Endorsements & Reviews

"Drawing everyone in ..."
"Kathy has a brilliant way of drawing everyone in, slowly at first with a little humor. By the end, we had everything we needed to start our own native foundation garden plans!" 
Joanne Gabriel, Adult Programming Specialist, Darien Library
Darien, CT
Thoughtful, informative discussion

"I just wanted to send many thanks for such a thoughtful, informative discussion regarding site prep and meadow development yesterday. I walked away chock full of actionable advice and confidence. Your handouts are incredible and will become a highly used reference, no doubt." 

Barb Young
Nashua, NH
Happy Holidays

"Many thanks for all your guidance throughout the year at our beautiful meadow." 

Westbrook Garden Club
Westbrook, CT
Imparts knowledge

“Today’s talk by Kathy Connolly was just exceptional.  She has a way of imparting her knowledge in an absorbable form.”

Frances Bright, UConn Advanced Master Gardener
Waccabuc, CT
Award Recipient, November 2022

Leslie J. Mehrhoff Award for Management of Invasive Plants and Communications

"Kathy has been described as a great asset in the movement to replace invasive plants with native plants . . . she balances pragmatism with hope and leaves volunteers feeling confident and enthusiastic . . . "

Jessie Mehrhoff Peters
Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group
Wonderful partner

"Kathy is a visionary professional guide on the journey to making outdoor spaces more beautiful, naturally."

Jim Matschulat, UConn Advanced Master Gardener
Lyme, CT
Expanded thinking

“Your presentation was wide-ranging and brought in some focus areas that haven’t been touched upon before. You gave us some excellent new material to expand our thinking about some community projects!”

Kathy Meyering
Middletown, CT, Pollinator Pathway
Breaking the conventional landscape mold

“I came from a town where all we planted were marigolds and petunias in straight rows. Until I saw Kathy’s landscape, I didn’t know how to break that mold. Now, I have 80 percent less lawn, which has cut mowing time dramatically. And we have 100 percent more color and more wildlife.”  

Laurie Silvia
Old Lyme, CT
Just Right . . .

“Your lecture surpassed my expectations and those of the audience. You were able to get your points across using relevant examples that were familiar to all of us. The scope of the presentation was just right – design, science, and plants!” 

Maureen O'Brien
Landscape Design Council of Massachusetts
Informative Discussion

"I have received multiple emails sharing how informative your discussion was in helping our commissions care for our town properties."

Dan FitzGerald, Chair
Environment/Conservation Commission, Branford, CT
"Breaking down challenging processes into practical steps"

"We have been lucky to twice host Kathy for presentations of her intensive program, Grow a Meadow, Large or Small. This workshop is comprehensive and insightful about the complex but incredibly rewarding process of building an ecologically vibrant meadow. Kathy is skilled at breaking down challenging processes into practical steps, giving us the tools to go from concept to action when creating or tending a meadow landscape. Thank you Kathy!!"

Meredith Gallogly, Grow Native Massachusetts
Waltham, MA
Meadow Tour 2019

"Thank you all SO much for this wonderful event. I enjoyed it and learned so much. I started the day wearily and filled up with such energy by 3 o’clock. It was so much good experience  all around."  

Jane Snell Copes
Branford, CT
We learned a lot and laughed a lot, too

"Thank you for taking the time to speak at our meeting last night. We all learned a lot and at the same time, it was funny! You are really passionate about gardening and it came across. Thanks again from the Colchester Garden Club."

Lori Faski
Colchester, CT
Learned by working with Kathy

“I had the opportunity to pursue many of my Master Gardener outreach hours with Kathy Connolly at the “green” parking lot in Westbrook Center on Route 1. I learned of the design, implementation, and planting of this transformed area from a ragged dirt parking lot to stunning town center quarter-acre meadow plot. My experience with Kathy brought together many of the elements touched on during my formal coursework of the Master Gardener lectures this year.

Mary Powell-St. Louis
Lyme, CT
A True Pleasure Working Together

“Thank you so much for all the work and collaboration.  It was a true pleasure working with you and I look forward to working on more of your designs in the future.” Matt Gregory, Landscape Manager, Torrison Stone & Garden, Durham, CT. 

Matt Gregory, Landscape Manager
Durham, CT
Meadow Tour

“What an inspirational day! I am hoping to create meadows at my daughter's home in New Hampshire. The land just calls out for it.”

Nancy Hudson
Meadows and Fields of Southern New England: A Tour

"It was a lovely and unforgettable day."

Barbara Dunham
Madison, CT
Wonderful Meadow Tour

“Many thanks for a lovely day of visiting meadows in bloom. I have been interested in meadows for a quite long time – mainly reading, a bit of planting – and enjoyed seeing all the examples you included in the tour. I especially enjoyed your talk at Harkness.”

Kathryn Williams
Gales Ferry, CT
Informative site visits

“Great comments from residents around Bolton Lakes regarding your site visits. Very informative. Several are going forward to implement your suggestions. Thanks again.” 

Karl Prewo, Friends of Bolton Lakes
Bolton and Vernon, CT
New Ideas

“You have given us a lot of ideas and have inspired us.”

Liz Mainella
Cromwell, CT
Coexisting with Deer in the Landscape

“Thank you for the terrific program last night on creating a Deer Resistant Landscape. I learned a lot. When a few garden club members came over today, they were still buzzing about it and complimenting you on your style, ease and depth/breath of the useful information shared.” 

Katherine M. Kosiba, Garden Club President
Colchester, CT
A special relationship with the landscape

“Kathy is one of those rare people who can guide us to the indescribable relationship between the plant kingdom and our landscape that so many of us hope to nurture and embrace.”

Mark Lavoie, Lavoie Horticulture
Granville, MA
Erosion control and beautification

On the renovation of eroded guardrail area: 

“Brilliant.  The choice of plantings, the coir logs, the rocks. DESIGN!”

Shelley Wehrly
Old Saybrook, CT
Comment made after initial site visit

“This is great! Much food for thought!”

Holly Lyman
Old Lyme, CT
Challenging riverfront site

“Kathy helped us create a comprehensive plan for our property, including a very challenging riverfront site. Kathy is well versed in native plants and made several good recommendations for other professionals that we needed to complete a major landscape project.  We’re looking forward to the next steps.”

Deborah Rie
Westbrook, CT
Award-winning garden at Lake Hayward

"Hi Kathy, I am glad you like the tribute. You deserved it because of all the hard work. We couldn't have done it without you. Thank you again." 

Kathy Connolly received a special merit award for her all-native design at Lake Hayward, East Haddam, CT

Katherine Petersen, Lake Hayward Garden Club
East Haddam, CT
"I feel as though we are finally on our way"

"Kathy helped me plan the meadow I've wanted to install for several years. She worked on seed selection and helped me find a company to do the installation. We planted on June 11. By early August, flowers were in bloom and grasses were getting established. Now, in September, we're enjoying lots of colors."

Ms. Hanson adds, "It will take several years for the meadow to become self-sustaining, but I feel as though we are finally on our way."

Monique Hanson
Chester, CT
Resisting Deer in the Garden

“You did such a great job teaching the deer-resistant landscapes workshop.”

Elizabeth Farnsworth, N.E. Wildflower Society
Nasami Farm, Whately, MA
Foundation Gardens Presentation

“Your presentation was terrific!  Thanks so much.  I look forward to working with you again.”

Martha Jamgochian
Lincoln, RI
Interesting and Provocative

"Kathy gave an interesting and provocative presentation on native plants for the home and community landscape. She discussed the high ecological value of native plants and their role in supporting birds and pollinators. She also discussed approaches to using them in a managed landscape."

Newsletter, Friends of Valley Falls
Vernon, CT
Editorial Review

Kathy Connolly is a terrific asset to the Times newspapers. Her bimonthly column, Green & Growing, is a favorite of readers. A hands-in-the-dirt landscape and garden designer, she happily shares her ideas, tips and expertise. Anyone with an interest in the earth should regularly read Connolly’s columns.

Ann Baldelli, Times community newspapers, The Day
New London, CT
A work of landscape art

Kathy put in countless hours planning and designing the buffer, selecting and ordering plants—all CT natives—and supervising the site preparation and planting by community volunteers. Kathy turned what project partners imagined would be a functional vegetated buffer into a fabulous work of landscape art. 

Jane Brawerman, Executive Director
CT River Coastal Conservation District, Middletown, CT
Design Exceeded Expectations

With Kathy's guidance and expertise, the all-native buffer garden at Lake Hayward is an example of how features used for water quality improvements and erosion control can be attractive as well as functional. Kathy's design exceeded the expectations of the Watershed Committee, and more importantly the Lake Residents.

Patricia Young, Eightmile River Watershed
Haddam, CT
"As though they've always been there."

"I am very pleased. Kathy helped me get the landscape I wanted. She introduced me to native plants I wouldn't have known to look for. Best of all, the new gardens already look as though they have always been there."

Elizabeth Karhu
Manchester, CT
Design Advice and Horticultural Information

Kathy gave me both the design advice and horticultural information I needed to reclaim an area that had gone entirely to weeds. The result is a joy to see every day, but I am also glad to know that most of the plants are native and support local nature. I wouldn’t have attempted it without someone of her insights to guide the process. This was a fall and spring process of clearing, prepping, re-locating, and planting new specimens. Kathy continues to follow up with me taking interest in how the design is working, the plant material is maturing, and how the vista is changing.

Sara Keaney
Old Saybrook, CT
Confidence to move forward with restoration

"Kathy's research, designs, and plant selections gave us the confidence to restore an area that had been problematic for 20 years. The area we used to call the 'jungle' we now call 'The Park'."

Ray and Karen Abramson
Westport, CT
Common sense and knowledge

Thank you so much for your excellent presentation!  What a wealth of common sense knowledge you brought to us. 

Ann Letendre, Friends of Valley Falls
Vernon, CT
Thorough Research, Informative Insights

Kathy Connolly did a superb job designing our home's landscape. She took the time to interview us thoroughly, gained much information from her meticulous observations, and had considerable aesthetic and functional insight as to how our property could be improved upon.

Valerie Nicoletti
Williamsburg, MA
Exceptional Efforts

Your presentation at the recent Board of Selectmen meeting held on September 2, 2010, was an exceptional demonstration of the efforts your Committee has made to find the best plan for bicycle and pedestrian-friendly practices.

Michael Pace, First Selectman
Town of Old Saybrook, CT
Beautifully presented

Excellent job! Very well thought out and beautifully presented. This will be a great help to us in managing these properties.

Tom Crider, President, Southbury Land Trust
Southbury, CT
Extremely Pleased

Just finished reading THE Plan. Wow, I love it! So easy to read and so very many issues covered. So many new things learned as well as many earlier convictions reinforced. The graphics are great, well placed, and very helpful too.

Karen Huber, Exec. Dir. Southbury Land Trust
Southbury, CT
Beyond Expectations

"... time and skills beyond requirements ..."

Carol Driscoll, Exec Director, The Carving Studio
West Rutland, VT
Peer Review and Kudos

As a fellow contractor on a large, complex, lengthy project, it was a pleasure to work with Kathy.

Tim Currier, Sticks and Stones Farm
Newtown, CT
A Pleasure to Work With You

Not only was the final product beyond our expectations, it was such a pleasure to work with you.

Mary Ann Goulette, Town Manager
West Rutland, VT
Lively, well prepared presentations

Kathy's presentations are lively and well prepared. She answers the kinds of practical questions that help the home gardener go home with new information they can put to work right away. She has presented at our library a number of times.

Bill Basel, Cheshire Public Library
Cheshire, CT
Enjoyed Presentations

I greatly enjoyed all three classes given by Kathy at the Old Saybrook High School in the spring of 2012 as part of the Middletown Adult Education program. Her Power Point presentations were clear and interesting, with good visuals and lots of thorough, detailed information. She offered handouts with lists of helpful websites, and generously shared her presentations electronically with participants after class so that we could use them as ongoing resources.

Margaret Larom, Field of Dreams Community Garden
Clinton, CT
Grateful Audience Member

Thank you so much for doing such a wonderful presentation in East Haven.

Clara Buitrago, NOFA-CT
Derby, CT
Exemplary Teaching

Kathy Connolly’s warm and engaging teaching style brings her passion for sustainable landscaping directly to the classroom. She brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and helpful hints that our students have thoroughly enjoyed. Ms. Connolly consistently receives stellar course evaluations and it is a pleasure to have her teaching here at Middlesex Community College.

Ian Canning, former Dir., Business and Industry
Middlesex Community College
Great Newsletter

Great newsletter!

Sandy Fry, Principal Transportation Planner
Capitol Region Council of Governments