Wednesday, August 04, 2004

From the Hartford Courant's site (free registration required):

But the garden restoration, which began two years ago, already comes close to replicating Wharton's original design and appearance.

There are a few nods to modern inconveniences. A deer fence now rings the property to keep out unwanted, four-legged dinner guests. In Wharton's time, deer had plenty of open woodlands to munch on. And the hemlock hedge surrounding the central garden has been replaced with two species of arborvitae because a pest has scourged hemlocks in the region recently.

Wharton liked symmetry and, as she did in the house, used little tricks to give her gardens the illusion of balance where true symmetry was impossible.The staircase leads to a gravel walkway lined with linden trees. The corridor, called the Lime Walk because lindens are known as lime trees in England, serves as a boulevard connecting her two major gardens.

Facing the house and walking left, the path leads to a walled garden inspired by the beloved secret gardens of Italy. Sunken and enclosed by vine-covered walls, the garden feels peaceful and secluded.

Hostas line the paths, where Wharton once used baby's breath. There is a legend that Wharton snuck into her neighbor's yard to dig up the ferns interspersed among the hostas, but nobody knows for sure.

No comments: