The Last Open Day of the Season
Ah the joys of snooping around other peoples’ gardens, luxuriating in their seeming miles of brilliantly conceived, meticulously maintained, well-fed, deeply-mulched, weed-free planting beds, without personally having suffered a single twinge of sciatica or, indeed, so much as a broken nail. Devotees of the Garden Conservancy Open Days Tours, this it it! The end. Fini. Kaput. Until next year. The last tour of summer takes place in Berkshire County this weekend.
Three properties, all near Great Barrington, will be open this Sunday. Eighteenth-century Seekonk Farm, (above) winner of Garden Design Magazine’s Golden Trowel Award in 2000, is a mostly native woodland garden, that comes into its own in early fall, with Thalictrum, Cimicifuga, and ancient arching Hydrangea tardivas. Wheelbarrow Hill Farm (photograph at top) is nestled in the trees on top of a hill with long views. Flower beds are terraced into the hill, and the woodland has been pruned and cut to frame the view. A cutting garden sits at the base of the hill, and wildflowers and groundcovers grow on trails throughout the woods. And, finally, a bowl-shaped garden in the foothills of Tom Ball Mountain has many natural gifts: boulders, hemlocks, black birch, pines. Additions include richly textured, colorful shrubs, bulbs, and perennials, Goshen stone paths, and a small lily pond, a major focal point. In September many of the plantings are at their peak: grasses begin to plume, the tubs of annuals are at their fullest, many cannas and dahlias are finally doing their thing. Generally, there is a pleasing sense of maturity and ripeness.
Open Days Tour
Sunday, September 21; 10 - 4
Admission: $5/per garden
For directions, visit the conservancy website; maps available at each site.