This is a book about a private garden in Fairfield, Connecticut, that I believe any designer would like to visit. Who knows if it will ever be open for tours, but perhaps this book will persuade the owners to at least permit professionals to see it on occasion.
The book itself is mostly all photographs, divided by seasons. Trager says while he's often photographed city life, architecture and dance, he'd never taken photos of a garden. "So I was curious to see if I could bring my feelings and aesthetic to what was, for me, new territory. I think, in the end, I succeeded in making this garden my own."
There are photos of the many "gardens" that comprise the property: the bamboo forest, the herb garden, the conifer and wildflower gardens, the English garden, the water and rock gardens, and of course the statuary and the plants that occupy each one.
An essay at the back of the book by owner Russell Fuchs explains how the garden came about and how it's grown over the years. While he and his wife designed large parts of the garden, he says a few "very fine landscape architects" helped him along the way, although he doesn't say who they were. He says the gardens "were and continue to be a futile effort in organizing, training, and controlling nature to do my bidding ... Each year, every shrub, tree, perennial, and grass is touched, cut, shaped, sculpted to the aesthetic pleasure of my eye; each year I find it unimaginable that we will be able to accomplish what needs doing, though the thought of an unfinished piece of the property is even more unimaginable. What love will lead us to do."
I only wish he'd included a "plan" of the garden and captions on the photos so that you'd know where in the gardens the images were taken. Still, a garden that would one day be well worth a visit.
And, new from Timber Press, Hypertufa Containers: Creating and Planting an Alpine Trough Garden by Lori Chips, Alpine Manager at Oliver Nurseries, also in Fairfield CT. If you're into alpines and rock gardens, the perfect container for them is hypertufa, a mixture of cement, perlite, peat and water that you can make at home. You can make them of almost any size and they blend right into the garden if placed correctly. Lori also explains which plants are best for these rock-like containers, and how to care for them throughout the seasons.