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  • Writer's pictureJan Peterson

A Garden Worth Visiting

Hollister House Garden, in Washington, CT, is a garden enthusiast's dream. Nestled on 25 acres of countryside in Washington, CT the garden surrounds the 18th century farmhouse and barns on the property.

Hollister House is owned by George Schoellkopf and Hollister House Garden Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the house and garden. Their mission is "to preserve the beautiful garden for the enjoyment and education of the public and to enhance the skills, knowledge, and pleasure of gardeners, horticulturists and garden lovers of all ages."

In 1979 antiques dealer George Schoellkopf planted his historic property with exotic plants in beautiful colors along with common plants. Over time the garden evolved into “a unique synthesis of the formal and the natural, the right angles of paths, walls and hedges melting seamlessly into the lush surrounding landscape, which forms a magnificent backdrop to the garden’s exuberant plantings.”

Each garden space is an individual room defined by 8-to-10-foot hedges, formal stone walls, perfectly groomed boxwoods and plantings that provide drama and create an architectural framework around the home. Punctuated with antique urns overflowing with annuals, and cobblestone and gravel walkways, every turn leads to a unique array of rare and unusual plants mixed with common ones. There are plenty of benches and antique garden chairs to sit on and take it all in.

Several water features as well as a babbling brook create a calm respite from the day. There is a curator on site to answer any questions you may have. From across the creek you can climb to a hill which gives you a panoramic view of the property and all it offers.

The garden is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from April 22 through October 8. There is a full schedule of events every weekend - from artists and photographer visits, educational programs, garden tours, plant sales, wine tastings with friends and more. Take a peek at their calendar at:

It is truly a garden worth visiting each season and spending some time in .

"A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.”

Gertrude Jekyll

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