Maywood Gardens- Garden Conservancy

A private estate located in Bridgewater CT was the site of a this past weekend’s Garden Conservancy Open Garden Days. I started in the amazing 4000 square foot greenhouse where they are transitioning from the bedding plants to winter plants like poinsettias and cyclamens. There were some true treasures in there.

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The Greenhouse Complex is the focal point of Maywood and is used to grow seasonal plants for display in the gardens and throughout the estate.

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Greenhouse

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Surrounding the greenhouse are annual beds, two with espaliered apple trees and an ornamental kitchen garden planted in a pattern style from which the main house is visible up the hill.

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Annual Beds
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Artichokes

Follow the pond up the hill to the house an pool area.  The views are breathtaking overlooking the CT countryside and the hills of the Berkshires.

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The loggia Garden is a formal boxwood garden featuring inlays of annuals this year salvia and artemisia. There is also a Perennial cutting garden to supply all those marvelous floral arrangements needed within the home.

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There is a sunken perennial garden protected by ten foot stone walls and everywhere you turn there are places to sit and enjoy each expanding view. This garden is done in a traditional English style and features a wooden pergola absolutely covered in trumpet vines.

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Sunken Perennial Garden with wooden pergola

Continue up the woodland path to reach the grass tennis court and the Gazebo garden which has a more cottage garden look to it.

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Tennis court Pergola
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Gazebo Garden

Thank you to Maywood Garden for this information and thank you to Leni and Peter May for opening their estate to The Garden Conservatory so we were all able to enjoy this remarkable garden.

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Anatomy of a new Garden

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Back yard complete

Some artists express themselves with paint, some with sculpture, yarn, wood etc.  I paint with light, color, flowers and capture that with my photography!

I recently moved to a new home and with that move I transplanted tons of plants from my previous houses  and have added new plants to create something special.  When I started in mid-May this year there was nothing on my new property except a lot of water and clover and a few builder installed obligatory plants.  First thing I did was remove the unwanted plants and install them on another property.  With the help of a friend I got a bird’s eye view of my property and began the design of a totally new garden that would be complete in 4 months!  I had plants and shrubs that needed to be replanted immediately as they were being transplanted and beds had to be designed, dug out, turned over, compost and sand added all over the property.

I came up with a layout and started drawing it out on the property so my contractor could dig the beds for me. My goal was to encourage all types of pollinators, birds, bees, (especially Honeybees) butterflies (especially Monarchs) and wildlife.  Four season color and interest were keys to my design. Winter structure was of primary importance as winter in New England lasts for many months. As all plans go, best laid plans changed a little.  We had to move things around a little to accommodate the septic system, clay soil  and water run off.

 

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Initial plans

 

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Grass marked and ready for digging

 

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Front yard starting point- tulips were mine and so was the fountain
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Beds being dug out and amended, plants patiently waiting for transplanting

New large full size trees were ordered and installed, new shrubs, perennials and bulbs added and finally annuals were added to liven it all up.

 

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The first of the large trees are installed

 

The finishing touches were just done this past weekend with the placement of several bird houses. Overall I can truly say I am very pleased with the results as are the birds. butterflies and bees!

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Back yard complete

 

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Grass is being aerated and reseeded this week. Next year the pathways will be bluestone- grass for now!

 

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New Hawthorn ‘Winter King’ Trees, Viburnum and Norway Spruce finally done
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Front pathway through the beds again waiting for BlueStone next year

 

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Clematis ‘Elsa Spath’ on Front Arbor leading to backyard with Climbing Roses and Autumn Clematis

Just waiting for my bulb orders to come in so I can get my Tulips, Alliums, Hyacinths, Camassia, Daffodils and Muscari in the ground.  Of course, it will soon be time to lift the Dahlia tubers and bring those in along with the Agapanthus and Calla Lillies.  I have started freezing my thyme, parsley and making pesto to savor all that yummy Basil all winter.

I have created my own canvas for photography.  I try to find the magic in each space whether on my own property or on a client’s.

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Enjoy the beauty of nature in all of our seasons!  Create items of interest for all 4 seasons. Leave your grasses and seed heads for the birds and you will be rewarded with beautiful sights when the snow lands atop them.

Think of your garden as an extension of your home.  Stage your garden rooms to get the best view!  Look at your garden from inside when you are creating it since that is where it will most often be viewed from.  Is it the kitchen window or your office or from the patio you most often look out onto the garden.  Consider this when adding elements to your garden and don’t forget a place to sit outside once in awhile to enjoy it all!

Remember gardening should be fun and stuff goes wrong for everyone! Still need help?  I have expanded my photography business to include Garden Consulting.  As an Interior Designer for many years and a photographer I then pursued a Certificate in Garden Design and Horticulture so I can help advise you.  Visit my website: www.lensidesigns.com

 

 

Elizabeth Park, Hartford CT

Born of the American Park Movement, Elizabeth Park was officially opened to the public in 1897. Encompassing 101 acres, both West Hartford and Hartford share this treasure that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The property originally owned by Charles and Elizabeth Aldrich Pond was gifted to the City of Hartford upon Charles Pond’s death.  He requested that the park be named after his late wife Elizabeth.  So romantic!

This park reflects both the European formal style of gardens and the natural setting with sweeping views and trees around the periphery  associated with its Landscape Architect, Frederick Law Olmsted.

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The rose garden is the centerpiece of this treasured garden designed in 1904 by Theordore Wirth and it is the country’s oldest public rose garden.

It is home to over 15,000 rose bushes and arches on two and a half acres with 475 garden beds.

 

 

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Rose Arbors

 

 

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Rose Hips

Opposite the rose garden there are four gardens connected via pathways and entrances creating various garden rooms including a Perennial garden, a shade-rock garden, heritage rose and tulip – annual garden.

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Passion Flower
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Annual Borders
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Celosia

 

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Celosia on Fire
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Busy, busy bees

 

There is an herb garden, an iris garden and currently on display the dahlia display beds which are currently in full bloom!   Dahlias come in every conceivable shape, color and size so here is just a small sampling!

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The ponds, Laurel Pond and Lily Pond are divided by a stone bridge

There is a gorgeous view of the Hartford skyline from the Sunrise Overlook. This park is a true urban oasis showcasing its many assets for its visitors. It connects communities and encourages a healthy life offering historical, educational, recreational, cultural, social and economic assets to all who visit.

 

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I truly plan to visit during next year’s Rose weekend as well as during Tulip season!  You should make it a point to visit the next time you are in the Hartford area.  This is a treasure not to be missed!

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