Chicopee woman opens her memory garden to the public

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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A Chicopee woman with a passion for gardening is opening her memory garden to the public.

Carol Mattingly, who lives at 15 Manning Street in Chicopee’s Fairview neighborhood, is a midwesterner by birth.

She started gardening as a child at her Indiana homestead and has since grown more than 100 plants and flowers at her Chicopee home.

As of this past weekend, she is inviting neighbors and other visitors to stop and smell the flowers that she planted in memory of loved ones now passed.

“When you’re here, it just makes you contemplate and think what is it about life and that peace and that calm comes into your soul and you just find a reason for living,” she said.

Mattingly has more than 100 types of flowers in her garden, but is partial to roses. In total, she has 105 rose bushes and 40 other flowers including, peonies, iris’, daylilies, and hydrangeas.

Her garden consists of different parts including a memorial garden and a presidential row. Statues, flags, a small pond, other lawn ornaments also adorn the garden. Mattingly said no matter how much she planted, it never seemed like enough color or aroma, so she continued.

And despite her garden being located in Chicopee, she has managed to include roses from across the country. A few years ago, Mattingly went to visit rose gardens in Portland, Oregon and brought back more than 60 plants.

This year, Mattingly said she has a resident groundhog in her garden.

Mattingly has a guestbook she hopes visitors will sign when they come and admire her flowers.

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