The history of this garden goes back 250 years! Originally an Olmsted design it was carefully restored and updated by Kathy Metz, the homeowner, with some inspired help from others. With its formal and informal gardens it is gracefully accented by stone walls, unusual species of trees and a sunken garden surrounded by clipped yews. It is surrounded by the magnificent Sharon, CT countryside where Angus herds graze in the afternoon sun.
The trees are worthy of envy by any gardener who is just starting a landscaping project. They include maples, columnar maples reaching for the sky, birches, Ginkgo and dogwoods. The property owners have lovingly enhanced this property staying true to its original design while updating it so it works for them. Gone are the annuals that were so popular back when the garden was originally conceived and they are replaced by low maintenance perennials and native shrubs. Each area of the garden relates to another making for a relaxing experience while meandering around. Of course, taking care of it all I am sure is a joy but a full time project. A Labor of Love as most all gardeners will tell you, me included!
The landscape is dotted with bulbs, tulips, lilacs with their fragrances enticing you to come closer. There are pergolas, arbors, cutting gardens, a summerhouse garden and a sunken garden surrounded by clipped yews and is anchored with a central fountain. a brilliant tip for keeping yews healthy was to angle the hedge edges thus allowing light in on all sides. This should be applied to most all hedges so they don’t die out at the bottom. This was a particularly difficult winter here in CT and it is apparent the yews suffered greatly as did many of our boxwoods.
I love the Japanese Maples growing in containers. A great tip if you can’t get them to grow in the ground is to grow them in a container. In winter, in colder climates they can be moved to a garage or basement.
Peonies are about to explode everywhere both flanking the gated entrance to the sunken garden and around the pool and cabana. I wish I could go back to see them in a few weeks when they bloom.
The original rustic gazebo just beckons you to sit and take it all in. There is a clever use of statutes in this garden. Garden ornaments can make a garden feel loved and personal while adding personality and letting you see the homeowner’s whimsy.
Winding paths lead you around the gardens and the house showcasing Irises, Clematis, Roses, Solomon’s Seal, Hostas, Tulips, and Alliums just to name a few.
Barney the Basset hound was standing guard, or maybe just waiting for someone to pay more attention to him than the gardens. Sorry, Barney!
If you are a gardener The Garden Conservancy has Open Days all over the United States and these private and public gardens are indeed an inspiration to all gardeners. They showcase places to see how others have handled particularly challenging landscapes or just how to decorate a porch, maybe to highlight a plant combination you have been dying to try yourself. Experiment! What is the worst that could happen? If it doesn’t work out, move it or remove it! Gardening should be fun, not stressful! Be sure to check one out this summer!
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