A Connecticut Garden Odyssey – Hollister House
During my weekend in Connecticut, touring private gardens open in Litchfield County through the Garden Conservancy, I spent an afternoon at Hollister House Garden in Washington, CT. I planned this part of my trip to take advantage of the fact that on the Saturday of that weekend, this garden was open from 3 to 6 pm, which I hoped would afford me more opportunities to have good light for photographing it.
Hollister House was begun in 1979 by its present owner, George Schoellkopf, and is sited on 25 acres of fields and partially wooded landscape. Most of the garden rooms – for this is a property that has many such areas – radiate out from a rambling but appealing 18th century farmhouse building and its surrounding outbuildings.
“Romantic” is a good word to describe the feeling of this garden. As in some of the famous English gardens (Sissinghurst, Hidcote, and Great Dixter come to mind), there is a deliberate combination of formal structure and lush, informal plantings. Paths and openings in high hedges and brick walls lead the visitor’s eye and invite you to explore. There is even a “Gray Garden” close to the house, which mixes whites, grays and cool blue tones around a boxwood-structured space.
Gravel paths were everywhere, easy on the feet and the eye, and providing a medium into which a surprising number of plants had seeded themselves successfully.
I’ll end this post – as I began it – with one of my favorite shots: a partial view of the reflecting pool in the Walled Garden.
Hollister House Garden is now owned jointly by Mr. Schoellkopf and a non-profit organization he has founded that is dedicated to the preservation of the garden and the house for the public’s enjoyment and education. It is a project of the Garden Conservancy, and the Board of Directors includes, among others, author Page Dickey and Marco Polo Stufano, former director of horticulture at Wave Hill. This is a garden not to be missed, and I hope to return again soon.
For those of you who might be in New England during gardening season, Hollister House holds visiting hours every Saturday from May through September, and offers group visits by appointment. Check its website for details.Explore posts in the same categories: landscape, photography, Travel comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.