|A planter idea you could |
try at home
The Cabots built their summer home at Stonecrop in the late 1950s and began creating twelve acres of gardens. Frank Cabot (who died in 2011) was an avid plant collector and the unusual structures he built to display his collections are still in use (a pair of half-sunken greenhouses are especially attractive). The idea of turning Stonecrop into a public garden began in 1985 and, over the next seven years, the property was gradually transformed to create an ‘educational’ garden where people could learn about horticulture, experience his enthusiasm for fine gardening, and take inspiration back home to their own gardens.
|Getting to know one of the |
Stonecrop opened to the public in 1992 and, twenty years later, it is glorious. Maintenance is top-notch, the horticulture is in prime condition, and every visitor gets a sheet with a listing of more than a hundred ‘points of interest’ showing what’s in bloom or otherwise shouldn’t be missed. In turn, discreet numbered tags next to plants tie to the sheet, leaving garden vistas uncluttered.
The Cabots were not your usual exurban gardeners. For example, there is a glorious pond with cascading pools, each filled with carefully selected aquatic plants. The pond is bisected by a stone bridge, the centerpiece of which is an irregular slab of granite roughly thirty feet long, six feet wide and three feet thick. Standing on the stone, looking across the pond, you realize that the entire facing wall of the pond – including all those cascading pools – is made up of other enormous chunks of granite, carefully placed to create a ‘look’.
|The stone bridge in the pond|
The stonework was done by masons over several years, but the raw stone came to the Cabots as the result of blasting on the Cold Spring Turnpike (SR 301) which connects the property to the nearby Taconic Parkway and the Hudson River. When New York State allows you to take away the blast debris from a public road project, this speaks of a very good relationship, but then you have to keep in mind that Anne Cabot’s family donated much the land that became Fahnestock State Park and her grandfather helped create the Palisades Interstate Park Commission.
|Succulents massed in a |
|Water cascades down a man-made|
hillside into the pond
This coming Saturday (August 11), the garden will be open as part of the Garden Conservancy Open Days Program, with tea and refreshments. Please go.
Note: We opened our property for the Garden Conservancy Open Days program in 2008. Four years later, it still ranks as one of our proudest days as gardeners.