Show Notes of Gardening the Hudson Valley Podcast Ep. 018 (April 29, 2015)
I have really been enjoying the brightening weather. Even the cloudy days have been good for getting some work done outdoors. It’s always nice when spring takes its time warming up, since there is so much to do before the plants start gaining momentum.
But it’s going to be May in a couple of days and it’s a good time to pause can refuel the inspiration well. And nothing gets the design ideas flowing better than a walk through a captivating garden. Throughout the spring, summer and fall, private gardens across the country are opened to garden enthusiasts, like you and me, through the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program. Some are small, personal gems and others are sprawling life long love affairs. They all reflect the passion of their gardeners and will help reignite your mania for designing your own garden.
A word of warning: Don’t be surprised if you come home ready to rip everything out and move it around or even start all over again. Seeing what another garden designer has accomplished opens your eyes to what is possible.
The Open Days program gives you access to awe-inspiring private gardens that you would otherwise probably never see. Open Days is a means of fund raising for the Garden Conservancy’s efforts to ensure that exemplary private gardens will be maintained for public enjoyment and education even after the creating gardeners are no longer able to tend them. It’s a win-win situation. They do good works and we get to view secret treasures and take the garden design inspiration back to our own corner of paradise.
The Garden conservancy was founded in 1989, by a venture capitalist who used to live at Stonecrop Garden (shown above, right), in Cold Spring, Frank Cabot. He had visited the garden of Ruth Bancroft, in Walnut Creek, CA. Mrs. Bancroft had been working on her remarkable “dry garden” of succulents and shrubs since the 1950s. When Cabot visited, she was in her 80s and both she and Cabot were concerned about what would happen to her garden when she was no longer able to care for it. Cabot felt someone should do something to ensure noteworthy gardens didn’t just disappear and Mrs. Cabot suggested he be that someone – and the Garden Conservancy was formed. More than 90 gardens have partnered with them for many types of assistance, including Rocky Hills in Mount Kisco, NY and Edna St. Vincent Millay’s home, Steepletop, in Austerlitz, NY.
As of this year, the Open Days Directory is no longer available in a printed version. But the complete list of open gardens can be found on the Garden Conservancy website at www.gardenconservancy.org/open-days. The list is updated regularly. You can also register there, to receive email updates of upcoming open gardens. According to their web site, Since 1995, some 3,000 private gardens have participated in the Open Days program and more than 1 million visitors have been thrilled to see them.
And I mentioned this is a fund raiser for the Garden Conservancy, so there is a $7 fee per person at each garden visited. You can also get discounted tickets on the web site.
Don’t forget that this Saturday, May 2nd, is the Hudson Valley Garden Fair, put on by the Hudson Valley Gardening Association at Montgomery Place, in Red Hook, NY. There will be lots of plants and other garden related items for sale, gardening demonstrations and information, a lecture by Hudson Valley writer and photographer Matthew Benson, on his upcoming book Growing Beautiful Food, tours of Montgomery Place and much more fun.
That’s all for today. I thank you so much for listening today and I hope you will join me here again next week and on the web site at www.gardeningthehudsonvalley.com, for more gardening tips from the most beautiful place on earth.
Gardens Mentioned on the Podcast