Thursday, March 26, 2015

Open Conservancy tour June 21

On June 21 there is a garden in the Berkshires, in Stockbridge, that I would like to see. It's an easy day drive. It's only open that Sunday, Father's Day -- so that might be a problem.

Apple Hill


Apple Hill
Photo credit: Rich Pomerantz.

West Stockbridge, MA
Open Days

This magical writer’s retreat was once an apple farm and many old apple trees still grow here. It is a place of quiet trees; a forest of silver birches flows into drifts of orchards, amid the tranquil green of white pines. There is a harmonious unity between the house and its setting. A cobblestone terrace at the back is set with drifts of ferns and blurs the division between indoors and outdoors, as does the wisteria-draped pergola. A harp-shaped grass garden along the driveway leads to the lovely curving rhododendron plantings, and these in turn connect to the long garden, which runs the length of the houses and beyond, set with evergreen and deciduous shrubs, roses, irises, peonies, delphiniums, and other perennials. The long garden culminates in a rock garden and a meditation bed that the children call “The Secret Garden.” A series of smaller ponds flows down the hillside to the main pond, which is set about with willows, planted with water lilies, and flanked by a borrowed landscape of blue hills. An arbor walk featuring a fish pool links the house with the writing studios. Woodland beds among the birches are planted with hosta, maidenhair, and ostrich fern. Come discover the gardens that Tina Packer has described as “among the most beautiful and inviting I’ve ever seen.”

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