A Garden Tour that Takes On The Bigger Picture
There are garden tours and then there is this, the Ancram Preservation Group’s Working Landscapes 2009, a tour of eight properties that either are working farms or, if no longer actively working, retain a working-farm aesthetic. Though there are gardens on all of these properties, the plantings here play a supporting role.
The conventional view of a gardener’s job is to create a coherent little world unto itself, or, if really ambitious, several little worlds, in a series of garden “rooms.” The working landscape, in contrast, does not begin and end at the garden gate or even at the property line. Rather, it extends to the horizon in all directions. The goal of the gardener here, always, is to refer to and enhance that broader rural perspective.
Working Landscapes 2009 celebrates the rural beauty of one corner of the Hudson Valley, and the commitment of those who live there to preserving its future. This bucolic area of winding roads and rolling hills retains its agricultural character to a remarkable degree. There are tractors on the roads, cows, sheep and horses graze on the hills. Some of the same families—Hoysradt, Simons, Miller—have farmed there for generations.
Nonetheless, their’s is a fragile construct. Will Rogers used to say, “Buy beach front property. They’re not making any more of it.” True, but a beautiful rural landscape is rarer still—there is less and less of it every day.
Among the eight properties on the tour: The Horse Institute, an equestrian facility with an unusual agenda (11 a.m. guided tour only), Thornhurst, a small organic meat farm (12 - 2 p.m. only, where lunch will be served), Ronnybrook Farm (3 p.m. only), and Roundfield, where both the house and the grounds will be open all day. Owned by Joan Osofsky of The Hammertown Stores, Roundfield will be the site of a complimentary wine-and-cheese reception at the end of the day..
Ancram Preservation Group
Sunday, August 2, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; some sites will be open only at specified times for guided tours
Tickets and maps available at Ancram Town Hall, from 9 a.m.
1416 County Route 7, Ancram, NY
Cash or check only.
For more information: 518.398.6435
Tour: $50 each, includes lunch at Thornhurst and wine-and-cheese at Roundfield
Group rate (per vehicle): $135