Garden Visit: Anne Spiegel

In May 2012 I had the pleasure of visiting Anne Spiegel’s garden in Dutchess County on the area’s first Garden Conservancy Open Day of the season. The Spiegel garden is open once again to spring visitors on Sunday, May 5, 2013 from 10am-4pm, so you too can explore this incredible Hudson Valley rock garden.

The towering outcrop that is the backbone of Anne’s rock garden is in stark contrast to the seemingly delicate alpine plant collection, but don’t be fooled, these plants are tough!

In 2011 the North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS) awarded this garden the Linc & Timmy Foster Millstream Garden Award. From the NARGS website “This award is for an outstanding contribution to NARGS for creating a superior garden.”

Anne was meeting and greeting the garden guests that day, happy to answer questions. She told me she first became interested in rock gardening when she happened upon an exhibit that really captivated her interest at the NY Flower Show in the 1980s. The display was from the rock garden society, and it was manned by H. Lincoln Foster, well-known author and important contributor to rock gardening in America, who went on to mentor Anne’s love of rock gardening. WOW.

Dodecatheon meadia (Shooting Star)

Anyone can try their hand at rock gardening — in a trough.

Happy plants seeded into crevices and steps, including Asarina procumbens (Creeping Snapdragon).

HV gardeners can purchase and peruse alpine and rock garden plants from some of the Northeast’s most well-known specialty growers at the annual Alpine Plant Sale at Stonecrop Gardens in Cold Spring. This year’s sale is on Saturday, April 27th, details here.

Want to learn more about rock gardening? A few resources:

- Visit Anne Spiegel’s garden on Sunday, May 5th
- Stonecrop Gardens Alpine Plant Sale, April 27th
- Books: Rock Gardening: A Guide to Growing Alpines and Other Wildflowers in the American Garden by H.Lincoln Foster and Laura L. Foster
-  Visit the Rock Garden at NYBG
-  Visit Oliver Nurseries in Fairfield, CT, one of the closest that caters to alpine enthusiasts
- Wrightman Alpines website has great plant selection and descriptions, videos to watch and knowledgeable blog posts to read
- Attend a North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS) meeting or event!
While not currently updated, the website says the Hudson Valley Chapter of NARGS “usually meets on the second Saturday or Sunday, February-June and September-November at the Carriage House at Lyndhurst, 635 Broadway, Tarrytown, NY.”
Jacques Mommens, Membership contact:  jmommens@westnet.com

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