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2010:    E-Mart Opens      Winter 2010
2009:    Blazing Fall      Curb Appeal     Halloween on Kenyon     Walk to Farmer's Market    
             Progressive Dinner
2008:    Holiday Cookie Swap    Speed Bump Celebration    Backyard Movies    New Garden Work        
             Oven Fire!     Calendar Party      Downtown Adventure     
2007:    Holiday Dinner      Reunion    Pizza Party     Progressive Dinner    
2006:    Scavenger Hunt    Picnic and Jazz    Concert on the Green     Bowling Party

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E-Mart Grand Opening 

Chinese New Year


The Cheese and Stuff legacy continues with the opening of E-Mart 
in their old space in the West End.  
The owners of Ichiban Japanese-Korean Restaurant (the Oh and Moon families) have opened
 a full Asian market across the street.  
on Kenyon St. at Farmington Ave.


The market features fresh fruits and vegetables, and fresh whole fish (complete with heads and tails, staffed to get you the perfect cut).  This brings much-needed fresh food to the neighborhood, supplementing our seasonal farmer's market.
The remainder of the market is stocked with Asian foods, including packaged,  
refrigerator and frozen foods. 


We picked up several unfamiliar packages and discovered a whole new world of food.
E-Mart is a well-known Korean chain.  The staff are ready to help you with whatever you need.  

Welcome to the neighborhood, E-Mart!   arrow - click to link


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Blazing white snow, cerulean blue sky, blue shadows on a winter's day.  



A fine, cozy ice fort!


A winter's sun...
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A Blazing Fall 



Fiery fall foliage on mature trees is a hallmark of  homes over 100 years old.  Many of these plantings have been planned to combine for spectacular color combinations.  



Why go to Vermont for foliage? - the best is to be found on Kenyon Street! 



 Reflections on a lovely view.  arrow - click to link



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Curb Appeal 



Toni won a Knox Parks Foundation Hartford Blooms Award.  Go Toni!! 
Her yard fits her spectacular home like a glove.  
You can find her out gardening most any time - three seasons.


Mary and Nancy removed volunteer trees and oversized shrubs 
to reveal a beautifully mature landscape.


Looking better than ever on Kenyon Street!   arrow - click to link



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2009 Halloween on Kenyon







300 trick-or-treaters came to Bonnie and Russell's this year.



The house was dressed for the occasion!

Everyone loved the stuffed animals and books they got.

Looks like Russell lost some body parts!

The house is perfectly dressed for Halloween. ..Russell as the worst monster he could think of.

Among other things, Kenyon Street is perfect for Halloween!


Photos by Bonnie.  arrow - click to link



Down at 
The West End
Farmer's Market






June 26 - four of us decide to walk down the block to check out the latest offerings
at the West End Farmer's Market - conveniently located at Whitney and Farmington Ave. every Tuesday and Friday from 4-7 p.m. through October 30.


Fennel, turnips, we split a bunch of scallions,  discuss recipes.....


We get local fruit in season and a lemon-ricotta cookie.  Click to see the participating vendors.


The goal, of course is to check out the handmade crepes - Apples and brie, Cinnamon and sugar,  savories, too.  Warm and delicious!  

We arrive back on Victoria's porch in time to witness the storm of the year - lightening seemed to strike the ground, thunder boomed, and the torrent turned to hail.  (It's not easy to take a picture of hail.)  This storm generated a tornado in Wethersfield, not seen in these parts 
since one hit Windsor Locks in 1979!

Storm notwithstanding, shopping together is a lot of fun.   And if it's right down the block, you can scoot back and enjoy the storm from your porch!  
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Progressive Dinner

April 18, 2009 - Kenyon's 5th Annual Progressive Dinner!- 6th?   
I think the count is about 30.  It's a lovely spring day, and we have all been cooking.

Toni hosts the cocktail party, then it's on to Victoria's for the sit down dinner.  Dessert and coffee is at Sue and Mik's.  It's just a smorgasbord of fun, friends, food and Victoriana.



Each of our first floors has 4 good-sized rooms, plus an elegant, roomy front hall.  
About right for tables for 6-10 people each, accommodating 30-40 people for sit-down buffet.  That's usually about right.



Sometimes, innovation is required.  Here's a table for two, a' la ironing board - for last minute RSVPs.  
Just the height of sophistication here in the West End.  


It's been a long winter, so we all catch up.


Great to see you all at our favorite event of the year!   arrow - click to link  

Photos by Victoria




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Holiday Cookie Swap

December 13, 2008, 4:00 PM - Kenyon's first annual Holiday cookie swap.   
John and Kate's home is festive and cozy.  There should have been snow outside.



About  a dozen families brought their favorite cookies.  See our recipes..
A bunch came just for the fun of a holiday get-together.  



Everybody caught up with each other.  The kids entertained themselves...



... and us!  Our rock star has an audience.  He even writes his own music.


There are weighty issues of the day to discuss.



And the bunch cutting up in the kitchen...  Red and wine seems to have been the theme here.



A few new folks to meet.  The WECA 'Dine Around' group finally connects in person.

Photos by Carolyn, Victoria, John

We all go home with a yummy assortment of cookies for "company".
See our recipes.  
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Speed Bump Celebration

November 4, 6:30 PM - When you have a success it is necessary to celebrate it, and to thank everybody that helped make it happen.   


After a few years (decades, perhaps - depending on where you count the starting point), the traffic on our block is down  to a rather normal speed for a residential street.  

Before any change, the city measures the speed of each vehicle for a period.  Almost 60% of the traffic was over 40 MPH.  The speed limit here is 25 MPH.  At least one during the week exceeded the maximum the machine could measure, which is 76 MPH..   The measurements taken after showed a 75% reduction of people going over 40 MPH.  
More to the point,  the out-of-control accidents at the end of the block haven't happened since the temporary ones were installed over a year ago. 


Photos by Victoria

So - we issued a proclamation (complete with certification):  "In recognition of her tireless work on behalf of the residents of First Block Kenyon, We hereby crown Martha Shaw "Queen of the Speed Humps." November 4, 2008".  
A crown was involved.  Champaign was involved.  

Because she happened to pass by, Patty marked the beginning of the parade.  
Here we are at "the finish line".

Martha is our symbol for all the many folks that helped, 
especially WECA and the City of Hartford.  
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               First Kenyon 
Backyard Dinner and a Movie Night,
September 7, 2008,   6:30 - 9:45 p.m.

There was much to do to pull off the first annual Kenyon Backyard Dinner and a Movie.
The first task: find a projector.  After many false starts, Toni suggests the Farmington Ave. Alliance's projector.  Jill gives the go-ahead and we have lift-off!  


 Now to figure out the design for a 16 x 9 foot screen.  It needs to be light, portable in a normal car, rolled up to stow away, hang fairly straight and tight, and be cheap! 
After looking at canvass of all sorts, I finally settled on the classic -  two king-sized sheets, seamed in the middle, and with reinforced pockets at header and bottom .  
David G. suggested the winning solution for cheap poles:  pvc pipe (1/2" for the top and 1/4" for 
the bottom).  Two, 8 footers each.  They're fitted to a coupling and temporarily duct-taped together before sliding in the pockets.  Four hooks are screwed into the wall of the house (this takes the big ladder).  The top of the header has four slits in the fabric so that wire can go around the pipe at four points.  The rig is suspended by the wire from the hooks.  Bungie cords hook into two grommets at the bottom corners to help keep it stable in the wind.  
Not bad.  Need to stretch the sheets a bit next time (more duct tape!)
Now we have a screen for outdoor movies.


For this first movie, we poll the neighbors (subtitles may not be readable, so it needs to be English language, also for all ages, etc.)  This takes two months.  We settle on "To Catch A Thief", 1955, Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, filmed by Paramount in Spectra-Vision - on location in Monaco.  Costumes by Edith Head. 
 The re-mastered version, of
course!  Grant plays an ex-jewel thief who's accused of a new round of thefts from the glitterati on the Riviera.  Self preservation demands that he catch the real thief using Grace Kelly's jewels as the bait.  The scenery is gorgeous, the people are gorgeous, and the costumes and jewelry are over the top.


I add classic '50's cartoons to keep everybody entertained while we eat and chat.  Also a  Betty Boop (pre-movie code), plus a meaningful Depression-era Busbee Berkeley number from the Gold Diggers of 1933, titled "Remember My Man".  A chorus of women extol us not to forget that those down-and-out men on the soup lines have sacrificed for their country in the "Great War".   The soldiers march in geometric formation, bayonets affixed, three tiers high, filling up the entire height of the soundstage.  It's quite a spectacle.

We have to use the rain date on Sunday, since there was a deluge for Saturday night. Unfortunately, we lose a few folks because it's a school night.  But the yard is dry, 
and there are plenty of tables.  We are 32 in all.   
The early-birds gather while there's still light (6:30).  
Then it becomes apparent that the cartoons need the projector 10' closer to the screen.  

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It could have been a deal-breaker.  We untangle the bird's nest of wires for the 5 speakers, laptop and projector - all safely taped away so no one trips in the dark.  What a pain to rip all that out.  Success, finally.


The kids are into the old cartoons (and many of the adults get nostalgic, as well.).  


After a wake-up call, Russell arrives with the pizza, Victoria has brought tiramisu.  There's popcorn, soda and candy, which seem completely redundant - we're a beer and wine crowd.  


It's dark enough for real movies by 8:15.  Most gather in the "theater section" to see the 
Betty Boop and the Busbee Berkeley.  The little kids head home.  

Photos by Victoria and Carolyn

Fi serves the tiramisu, and we enjoy "To Catch a Thief" in style.  
It was to be Grace Kelly's last movie - she met Prince Rainier on the set, 
and became evermore Princess Grace.

Next year:  The Kenyon Film Fest !


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         June 19, 2008
      New Garden Work !

Walking on the block lately, we have noticed a groundswell of new 
garden work in the front of our neighbor's houses.
Here are a few - new this season.



Russell's new front perennial beds - with design help from Bonnie and 
tips for beginning gardeners (Jim pitched in, too).

Trish and Sherry's new fencing supporting the grape vines.  It's an added bonus that 
 small mesh wire keeps the pooches in.

Toni's new perennial beds.  


Nancy and Mary's new veggies (and the girls' impatients and sunflowers)  
with help from tips for beginning gardeners.

Martha and Dave's pretty porch renovation.  


Doug's new color scheme - trying it out for the main event (next year??) - with color advice from Sal.  Mildred's flowers - trying to keep ahead of Chip and Dale.

Mel's new landscaping.

Magnificent new brownstone walls look ancient - 
and check out the koi pond at Carol and Meg's!  

Way to go Kenyon !!


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         June 1, 2008
      Oven Fire !

On May 31, I baked a wonderful fresh raspberry cake.  Unfortunately, the pans weren't deep enough, and the cream overran the sides of the pan as they were baking in the oven.

Next day, I flip on the automatic oven cleaner on our electric oven.  Oops - you can't open it after you flip the switch.  Now I remember that I should have removed the pans and racks and wiped out the grease spill from the bottom of the stove.

Within about 20 minutes, the smoke detector alarm goes off.  
I walk into the kitchen to see a 2 foot flame through the glass window of our oven door!  
David calls the fire department.  The flame quickly snuffs out by itself, but smoke is billowing out of the oven which is still heating up.   We open all the windows and exit out the front door.


The fire department is here within 2 minutes - in force.  About 5 or 6 vehicles line the block. 


The oven door is locked down during the cleaning cycle, so the fire extinguisher wasn't any use.  

The Fire Fighters know the secret way to unlock the oven door. 
They take the whole stove into the back yard and check all the walls.
They set up two heavy-duty fans to suck the smoke out of the house. 
I mention I want to let the neighbors know the status.  The fire fighter says, 
"On this block, you don't need to.  By now, everyone knows already."


 Meanwhile everyone outside is alerted that the fire is out and everything is OK. 
The stove isn't even damaged. 
The kids get to sit in the fire truck.  


I get wise advice to remove all the racks, bottom drawer and all the heating coils, drip pans and trim from the top burners, too - they can't withstand the heat during the cleaning cycle.  You have to wipe out any spills on the bottom of the oven.  It was the cream that was burning.  
I knew all of that - I just didn't do it...  I won't forget again.

Lessons learned:

  • Wipe up the spills before cleaning.  

  • Have a smoke detector near the kitchen (not in). 

  • Don't leave the house when the oven is cleaning!  

  • Call 9-1-1 for the fire department ASAP.

  • The Hartford Fire Dept. is the best.

Everyone gets a last minute invitation to my impromptu afternoon celebration for coffee and a 
slice of my "Thankful-That-I-Didn't-Burn-Down-The-House"  Raspberry Cake !


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Calendar-Setting Party

March 2, 2008, 4:30-6:60 PM - This is how we manage to have so many parties
each year.  We have a party, of course,  to set the social calendar for the year.

Wine and food are essential elements!

We get a tour of the new kitchen - bright and beautiful.


We all catch up over wine and taco soup. 


 Then the discussion begins.  About 1/3 of the houses are represented.  
 Everyone brings their calendar. Our goal is one "event" a month.  
A few events are ambitious but most are quite modest.
As the year progresses, we add a few, as new opportunities come up.

You can do it, too.  Just have a calendar-setting party!  
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Downtown Adventure

February 2, 2008, 3 PM - a handful of us head downtown to check out the latest developments.  We miraculously all fit in one car, park for $5 at Union Station 
and wait maybe 7 minutes for the free star shuttle.  
Our driver is a friendly guy - he says the shuttle is doing well, carrying folks around 
weekdays 7 AM to 11 PM, and Saturdays from 3 PM to 11 PM. 
route map


The game is just letting out  -  I think the Huskies won.  Anyway, there's gridlock at the intersection of High and Allyn St.  Hartford has so little bad traffic that no one has gotten the message that it's a no-no to block an intersection.  We sit through at least one signal, and Victoria takes matters into her own hands - standing in front of the Volvo - whose driver politely asks her to move out of the way so he can block the intersection!

  We stop for coffee at the Marriott Starbucks on our way to check out the Convention Center.  We're in luck - an exhibition is just ending, so it's open to wander around.  

  The river view is great, taking care not to drop your coffee cup over into I-91!   




The Museum of Science and Technology is rising fast.  

Courtesy of Old State House                  Group photos taken by anonymous strangers

We head to the Old State House to see the new permanent History of Hartford exhibit.  
It's really good -  takes up half of the basement level - filled with great stuff.  
I keep forgetting how lovely their assembly room is - perfect for weddings!  
Next time I'm taking the audio-phone tour.
We walk down Pratt and then check out the new shops on Asylum - the new grocery store is just setting up, and Hartford Spirits has just moved in.  
On the walk back to the car, we restock on wine - it's a lovely store - 
looks like they do wine tastings.

There are plans for a summer excursion!   arrow - click to link


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Holiday Dinner


December 14, 2007, we hold a pot luck holiday dinner at Victoria and Patrick's. 


We all brought food - but Liza's took the cake - literally.  She baked a cake featuring the streets and houses of Kenyon Street .  Especially delicious!



Old neighbors and new came. Grown-up and kids.   It was a grand time!
Photos by Victoria   arrow - click to link


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Kenyon Reunion



September 29th - Meet Dick and his wife Elaine, and Mary.  
Dick and Mary are cousins who lived in my house  in the 1940's.  
Both have incredible memories of the house and being kids on Kenyon Street. 


They hadn't seen the house in over 35 years.  We toured it from top to bottom, and they took loads of pictures to share with the rest of their family.    


Dick is a story-teller who entertained us with life on the block way back when.  
In the 1940's almost no one had a car - they walked downtown to G. Fox and the movies.  His grandmother walked to the cathedral.   There was almost no traffic on the block, few driveways, and almost no fences separating the homes.  The kids would sled from the top of the ridge on our side of Kenyon and down the slope between the houses all the way to Girard.


Mary and Dick each used the crawl space above our garage as a hang out for the gang - he would assemble fireworks from components sold from the back of comic books up there.  
It made a grand display for the 4th of July.  
She and her friends would climb up the garage door and bring a Ouiji board.  
Both remembered well the wooded lot behind the house - filled with wild apple trees.


Sue and Mik brought old photos of the family who built their house and occupied it for over 100 years.  Dick knew them well.  One of the photos was taken at Hillyer College, downtown - later to become the University of Hartford. 

Photos by Victoria

Here we are in front of the back porch - these steps burned down one Halloween from a jack-o-lantern they forgot to put out.  The family across the street at 76 was known across the city as the place to go on Halloween - decorated to the hilt and everyone who came to the door got cider and doughnuts.  

The stories went on and on...What a wonderful chance to hear the old tales of our house!

To learn more about the history of 65 Kenyon Street 
and the six families that lived here over the last 100 years, go to
A History of 65 Kenyon Street  (draft).



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Summer Grilled 
Pizza Party






This year, it poured.  As you can see, Martha's "special" marinated watermelon set the tone.


Imelda Marcos with her shoes
Who knew Ray was the Imelda Marcos of running shoes - one for each kind of running, 
neatly organized by the back door. 

Next winter, we're talking about havinng a games night - Ray has the perfect set-up !
 Photos by Victoria.  Imelda photo courtesy of the BBC.

Summer Grilled Pizza Party

July 14th - Ray shows off his new mahogany back porch 
for the annual summer grilled pizza party!  It was the perfect summer eve.  


Ray provides fixins' for veggie pizza, and we all bring drinks, special toppings and chairs.  We're pretty low maintenance.   Part of the group hang out and catch up - part take the house tour.  


We welcome John to his first block function - 
Kate and the kids were entertaining house guests.


The men of Kenyon Street - 
Should we do a calendar??.

Chit-chat is the main entertainment.


Recipe for grilled pizza:
Put toppings on frozen pizza shell (Corn meal from Whole Foods).  Spray grill with canola oil.  Put frozen pizza with all the toppings directly on grill over low heat.  
With lid down, cook 15 minutes.  Serve!!

We had a great time!  arrow - click to link




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Progressive Dinner




April 28th - Over thirty of us gather for the annual progressive dinner on Kenyon's first block.  It's chance to discover new neighbors and share some fun as spring finally breaks through. 



A new feature this year - name tags with photos of each person's house.  "Oh yes, you live in Alice's old house."... It's our official system of identification.


Most everybody brought a dish for eight - a few were assigned to do dessert.  It's BYOB.


There were cocktails before dinner - there was wine with dinner.   


Somehow - no matter how many come, we manage a sit-down dinner in one home.


The desserts were stellar again this year.



It was a great evening!

  Photos by Carolyn and Victoria  arrow - click to link


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Everybody is working in groups on the scavenger hunt  Garden Party
Architectural Detail Scavenger Hunt



September 16, 2006.

The block gathered to celebrate one glorious September weekend and focus on the lovely detail that surrounds us.  As we sipped Earl Grey and Organic Green with our espresso brownies and almond cakes...

Take the Scavenger Hunt Test! 

Mildred and Phil at the lucious spread at the tea and garden party  A platter of rosette tea cakes

Some played badminton or with Legos, some practiced twisting balloon animals, and we got to see the famous egg trick (2 out of 3 isn't bad).

Learning how to twist balloon animals    Doing the famous egg trick  Kin and his boys working on Legos  The girls practicing balloon animals on the terrace

After the house tour, it was down to business.  Four teams vied to identify which house belonged with each of 61 cropped features - first without going out, then ..

  Neighbors working on the scavenger hunt under the umbrella

Very serious discussion - where is that house?   Teams working on which detail belongs to which house.

We hit the streets to validate our guesses and find those elusive features...oops, someone removed that plant - only to discover a group of workers diligently scraping the detail from the front of one of the houses!?!  At least we have photos.

 Pair walking toblock to verify their choices  Where is that house?  Where is that house?

Others held down the fort until the prizes were awarded.  First place (20 holiday cards featuring your home) went to Team #4, second place ( 8 note cards featuring your home) went to Team # 1, third place (an iron-on decal of your home) went to Team #3, and honorable mention (Kenyon note cards) went to Team #2.  Many opted to take an alternate prize - an original poster of the illustrated Hartford Map, circa 1996.  

Stragglers enjoy the party as colorful balloons float above

We're keeping those name tags handy for future events.  
How do you pronounce that last name?

I can't find that house!

Click here to try your hand at the hunt.  Answers.   arrow - click to link



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Neighbors applauding at the jazz concert   Elizabeth Park 
Jazz Concert




We're at ground zero for great summer music in the park.  
August 16, another stellar evening of friends and neighbors, great music and conversation.  

Jazz combo performing on the state at Elizabeth Park  Neighbors chatting  Friends catching up Enjoying the concert  Everybody's talking at once - hundreds at the summer concert                 

 Mishu's debut...

 Kids handing off Mishu, the cat  Mishu gets an ear scratch  

Late afternon summer sun glancing off the crowd  Picnicing on the lawn at the jazz concert

A flock of birds fly over the crowd in formation   arrow - click to link



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Conductor of the brass band - raising his baton.  Concert on the Green
and Ice Cream Sundae Social                 


Third Annual Concert - 2008 Photos:

The first Sunday in August is the target date for this annual 
West End event, instituted by Kenyon's own Carol and Meg.

Some happy participants and sundae fixins...

2008 photos by Victoria, 2006 photos, below,  by C. West


First Annual Concert- 2006 Photos:

On August 6, 2006 Carol and Meg arranged for the Bristol Brass and Wind Ensemble to perform on a lovely summer's eve on the Seminary green.  WECA helped to sponsor the concert.  Meg performed.  It was wonderful.

Picture of the whole barss and wind ensemble in front of the seminary  Ensemble with crowd in background 

Picture of family    Concert goers under the trees on the seminary lawn  

Picture of the crowd enjoying the concert   Picture of the crowd under the trees 

Picture of horn players   Picture of the percussionist with a huge bass drum    Picture of wind section.  

Carol and Dave reaching for the ice cream    Picture of colorful ice cream sundae fixin's    Picture of gummy bears - yum!

Mom helps with the sundaes     Little ones eating their sundaes 

Friends chatting under the trees.    Friends enjoying a laugh.

A family group on a picnic blanket Chatting and eating ice sream  Ice cream sundae smiles

Concert-goers watching a baby crawl toward the action   Little boy and girl running to the ice cream   Little one running on the lawn

 Panaramic view of a hundred neighbors emjoying a summer brass an wind ensemble concert under the trees. arrow - click to link



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Bowling Party         Picture of bowling alley sign

February, 2006 at The Alley, Farmington Ave.

  Picture of an enthusiastic bowler.   Some of our guys hanging out at the bowling alley

Family fun!  Friends and family at the bowling alley.   

 Good one of Randy and Tony!   Second generation back for the Kenyon event!

Photos by Kimberly  arrow - click to link


Kenyon Garden Walk Photos: 

Picture of neighbors touring perennial bed with pink and white lillies, pink cone flowers, astilbe and silvery lamium edging the border  

Click here to see photos of our Kenyon Garden Walks    Arrow- Click to go to the next page.

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