Garden Visit: The Hyland/Wente Garden


The fantastic garden of Jack Hyland and Larry Wente was recently open to the public as part of the Garden Conservancy Open Days program on August 16th, 2014, and a carload of HVGA members had a wonderful time visiting!


Exuberant plantings, lovely vistas, wonderful company and warmly welcoming garden hosts made for one of my favorite Open Days yet.


Talk about dynamic duos – Jack Hyland (pictured) designed the garden and his partner, architect Larry Wente, designed the contemporary barn-like home. Both were on hand to welcome guests, answer questions, and guide us through the house to the gardens. Jack told us this is the best year yet for the Verbena garden, seen behind him in the above photo.


A wall to the left of the front door hides the entrance to a secret garden…a small side entry with narrow path that was packed with vibrant flowers and foliage plants – fun!


Late summer favorites like Joe-Pye weed and the rust-colored, faded flowers of Filipendula rubra stand out in front of sky high tuteurs covered in dark-leaved Purple Hyacinth Bean.


The pool planting featured another simple and fantastic plant combo: Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia sp.), Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemem muticum) and a switch grass (Panicum sp.) Yes – you too can have this at home, gardeners!

DSC_0141Hedges along the garden path hid the compost bins behind, cleverly incorporating them into the overall garden design.


This shady garden room of green and gold foliage featured a rill, complete with goldfish.

DSC_0177Many thanks to our garden hosts for opening their home and gardens. We were wowed.

DSC_0130 copy

The Garden Conservancy Open Days season is not over just yet! You can still visit private gardens in the area on the following days:
- September 20th in Dutchess/Columbia County (Lynden Miller’s nearby Litchfield, CT garden is also open on this date)
- October 18th in Dutchess County; visit the Brine Garden
- October 25th in Westchester; visit Rocky Hills
- November 1st in Westchester; visit the Steinhardt garden
For more information visit the Garden Conservancy website.

DSC_0126HVGArdeners l-o-v-e garden outings, and everyone is welcome to join us. Invitations are posted on our Facebook page, and we’re happy to carpool. Don’t be shy! Garden and nursery exploring is more fun with other plant enthusiasts – you need someone to ooh, ah, and play name that plant with. Don’t you agree?


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Event Photos: Wethersfield Tour


On July 10, 2014 Hudson Valley Garden Association and guests enjoyed a private evening tour of Wethersfield Garden in Amenia, NY. Led on an informative tour of the gardens by Head Gardener, Karl Thompson, we soaked up the grand (but not too grand) and formal (but not too formal) garden as the sun set.

DSC_0139“As the Head Gardener of Wethersfield Garden, I have been faced with many natural challenges. The solution to these problems is to always look forward and remain optimistic. The tools and techniques used in garden maintenance must be constantly improved and modified. You are constantly learning from trade shows and magazines, visitors who are a wealth of garden knowledge, and of course the internet. I do not consider myself a master gardener because you never really master gardening, rather it masters you. Remember, a garden needs to see its gardener everyday!  For all you aspiring gardeners out there, keep mastering your trade and the rewards will follow.”
– Karl B. Thompson


There are hedges galore at Wethersfield. It was fun to hear some gardeners on the tour say they would “never!” want to work there – so much pruning – while others loved the idea of such a huge task.

DSC_0214The Inner Garden, closest to the house, was designed by Bryan J. Lynch and owner Chauncey D. Stillman before WWII. Garden expansion went on hold during the war years, and was resumed in 1947 by Evelyn N. Poehler who spent the next 25 years working with Mr. Stillman designing the rest of the garden.


Under the Beech Tunnel, Karl explains the fastening system they use to keep the branches on the arbor.


Climbing rose (“New Dawn”?) growing out of very small planting pockets in the path.

DSC_0236DSC_0238DSC_0239What was once the swimming pool is on the same axis as the Arborvitae Allée, which was soon to be removed and replanted for restoration.

DSC_0163A brief plant list is now available on the Wethersfield website, along with more information about the property and it’s history.


The Cut Flower Garden was in full bloom and is one of the only places in the garden where the staff deviates from the traditional planting plan – trying new things and growing their own favorites.


Wethersfield Garden is open to the public Wednesday, Friday and Saturday,
June – September; Noon to 5pm, last admission 4:30pm. Garden admission is $12 per person, $10 for Seniors and Students 13-18 years of age. Children 12 and under are free. House tours are available by appointment and cost $20.

214 Pugsley Hill Road, Amenia, New York 12501
(845) 373-8037

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Road Trip: Juniper Level Botanic Garden at Plant Delights Nursery


Plant Delights may be in Raleigh, North Carolina – no short hop from the Hudson Valley – but it’s a mail-order nursery so anyone, anywhere can reap the rewards of their plant breeding efforts, exploration, humor, dedicated research and enthusiastic plant love. Owner, Tony Avent, leads the way and writes personal catalog entries for the unusual and hard to find perennials they offer like none other. Not on their mailing list? You can request a catalog here.


If you’re in the Raleigh area you can pay Plant Delights an in-person visit. According to their website, the nursery business exists to support the Juniper Level Botanic Garden which is located at the nursery and is open to the public on select weekends. A fantastic destination for any gardener who excites to see plants they’ve never seen before (and some you’ll see no where else)!

DSC_0151Trillium foetidissimum ‘Clouded Skies’

DSC_0174Sauls Road Drought Border

DSC_0179Heuchera ‘Delta Dawn’  - I’m not usually a heuchera kind of gal,
but this plant immediately went on the “must get” list.


Podophyllum difforme (Deformed Leaf May Apple)

DSC_0190Grotto Garden with small waterfall

DSC_0251Bog Filtration Garden

DSC_0259Arisaema ringens ‘Talking heads’

DSC_0263Sanguinaria canadensis (Deep lobes)


Hosta Seedling Trial Beds

DSC_0288Loved the plan, and the name!


Eucomis ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ (Pineapple Lily) as a bedding plant. Dianthus in front.

DSC_0311The irises were in bloom, and the Sunken Rain Garden was absolutely gorgeous.

DSC_0316 DSC_0327My favorite iris of them all – ‘Professor Paul’ –  had huge,
soft-looking blooms but was, unfortunately, a Louisiana and only hardy to zone 6.
So handsome to look at, none the less.

DSC_0349Hosta ‘Praying Hands’

DSC_0353The Southwestern Garden Patio was home to the amazing Agave collection

DSC_0360 DSC_0363 DSC_0371Amorphophallus konjac
(at left). 

Plant Delights Nursery and the Juniper Level Botanical Garden was a must see garden destination in the Raleigh area, and with only a brief, 90-minute window to explore on my first visit, I can’t wait to go back!

In between catalog mailings, you can follow the nursery and garden happenings of Plant Delights on their blog and Facebook page.


Plant Delights Nursery
 9241 Sauls Road

Raleigh, NC 27603


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