Garden Conservancy Tour in Litchfield County Connecticut

Stonecrop Gardens conservatoryThe conservatory at Stonecrop Gardens in Cold Spring, New York—a stop on the way home to Pennsylvania.

My readers were inspired by my last post on the beautiful, flower-filled garden of Charles Cresson, which I visited in May of 2014.  To see the lovely photos, click here.  It was fun to revisit a sunny garden during what seems like a winter that will never end.  We have now had three warm days so spring is on its way.  But snow still covers the ground, and I thought everyone could use another dose of sun and flowers.

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.


Hidden Valley B&BOur headquarters for our Connecticut trip was the beautiful Hidden Valley Bed and Breakfast in Washington Depot, CT.

In the third week of June, a friend and I traveled to the northwestern corner of Connecticut to attend The Garden Conservancy’s Litchfield County Open Day.  The Litchfield area is a gorgeous part of the U.S. with historic New England towns, classic farms surrounded by stone walls, and wooded hills and valleys running through sparsely populated countryside.  Just driving around the area is a pleasure.

The Garden Conservancy sponsored a tour to seven area gardens to finance their “mission to save and share outstanding American gardens for the education and inspiration of the public.”  Here are a few of the hundreds of photos I took during the tour.  Enjoy!


Garden Conservancy Litchfield County June 2014 6-21-2014 10-40-19 AMLink Garden: A pool with a sophisticated, screened pool house perches on the side of the Connecticut hills.


ligularia, hosta, and ferns in ConnecticutLink Garden: ligularia, hosta, and ferns in a shady corner.


Garden Conservancy Litchfield County June 2014 6-21-2014 10-53-49 AMLink Garden: Aiming for ease of maintenance as the owners age, the perennial garden was replaced by this stylized rill.


Garden Conservancy Litchfield County June 2014 6-21-2014 10-49-48 AM Link Garden: another shady nook behind the house.


Garden Conservancy Litchfield County June 2014 6-21-2014 3-16-13 PMBrush Hill Gardens: In addition to this large and beautiful English cottage garden, there was an extensively planted woodland with several ponds, but the lighting wasn’t good for photos.


DSCN4525Brush Hill Gardens


Garden Conservancy Litchfield County June 2014 6-21-2014 11-39-16 AMWilliams Garden: A Greek Revival pool house is not for everyone, but it was interesting to see it.


Garden Conservancy Litchfield County June 2014 6-21-2014 11-42-34 AMWilliams Garden: The pool edged with 18th century French coping was quite elegant.


Garden Conservancy Litchfield County June 2014 6-21-2014 11-51-49 AMWilliams Garden: an extensive kitchen garden and elaborate “garden shed”.


Garden Conservancy Litchfield County June 2014 6-21-2014 11-55-57 AMWilliams Garden: stone trough filled to overflowing with succulents.


Garden Conservancy Litchfield County June 2014 6-21-2014 12-32-13 PMTrapp Garden: a little bit of Italy in West Cornwall, Connecticut.


Garden Conservancy Litchfield County June 2014 6-21-2014 12-39-09 PMTrapp Garden:  A very secluded pool on the side of a terrace with a grotto-like pool house sunk in the side of a hill.  I usually think pools detract from the landscape but changed my mind on this tour.


Garden ConservancyTrapp Garden


Garden Conservancy Litchfield County June 2014 6-21-2014 3-54-36 PMHighmeadows: Beautiful use of our native goatsbeard, I am not sure why more gardeners don’t grow this.


Garden Conservancy Litchfield County June 2014 6-21-2014 4-16-30 PMHighmeadows




Garden Conservancy Litchfield County June 2014 6-21-2014 4-20-37 PMHighmeadows: The roses growing on the soft-colored walls were breath-taking.


Garden Conservancy Litchfield County June 2014 6-21-2014 5-01-09 PMHollister House Garden: This was my favorite.  The garden is a Garden Conservancy preservation project and surrounds an historic Connecticut farmhouse.  It is divided into a series of rooms and vistas by tall hedges and walls.  The plant choices are enchanting, and the color combinations are gorgeous.  The garden is open to the public every Saturday from June through September.  For more information, click here.


Garden Conservancy Litchfield County June 2014 6-21-2014 5-01-59 PMHollister House Garden


Garden Conservancy Litchfield County June 2014 6-21-2014 5-03-01 PMHollister House Garden


DSCN4559Hollister House Garden


DSCN4551Hollister House Garden


Garden Conservancy Litchfield County June 2014 6-21-2014 4-59-44 PMHollister House Garden

The sun is shining and it’s going to be 60 degrees F today so all the snow and ice is bound to melt shortly.


Nursery Happenings: Due to rescheduling, spaces have opened up in Charles Cresson’s seminar The Winter Garden in Bloom.  For details, click here.  Our first event is the Hellebore Extravaganza on Saturday, April 11, from 10 am to 3 pm.  However, you can stop by anytime by appointment to purchase hellebores.  To access the 2015 Snowdrop Catalogue, please click here.  

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b/7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

26 Responses to “Garden Conservancy Tour in Litchfield County Connecticut”


    Fantastic photos. Have been to most of those gardens as they are in “my neck of the woods”. I must say one of my favorite thing in the Williams garden is the chicken coop.

  2. Corinne Applegate Says:

    Loved the Hollister Gardens and yes, I do grow goatsbeard, tho not as well as I’d like. Hope they come back this year.

  3. Susan Gay Says:

    I enjoy your website very much. We will be in Philly for 2 days in early April. Is there a garden nearby that you would recommend that we visit? (I’ve been to Longwood.)

    Susan Gay Maine

    Sent from my iPad


  4. I really like that rill … and the succulent trough … and the earthy pool! Wonderful designs. I wish I lived closer to you, because I would be over in a heartbeat to check out your Hellebores, and all your other fabulous plants. Happy spring!

    • Beth, I do have a lot of beautiful blooming hellebores for sale right now. Absolutely nothing except snowdrops are going on in the garden no. I am so thankful that I have them. The rill is not something that I would normally like but it was quite attractive. Carolyn

  5. Great to see these special gardens. I’m not even a huge rose fan but those roses at Highmeadows are wonderful.

  6. Bev Pierce Says:

    Carolyn, are there “rooms” in the Hollister House Garden that are planted specifically for shade and would be inspiring for one who has a great deal of shade in her yard? Thanks for these gorgeous photos!
    Bev, Baltimore

  7. This is very pretty property with many nice elements throughout. Glad to see you visiting more gardens.

  8. What an elegant garden, and I love the pools, especially the one with the French coping.

  9. So many favorite gardens here….I really love the stylized rill, and the Williams kitchen garden…of course the other gardens were stunning too. The Hollister House had quite extensive gardens and the roses growing up the soft colored walls of the Highmeadows was particularly lovely reminding me of Europe.

  10. debsgarden Says:

    Happy spring! I like the Hollister House garden, too! But all are lovely and offer inspiration to winter weary souls. Today was our first truly sunny day is weeks, and it was great to get outside after all the rainy weather, which was interspersed with freezes. But now spring has truly arrived, though I know we are bound to have at least one more freeze.

  11. What a treat your post was on this grey, miserable day. I agree that most swimming pool detract from the landscape, but I so would love to have a pool like the one in the Trapp Garden. I can just imagine how cool the water would feel on a hot day. The roses against the soft colored wall were gorgeous. The Hollister House Garden was my favourite though.
    P.S. I grow Goat’s Beard ( both full sized and dwarf) and agree that it is a terrific plant.

  12. We are planning a trip to Connecticut some time this year, Carolyn, and I’m grateful for the information about the b & b. Will definitely be staying there. Such beautiful gardens to visit in the area. Something wonderful to look forward to. Thanks. P. x

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