The Hollister House garden was one of only one of 50 to be included in the Garden Conservancy’s new book, “Outstanding American Gardens: A Celebration – 25 Years of the Garden Conservancy. It was built over the past thirty-six years by the esteemed antiquarian dealer George Schoellkopf as an American version of an English manner, accommodating the Connecticut climate and soil, our New England landscape and history, and adding the special exuberance of lush English flower gardens. It’s a spectacular collection of distinct outdoor rooms— each with its own unique personality.
On September 12, is The Living Garden: Nature and Design at the Heritage Hotel. This symposium is part of Geroge’s commitment to bring to Western Connecticut garden experts who can help garden enthusiasts, professionals, or those who just want a more beautiful home garden. It is a rare opportunity. Breakfast and lunch are provided. There will be a cocktail reception for networking, asking questions, and to buy plants ahead of the public sale the next day, and a book signing for the Conservancy’s book. Local Connecticut resident and garden author Page Dickey is the editor.
The Moderator for this event is New York Botanical Garden’s Todd Forrest, who is responsible for all aspects of horticulture activities and programs across the Botanical Garden’s 250-acre site, Todd was instrumental in the planning, construction, and planting of NYBG’s 11-acre Azalea Garden and the new Native Plant Garden. He also advises on seasonal events, exhibitions, and stunning horticultural displays.
A highlight of the weekend are the three highly knowledgeable speakers, Rick Darke, Sheila Brady and Bill Noble. Rick Darke is an author, photographer, lecturer, and biodiversity consultant and is considered to be a leading voice in the call for the home garden to be built around the constructs of biodiversity and sustainable beauty. His projects include parks, scenic byways, transportation corridors, corporate and collegiate campuses, conservation developments, post-industrial brownfields, botanic gardens, and residential landscapes.
Sheila Brady, from Oehme, van Sweden & Associates advocates for ecologically responsible design. She is a registered landscape architect and has been elected to the Council of Fellows of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Recent projects include designing the Native Plant Garden and the Azalea Garden at the New York Botanical Garden and the National World War II and Martin Luther King memorials in Washington, DC.
Bill Noble, garden designer and preservation professional is the director of preservation for the Garden Conservancy, Bill worked to restore dozens of gardens across the U.S. His own garden in Vermont is included in the Smithsonian Institution’s Archive of American Gardens and he lectures widely on garden history, design, and preservation.
A midday break will give garden professionals and enthusiasts an opportunity to meet and share ideas over lunch and to shop. Hickory Stick Bookshop will be at the Saturday symposium selling garden-related gifts and books and noted botanical illustrator Bobbi Angell will be selling her drawings.
After the symposium, participants are invited to a cocktail reception at Hollister House Garden in the nearby town of Washington, with early access to the Rare and Unusual Plant Sale that will be open to the public the following morning. Admission to the reception is included in admission to the symposium, but admission to the cocktail party and plant sale preview is also available separately.
Registration for the symposium and cocktail party, including early buying at the sale of Rare and Unusual Plants, is $180 per person for registrations for members of Hollister House Garden and the Garden Conservancy. To register http://www.hollisterhousegarden.org/event
On Sunday, September 13 the weekend continues with the public portion of the plant sale at Hollister House Garden and the opening of exceptional gardens in Litchfield Hills as part of the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program. Specialty vendors for the Sale of Rare and Unusual Plants will include, Avant Gardens, North Dartmouth, MA
– Uncommon yet undemanding plants for New England garden, Broken Arrow Nursery, Hamden, CT – Rare, unusual, and garden-worthy plants Cricket Hill Gardens, Thomaston, CT – Rare and unusual peonies as well as perennial landscape edibles, Falls Village Flower Farm, Falls Village, CT – Outstanding perennial plants for the Tri-State region, Opus, Little Compton, RI – Unusual perennials—under-cultivated but garden-worthy.
Admission to the Sale of Rare and Unusual Plants at Hollister House Garden is $10, including Open Days admission to the garden.