Friday, August 27 – Sunday, August 29 – Hollister House Garden Study Weekend

A gardener’s dream: seminar, rare plant sale, gala reception, and tour of exceptional gardens.  Speakers at the Hollister House Garden Weekend, August 27 – 29  include Peter Wirtz, Page Dickey, Margaret Roach, Jill Nokes, Dick Button, Hitch Lyman, and Adam Wheeler. Pre-registration is required.

The art of gardening as a channel of personal as well as cultural expression will be explored in depth in a program of stimulating lectures. The keynote speaker is Peter Wirtz, scion of the renowned Belgian architectural landscape firm Wirtz International, who will speak on Personal Expressions in the Garden, and be joined by other outstanding horticulturists. The weekend gets underway with a gala cocktail supper Friday evening where participants may informally mingle with the speakers and fellow garden enthusiasts in the gardens at historic Hollister House in Litchfield County, Connecticut.

Saturday’s symposium takes place at the nearby Montessori School in comfortable, air-conditioned spaces with up to date lecture facilities. A delicious buffet luncheon, a sale of beautifully written and illustrated garden books and a plant sale featuring a select group of New England’s finest specialty plant growers, plus a ‘show & tell’ plant colloquy are included in Saturday’s all-day agenda.

Other thought-provoking speakers on the roster are:
• Page Dickey, a popular lecturer and prolific garden writer of, among other books, Gardens in the Spirit of Place, the award-winning Breaking Ground: Portraits of Ten Garden Designers, and to be published in the fall of 2010, Embroidered Ground;
• Margaret Roach, a journalist who became a major force at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and is now a garden blogger with a devoted following;
• Jill Nokes, a landscape designer and author whose latest book Yard Art and Handmade Places is about 20 Texans who have been astonishingly creative in transforming and decorating their yards and gardens;
• Dick Button, a former Olympian and figure skating commentator whose North Salem, NY garden is an explosion of color, self-described as “an anything-I-like garden.”

In the afternoon – two outstanding plantsmen – garden designer Hitch Lyman and nurseryman Adam Wheeler of Broken Arrow will debate the merits of the best plants for late season gardens during the “Plant Show and Tell.”

There will also be a Rare Plant Sale with opportunities to purchase choice plants for the late season garden from Broken Arrow Nursery (Hamden, CT), Loomis Creek Nursery (Hudson, NY), Falls Village Flower Farm (Falls Village, CT), O’Brien Nurserymen (Granby, CT), Pergola (New Preston, CT), Opus (Little Compton, RI), Rocky Dale Gardens (Bristol, VT), and Sunny Border Nurseries (Berlin, CT).

Garden books, selected by Washington Depot’s treasured independent bookseller The Hickory Stick, will also be for sale, many authored by the symposium speakers and available for signing.

The weekend’s grand finale is on Sunday when the Garden Conservancy opens six exceptional private gardens in New Preston, Roxbury and Washington as part of its Open Days Program. Four of them — Stiteler Meadow, Muddy Rugs, the garden of Norman Sunshine & Alan Shayne, and the garden of Mrs. Michael Wiener — are on the Open Days circuit for the first time. The two others are the esteemed gardens of Martine and Richard Copeland and Georgia Middlebrook.
Hollister House Garden is also featured on the Sunday tour.

The weekend package includes the Friday, August 27 Gala Cocktail Supper, Saturday, August 28 Continental Breakfast, Seminar, Lunch, Plant & Book Sale.  $230 for members of Garden Conservancy or Hollister House Garden, $240 for non-member.  You may register online at, or call 860-868-2200.