Gardening is more than a passion for Janice Meinsen, it’s a way to help shape her community. Photo by Matthew DaCorte/The Courier
Gardening is more than a passion for Janice Meinsen, it’s a way to help shape her community. (Photo by Matthew DaCorte/The Courier |

Buy This Photo )

For Janice Meinsen, being a member of the Daytime Gardeners of North Haven isn’t just about having a way to fulfill a hobby. It also gives her a sense of civic pride by making the town look good.

Janice has always been interested in flowers and gardening, noting that her parents always had flowers planted outside their house. She first noticed the Daytime Gardeners group after attending a standard flower show in 2011.

“It was very interesting what they had shown there,” says Janice, “I asked if I could join, and did.”

If someone drives past the intersection of Clintonville Road and Washington Avenue, they might notice a patch of land on each side that has a flowers planted. That work was done by the Daytime Gardeners, and Janice had a hand in helping get those plots of land set up.

That portion of land is actually owned by the state, and Janice detailed the process of how the group was able to get access to it.

“We had to get a permit through the town Public Works Department, and we had to meet certain criteria for the plants that were proposed there,” Janice says, “They had to be height restricted and not interfere with the site line, and we had to provide a schematic of the plants as we saw fit to do them.”

Don’t put a sign up in front of the area, though.

“We were told no signage is permitted on state owned property,” says Janice.

Janice says she is impressed with the accessibility and follow-through of elected officials in town, and gave an example of State Representative Dave Yaccarino as someone who has helped the club.

“He actually came down and helped dig holes for the initial planting,” Janice says, “He continues to be our go-to man when the…