2010 Greenwich Garden Tour Sponsored by Veranda Magazine: Grandiflora "Green with Envy"

I was excited to attend the 2010 Greenwich, CT Garden Tour, “Grandiflora: Green with Envy”, which was held this past Thursday, June 10th and was sponsored by Veranda Magazine and organized by the Garden Education Center of Greenwich.  I will be relocating to Greenwich in a few weeks to a fabulous  100-year old home that we have purchased there and I was in search of some great gardening ideas.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I absolutely love gardening and going on garden tours.  I definitely attribute this to both of my parents, who spent a great deal of time exposing me to nature and beautiful places as a child.  I have fond memories of attending garden tours, azalea festivals where I grew up and visiting old estates such as Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC.  I spent a lot of time researching landscape architects when we built our house in Westchester and at the time I hired  Susan Cohen of Greenwich.  She is the author of the book The Perfect Home and is also the Coordinator of the Landscape Design Program at the New York Botanical Garden.  She is truly a delight to work with on projects and is currently helping us with some projects at our new house.

Susan Cohen

Unfortunately, due to my schedule, I was only able to visit three of the six gardens featured on the tour and I wanted to share with you the photographs that I took.  The tour was a feast for the eyes and I will plan to attend every year.

The first was a beautiful property in mid-country Greenwich.  The landscape designer was Alice Cooke of Alice Cooke Landscape Associates and I thoroughly enjoyed the gardens that she created for the owners of this elegant home.  The write-up in the Garden tour map described the gardens as follows:

“Through the charming Boston Ivy-covered blue gate into the apple garden, two beautiful wisteria trees greet you.  Then, with just one glance to your left, eight espaliered apple trees, their traditional symmetrical branch forms resembling candelabras, transform this garden into an elegant and whimsical work of art.  The owner’s basic criteria: a green garden; low maintenance; deer resistance; a white, blue and purple color scheme, and a focus on the family of herbs, were accomplished magnificently!  From the upper terrace, you meander through the rain garden and conservatory woodland where birch ‘Jackomontii’ and ‘Whitespire’ are underplanted with liriope and calacarpa dichotoma ‘Early Amethyst’.  Passing the stand of bamboo, you will come upon a vegetable garden abundant with Italian and Asian eggplant.  At the bottom of the driveway, an ingenious plan leads storm water to catch basins after first spilling onto ferns and primulas, which thrive in wet areas.  You cannot ignore the Mediterranean charm of this lovely garden.”

Here are my photos (All Photos Copyright Melissa Hawks, The Well Appointed House)

A charming gate beckoned me in:

Image Copyright Melissa Hawks

(Photo Copyright Melissa Hawks – May Not Be Reproduced)
(Photo Copyright Melissa Hawks – May Not Be Reproduced)

(Photo Copyright Melissa Hawks – May Not Be Reproduced)

(Photo Copyright Melissa Hawks – May Not Be Reproduced)

A fabulous vegetable garden

(Photo Copyright Melissa Hawks – May Not Be Reproduced)

(Photo Copyright Melissa Hawks – May Not Be Reproduced)

(Photo Copyright Melissa Hawks – May Not Be Reproduced)

My next stop on the tour was to a gorgeous Georgian nestled down a long drive.  The garden structure and grade changes were engineered by Mark Mariani and the landscape designer was Bill Spitzer of Horticultural Solutions, Inc.  The description of this house read as follows:

“An elegant Georgian home framed by mature trees and plantings that seems generations old, belies a landscape executed just eight years ago.  The vision of the owners and their designer created  – through massive structural work and substantial grade changes – the property you see today.  The gardens embellishing the specimen tree and shrub-studded heart of the landscape included formal parterres of roses and perennials, a clipped hornbeam allee lined with azaleas and nepeta, a charming fountain and pool where standards of pink and red “Knockout” roses bloom.  In contrast are the soothing sounds of a meandering stream and the rustic woodland gardens beyond.  A charming moss covered stone bridge carries you to these wooded walking paths and beds of shade loving perennials where an owner-commissioned totem pole from Aleksa dwells.

(Photo Copyright Melissa Hawks – May Not Be Reproduced)

(Photo Copyright Melissa Hawks – May Not Be Reproduced)

(Photo Copyright Melissa Hawks – May Not Be Reproduced)

What a treat this property was!  It had a special place in my heart because it reminded me very much of the house that my husband and I built in Westchester…
Next I was off to another estate, not far from town, that transported me to a place far, far away.  It was truly one of the most spectacular estates I have ever visited.  I have never had such an appreciation for shade-loving plants as I did after visiting this estate.  The property owners are the landscape designers in collaboration with Tim Patterson.  The guide described it as follows:
“Clouds of blue forget-me-nots in Spring add to the subtle but glorious understory of columbine, dicentra, epimediums, ferns and other shade lovers.  These complement the woodland shrubs and rocky outcroppings which grace this classical woodland setting.  The beautifully sited, chateau-like house – one of the Twachtman houses built by the children of the famed impressionist painter in 1929 – is the centerpiece of the five-acre estate.  Today’s owners, avid gardeners themselves, have created a garden that enhances the extraordinary beauty of the property’s natural landscape.  Among the endless highlights of this extraordinary garden is a pond bordered by wetland gardens, a tumbling brook that flows rill-like from the rocky outcroppings below the house itself, and drifts of azaleas, which lend color in season to the lichen-crusted stones throughout.  A child’s dream treehouse, reached by suspension bridge, provides a charming view of the whole.  
  Here are some of the photos I took.  Believe it or not, I left many out:

(Photo Copyright Melissa Hawks – May Not Be Reproduced)

(Photo Copyright Melissa Hawks – May Not Be Reproduced)


The “Bunk House” for the children of the house, complete with bunk beds!

My visit to this estate made memories that I’ll surely keep forever.  I felt that I had walked into a painting, so it was fitting that the house was built by the children of a famed impressionist painter.

I wish that I could have visited the remaining three gardens and I will hope to complete the tour next year.  I was just so immersed in the beauty of the houses that I did visit that the time escaped me!

These photos will surely inspire you to want to keep working on your own yard and gardens, so be sure to visit The Well Appointed House every week to check for new products.  We are constantly adding new items and our patio and garden collection is fabulous and has many of the porcelain garden seats seen in the last estate’s pool house, as well as wrought iron furniture and accents seen on the other properties.  If you enjoyed the charming bird house seen in the gardens of the Georgian estate, visit our birdhouse collections:

Happy Gardening!

Share This


  1. Erin

    Those gardens were breathtaking! I would give anything to live on that painter’s estate…it was more lovely than my dreams.

    Your photos are very nice, but I was sad to see the watermarks all over them. It was quite distracting and really took away from the object of the photos. That being said, I certainly understand the need to protect your work.

    Thanks for sharing these gardens with us!

  2. Pingback: Greenwich Garden Tour 2013 | The Well Appointed House Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *