TwoÂ fabulous gardens will be open to the public on Sunday, June 6, from 10 – 4, through The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program.
Black Barn Farm,Â 937 Summit Road in Richmond:
After being greeted by a pair of fantastical bird topiary, guests pass by the new â€œback doorâ€ terrace and its collection of container plantings. (Don’t miss the alligator on top of the Taxus hatfieldii!) Proceed through doors into the privet-hedged spring bulb garden, with its Fritillaria melagris, muscari, and thalia. Gazing balls are placed at face height, which allows you to see yourself in the garden. A stroll down an allÃ©e of Wyman crabapples leads you to the Tsuga chinensis-hedged pool garden and shade pavilion. Proceeding west through a fanciful taxus colonnade, enjoy the seventy odd specimen topiary in various stages of development. A pergola of Robinia pseudoacacia, draped with wisteria and under-planted with bulbs, leads you past the boxwood topiary garden and into the formal potager, with its beech hedge and rustic growing frames. Check out the new kitchen garden on the west side of the house, with its bluestone-and steel-raised beds. The garden encompasses approximately three acres.
Apple Hill, 12 Red Rock Road in West Stockbridge:
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 golden locust trees and mixed plantings — 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.”
For ticketing information, log on to www.gardenconservancy.org and click on to “Open Days.”