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Garden tour to benefit Cummington Village Congregational Church

Trilliums are among the wildflowers that will be in bloom at the Woodland Garden Tour Saturday at Charles Stickney's Luther Shaw Road  home in Cummington.
LAURA RODLEY

Trilliums are among the wildflowers that will be in bloom at the Woodland Garden Tour Saturday at Charles Stickney's Luther Shaw Road home in Cummington. LAURA RODLEY Purchase photo reprints »

Residents of the Hilltowns and elsewhere can give their mothers a wildflower-filled lead-in to this Sunday’s Mother’s Day at Charles Stickney’s Cummington home, where a Woodland Garden Tour will take place Saturday, May 11. While Stickney is not a church member, be has opened his garden for the tour, which will raise money to help Cummington’s Village Congregational Church meet its fuel costs and beautify its grounds.

Talking about his garden recently, Stickney said the tour on Saturday will catch many wildflowers in their full glory.

“That’s when the rare flowers will be at their peak,” he said. “The dark red trilliums are in bloom.” His garden has trilliums in a range of colors, including the trillium grandiflora. “It comes out pure white and stays white; on day five it turns dark pink,” he said.

Besides that, he has 40 varieties of primula, a very rare multi-petaled bloodroot, woodland anemones and more than 2,000 daffodils, 14 years in the planting. Before that, “it was nothing but weeds,” he said.

There are also winter-hearty hellebores, “which bloom right through the snow in March when it’s 10 above zero,” he said.

He also has bergenia. “It has a shiny waxy leaf. It’s an evergreen that survives under the snow,” he said, and bears multiple bell-like flowers. “It’s not supposed to grow anywhere in this zone. But it grows for me,” he said.

The requested donation is $3 for the tour, which will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at 8 Luther Shaw Road. Light refreshments will be served.

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Fishing derby

Hilltown children are invited to bring their fishing rods and some worms to the annual William Gray Memorial Fishing Derby on Saturday at Graves Sugar House in Ashfield.

The derby, which runs from 9 to 11 a.m., is open to children 14 and under from the Hilltowns and other area communities. Sponsored by the Ashfield Rod and Gun Club, the free event awards prizes for the three largest fish caught, as well as smaller prizes to all registered participants. Last year, 60 to 80 children participated.

Registration takes place the morning of the event at 38 Barnes Road, off Baptist Corner Road. Organizer and club member Joseph Miraglia said, “Our club is kid-based. We make everything free.” Participants just need to show up that morning, he said, with their fishing rods and some worms. For more information, call Miraglia at 628-4400 or Ken Magdycz at 634-5585.

•••

Spacial engineer

The Hilltowns are a mecca for artists and musicians. With that in mind, Ben Tobin of Williamsburg has filmed a documentary, “The Spacial Engineer,” about Chesterfield resident, sculptor and musician Jim Kitchen. A free premiere of the film will take place today at 7 p.m. at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg.

The 20-minute film follows Kitchen as he explores Hilltown back roads searching for tools and equipment he uses to weld into his sculptures, and as he installs a 35-foot metal bird sculpture in Springfield.

The documentary is the sixth in a series of seven films by Tobin titled “Hilltown Heroes.” Last year he made a film, “Creatress of the Hilltowns,” about Worthington resident and musician Mariam Massaro. Another film, “Dragon Builder,” features artist Richard Richardson of Goshen, who created a backyard garden filled with sculptural objects.

For information, call 268-7472.

Laura Rodley can be reached at lrodley.gazette@gmail.com.

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