John N. Irwin II who married Jane Watson (daughter of the founder of IBM) inherited the present house at 848 Weed Street in 1957. He was an Ambassador to France 1973/74. His children John Irwin III and Nancy Irwin were brought up at 848 Weed Street. John told us of all his happy memories growing up on the property. His mother Nancy Watson Irwin founded the perennial garden at the New York Botanical Garden. Hence his love of flowers and his wish for the club to keep Irwin park as beautiful open space for all to enjoy.
Susan Bergen has lived in New Canaan for 14 years and maintains a lovely “wild” garden on her property. After studying and photographing her garden for an entire year to show all the changes through the seasons, Susan recently gave a lecture using her own photographs to the New Canaan Beautification League. Susan’s volunteer activities over the years are numerous and include being head of Lee Garden for three years, co-chairing the Gardeners Exchange of Encore, and working on the Secret Gardens Tour for the Nature Center. Susan has served as a board member of the New Canaan Nature Center, the New Canaan Beautification League, Encore and Newcomers. Susan also ran the Holiday Market for the Nature Center and helped make crafts.
Preserving the Past, Growing the Future: Trees, Our Living Legacy, the theme of the Garden Club of America’s Centennial Celebration, was incorporated by our club with the planting of a Charter Oak (White Oak – Quercus alba) at Saxe Middle School on Arbor Day in April 2009. This gift to our town of a native tree also commemorated the 100th anniversary of the New Canaan Garden Club.
Written by Mary Griffin