Saturday, August 28, 2010

Stonecrop Gardens

Yesterday was such a gorgeous day here in the northeast, after a long hot summer followed by several very rainy days (I think we got all the summer's rain at once!).
Yesterday was the kind of day that it's a shame to spend anywhere but outdoors, so I took my daughters to visit a local private garden called Stonecrop Gardens. (If you have access to the Taconic Parkway, it's easy to get to!) The thing about gardens, and about this one in particular, is that they are a delight to the senses. This garden is beautiful visually, and I suspect the beauty changes with the seasons and even the time of day. But as you're gazing at ponds and lush shade plants and flowers, in the background is often the sound of water tinkling or splashing, the songs of birds, and the humming of insects. There are the smells of flowers and the earth and the touch of various leaves and plants, even the cool breeze and the warmth of the sunlight. I took 82 photos in just over an hour and it was hard to winnow them down to the many I've posted here. Enjoy your virtual visit!
This first picture shows the conservatory, the first building you see when you come in.
Here is one of the many rock waterfalls.

A spectacular view of the hillside garden and the waterfall in the previous picture.
Everywhere you look there is a gorgeous view! Here is one framed by the wisteria pagoda. It must look incredible when the wisteria is in bloom!

This is a stone bridge over one of the ponds.

Throughout the garden, there are thoughtfully placed resting spots, like this little room off the conservatory, and this bench with a whimsical frog sculpture in the wisteria pagoda.

This little room can be found in the walled flower garden.

Here is a little stone seat in the bamboo path.

Even the potting shed has a nice visual display!
Little plants grow amid the cracks in this rock wall.

There are some interesting and unusual plantings, like this spiky sample...

And these Dawn Redwoods imported from China.

My daughters amused themselves by looking for little creatures everywhere. Here is my youngest admiring some goldfish.
Here is one of the many frogs you see everywhere.

Can you find the hidden bullfrog and turtle in the picture above?

Stonecrop also has a resident cat, Ginger. Here she is exploring the rocks and crevices around a pond in the Woodland Garden. Those are pitcher plants near her feet.

There were many flowers to see, even this late in the summer.

Here are some miniature water lilies...

...and some bright dahlias.

These autumn-toned black-eyed susans caught my eye.
I couldn't resist snapping a shot of the graceful lines of this hosta leaf.

This interesting striped leaf was backlit by the sun and just glowed!

I love the texture of these hosta specimens.
Another ground-cover shade plant. I love that silver tone contrasted by that dark veining.

Finally, here is a little heart-shaped leaf for you. Hope your weekend is filled with beauty too!

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