Sunday, July 8, 2012



August 24 -26, 2012

Featured Speaker: Internationally Renowned Landscape Designer Edwina von Gal

Co-sponsored by Hollister House Garden and the Garden Conservancy

The French may have their Riviera but everyone in the garden world knows Hollister House is the place to be in August.
A compelling three-day garden cornucopia features an all-star horticultural speaker lineup – including my garden friends Stephen Orr, Bill Thomas and Paige Dickey –in addition to a swanky cocktail party, champagne breakfast, garden tours, a rare plant sale, book singings and lectures.

With concern for the environment ascendant and the desire to continually refine our own backyard artistry ever present, Hollister House Garden’s third biennial Garden Study Weekend is dedicated to exploring innovative and sustainable ideas about gardening from both the imaginative and practical point of view. The three day, late summer program includes a stylish cocktail party, an all-day seminar, plant and book sales, champagne breakfast and garden tours. The Garden Study Weekend launched in 2008 and has grown to one of the leading summer gardening events in New England.

This year’s program of thought-provoking lectures will examine the topic of Gardening Anew: Fresh Perspectives on the Garden. The featured speaker is Edwina von Gal, principal of her own celebrated international landscape design firm, who will be joined by several outstanding professional horticulturists. They will address a wide spectrum of ideas on new ways to garden encompassing the knowledgeable use of native plants with attention to their form and function, sophisticated solutions found in the soil, and examples of thinking outside the box in the spirit of experimentation and innovation.  The Garden Conservancy, a national organization dedicated to preserving exceptional American gardens, is co-sponsoring the event with Hollister House Garden.

Slated for August 24, 25 and 26, 2012 in Washington, Connecticut, Garden Study Weekend III gets underway at a gala Friday evening cocktail party at the Washington Montessori School where participants may informally mingle with speakers and fellow garden enthusiasts. There will also be the opportunity for early buying at the rare plant sale.

Saturday symposium features wonderful speakers, books and plants  

Saturday’s symposium takes place at the Washington Montessori School in comfortable, air-conditioned spaces with up-to-date lecture facilities. A delicious buffet luncheon, a sale of beautifully written and illustrated garden books, a plant sale featuring a select group of New England’s finest specialty plant growers and a ‘show & tell’ plant talk are included in the all-day agenda.

Stephen Orr, Editorial Director of Gardening at Martha Stewart Living, popular blogger and author of Tomorrow’s Garden: Designs and Inspiration for a New Age of Sustainable Gardening, published in 2011, will moderate the conversation and welcome each lecturer.

Featured speaker Edwina von Gal, known for her elegant, harmonious landscapes that emphasize design blending effortlessly with nature, will speak from personal experience on Altered Perspectives: An Unexpected Life in the Garden. Her approach embraces native plants in spare arrangements that allow the landscape to speak for itself.  Her many high profile projects include work s for minimalists Calvin Klein and Richard Serra as well as creation of the whimsical topiary animals gracing the Channel Gardens in New York City’s Rockefeller Center. She is known for creating “intimate expanses” and her garden designs have been published in the New York Times, House Beautiful, House & Garden, Garden Design and Vogue as well as in many books. She is presently involved in restoring large tracts of her own land in Panama where cattle ranching has seriously compromised the terrain, and is directing the Azuero Earth Project, a Panama-based organization focused on intelligent land stewardship and nature conservation in that country’s endangered dry forest.

Other thought-provoking speakers on Saturday’s seminar roster include:

William Cullina is Executive Director of the 250-acre, organic Coastal Maine Botanical Garden in Boothbay, ME. His topic is What Do You Mean I’m Not a Perennial: Flowering Shrubs for Perennial Companionship, sharing knowledge of his favorite native flowering shrubs and how they bring form, texture, color and wildlife to the garden.

Eric T. Fleisher is Director of Horticulture, Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, New York, NY. He will speak on Managing the Environment: An Adaptive Challenge. Over 25 years, he has brought this 37-acre oasis of parkland on the Hudson River to the forefront as the only public garden space in New York to be maintained completely organically. The solution he has found is in the soil and he will discuss balanced soil ecology, composting, water conservation and nontoxic pest and disease control.

Bill Thomas is Executive Director of Chanticleer Foundation, Wayne, PA. Chanticleer is one of the most exquisite and exciting public gardens in the northeast.  He is a plantsman, designer and a manager of the highest standards and will speak on Chanticleer: An Insider’s View, illuminating the visual, textural, auditory and olfactory dimensions of the 48-acre estate on Philadelphia’s Main Line.

In the early morning and at coffee and lunch breaks there will be opportunities to purchase choice plants for the late season garden from Broken Arrow Nursery (Hamden, CT), Falls Village Flower Farm, (Falls Village, CT), O’Brien Nurserymen (Granby, CT), Opus (Little Compton, RI), Rocky Dale Gardens (Bristol, VT), Sunny Border Nurseries (wholesale, Kensington, CT), Umbrella Factory Gardens (Charlestown, RI) and Avant Gardens (Dartmouth, MA).

Three leading horticulturists -- Page Dickey, prolific garden writer and popular lecturer; Marco Polo Stufano, founding director of horticulture at Wave Hill in the Bronx and co-chair of the Garden Conservancy Screening Committee, and Adam Wheeler, plantsman extraordinaire at Broken Arrow Nursery – will be on hand to offer practical expertise during a Show & Tell demonstration at the plant sale. Garden books selected by Washington Depot’s treasured independent bookseller, The Hickory Stick, will also be for sale, many authored by symposium speakers and available for signing.

 Sunday Open Days Tours Unlatch the Gates to Private Gardens

The weekend also offers participants the opportunities to experience and explore in person several outstanding gardens. Early birds can choose to start the day with a champagne breakfast on the beautiful rear lawn at the romantic country garden at Hollister House in Washington, CT. The grand finale on Sunday is when the Garden Conservancy opens four exceptional private gardens in nearby Litchfield and Roxbury as part of its national Open Days program. Three of them – The Garden of Bruce Schnitzer & Alexandra Champalimaud, the Leva Garden and Opal House gardens – are on the Open Days circuit for the first time. Hollister House Garden is also featured on the Sunday tour.

 Tickets and Registration

Pre-registration is required for the Garden Study Weekend. A combination package including the festive Friday evening cocktail party, the entire Saturday program (with continental breakfast and buffet lunch) and Sunday morning Champagne Breakfast is $245 ($230 for Garden Conservancy or Hollister House Garden members.)

Separately, the Friday evening cocktail party is $75 for nonmembers ($65 for GC and HHG members).

The allday Saturday ticket costs $160 for nonmembers ($150 for GC and HHG members). The rare plant sale is open to the general public after 1 p.m., free of charge.

The Sunday morning Champagne Breakfast is $25 ($20 for GC and HHG members).

Please note that due to parking and seating limitations, tickets for both Friday and Saturday events are strictly limited.

To register, or for more information, go to or call 860.868.2200.

The Open Days garden tours on Sunday are priced separately at $5 per person per garden. Advance tickets are available online at (please allow time for shipping) or in person at the gardens on the tour.

Registration is not required for Sunday’s Open Day tours. Maps will be provided for all participants at Hollister House Garden Study seminar.

Hollister House Garden, created by George Schoellkopf, is a classic garden in the English manner. It has a loosely formal structure informally planted in generous abundance with both common and exotic plants in subtle and sometimes surprising color combinations. Situated on a sloping hill behind an 18thcentury rambling farmhouse, high walls and hedges divide three separate garden rooms and open to create appealing vistas of the landscape.

 The Garden Conservancy is a national nonprofit organization founded in 1989 to preserve America’s exceptional gardens for the education and enjoyment of the public. It partners with garden owners and public and private organizations to harness legal, horticultural, and financial resources to secure a garden's future. The Conservancy also encourages greater appreciation of the important role gardens play in America’s cultural and natural heritage through educational programs and through its Open Days garden visiting program.

No comments:

Post a Comment