Redesigned Ballard Park gardens to reopen Nov. 1

Ballard Park, centrally located in the village of Ridgefield, is a popular destination.

It features a busy playground, many stately trees, a green space for outdoor events, including the popular outdoor CHIRP concerts, and both new and historic gardens.

Located in the northwest corner of the park, the gardens are maintained by the Ridgefield Garden Club with support from the town.

The location and form of the gardens are nearly identical to those of Mrs. Edward L. Ballard, a garden club member who gifted her home and property to Ridgefield to make the park and gardens we know today. Recent visitors may have noticed that the long parterre perennial garden has been closed since mid-September for renovation.

The club solicited local landscape firm Svendsen & Keller to reimagine the borders.

“We were asked to create a dynamic design that honors the garden’s history, while bringing the gardens into a new era of increasing environmental awareness,” said designer Ilsa Svendsen. “The club wanted the design to include natives and pollinator-friendly plants, and to keep maintenance demands as low as feasible.”

Garden club member Janet Bruehlman is head of the Garden Committee and spearheaded the renovation. Green Hope Landscaping of Bedford Hills, N.Y., was recruited to help club volunteers realize the vision. The long parterre perennial garden was last renovated in 1976.

Although the renovations won't be fully complete until spring of 2020, the gardens will reopen to the public on Nov. 1.