries, the giraffe, elephant and dinosaur are the star attractions, but there’s much more to this garden.

In 1970 David was the Art Director for Channel 10 and began a long journey in set design and fabrication. Next came parade floats, sculpture and event staging, so it’s wasn’t a surprise when three-dimensional, wire sculptures showed up in Murray’s garden. “It was like the story of the Little Red Hen” Murray says, “When I first installed the wire forms not one neighbor mentioned them standing out there all see-through and everything. They simply ignored them. But, seven years later, they all wanted their photos taken with them for their grand kids. I loved it!”

Today, Murray’s garden is a plethora of three-dimensional artifacts, architectural items and pure whimsy; filled with wine barrel fences and bird condos, Empress Trees, Paw-Paws and Sourwood ornamentals. Murray cautions, “Look, it’s not a sprawling estate, in fact, it’s under an acre. I just try to make the best of what I have.”

Established in 1931, The Barrington Garden Club’s mission is to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening among amateurs; to aid in the protection of native plants and birds; and to encourage civic planting. The Club’s many philanthropic projects over the years have left a distinctive signature and brought a unique quality to our Barrington country community.

Presently, the Club maintains eight Town gardens. So next time you spot a beautifully cared for garden on Town property, you now know who to thank!

Topiary gardener, David and his wife Judy welcome visitors to their Winterberry Lane garden any time, so long as you’re willing to weed while you talk. Just look for the giraffe, elephant and dinosaur!


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