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One Mercantile

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Gardening: Open Days Are Here Again

Rural Intelligence StyleWhat a way to start the garden tour season: Margaret Roach and the Olmstead Brothers (not necessarily in that order; on the other hand,  not necessarily not in that order).  Two of the finest gardens in this or any other region will be open for touring on Saturday.  Though very different, each is the work of a highly refined sensibility.  One, the Olmsted Brothers firm-designed Cobble Pond Farm, is an estate whose garden infrastructure was established over eighty years ago by a landscape architecture firm headed by the sons of Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of Central Park. Through thirty years of subsequent tending, the esteemed Olmstead Brothers firm had ample opportunity to fine tune their vision. The other, Margaret Roach’s cottage garden (above), represents two decades of thought by one inspired mind and work by a single pair of hands, those of the former Gardening Editor for Martha Stewart Living, now a full-time writer and gardening blogger.  Roach’s focuses: good foliage and plants that attract wildlife.

But those aren’t the only properties on the Garden Conservancy’s roster of what they call “Open Days” (days when private properties are open to the public) this weekend.  In Columbia County, there is also a 200-acre horse facility, Cricket Hill Farm, an 1844 house and barns with four acres of gardens.  This property illustrates how a knowing interplay of scale and sight lines can maximize the advantages of borrowed landscape—four-season views of rolling hayfields, pastures, and woodlines.  And in Litchfield, there is also a large, mountain-view property whose principal attraction at this time of year is its alpine garden.

For hours, addresses, driving instructions, etc., please visit the Garden Conservancy website.
Admission: $5 at each location; all proceeds go to the Gardens Conservancy

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Posted by Marilyn Bethany on 05/18/10 at 03:20 AM • Permalink