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Babylon hires flower gardener

The Village of Babylon has its own greenhouse. And now it has its own flower gardener as well.

The appointment of Chris Stafford to tend the perennials at the Nathaniel Conklin House’s Victorian Garden was announced at the board of trustees’ meeting last week.

Stafford will earn $15 an hour and work through the fall. Garden sales and cooking demonstrations will fund her salary.

“She has got unbelievable taste,” said Trustee Deborah Basile, the board’s liaison to the Conklin House, which was built in 1803 by one of the area’s first residents and maintained by the village as a museum.

Stafford — who grows peonies, flowering shrubs and roses at her own home and is retired from a job as color consultant for Rainbow Paint and Decorating — began weeding the 1-acre garden this week.

As more than 50 varieties of plants grow in, she will start trimming and transplanting.

“I hope I can make it beautiful for the people in the village,” she said.

The village already has a Cornell-trained master gardener, Margot Denza, who volunteers to care for the Conklin House’s roses.

To tour the house or volunteer in its garden, call 631-669-8164.

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