Garden Design

Beatrix Farrand – designer extraordinaire

Have you been to a garden or landscape designed by Beatrix Farrand? If you’ve walked the campus of Yale or wandered the grounds of Harkness Park or Hill-Stead Museum you know she was a landscape and garden designer extraordinaire.

In December 2014, the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame released a tribute video to Beatrix Farrand, who lived from 1872 to 1959. Farrand was one of the first women to practice landscape architecture and she left us with beautiful spaces to enjoy.


Her designs are timeless and deserve to be protected, tended and enjoyed. Farrand’s reach certainly extended outside Connecticut, as you’ll find when visiting The Beatrix Farrand Society website. But some of her wonderful work can easily be enjoyed during day trips in CT.

As noted in The Connecticut Gardens of Beatrix Farrand in Connecticut Magazine, Farrand preferred to be described as a landscape gardener.

“A garden, large or small, must be treated in the Impressionist manner,” she once wrote. “Plants are to the gardener what his palette is to the painter.”

That’s a garden design concept that speaks to me, and one we can all follow to help us paint our gardens with plants.


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A snowy day

In case you haven’t heard … southeastern New England, including the section of Connecticut where I live and garden, is having a snowy day.

A little storm, fondly called the blizzard of 2015, moved in last night and is expected to continue into this afternoon. So far 18″ to 24″ of powdery snow is covering our landscape and, as of 10:30 am, it’s still snowing. Drifting makes it difficult to determine exactly how much snow we’ve received, but snowdrifts range from 24″ to 36″ against the exterior doors. Not too big a deal, this snow is dry and easy to move; we’ve had much worse … namely the blizzard of 2013 that dropped nearly 4 feet of snow on us.

I’m glad I grabbed some garden planning photos before this storm hit. There’s quite a difference in how one of our front yard gardens looked a few days ago …

Front view toward our nearest neighbor, before the blizzard of 2015.

Front view toward our nearest neighbor, before the blizzard of 2015.

and how it looks this morning.

Front yard garden during the blizzard of 2015.

Front yard garden during the blizzard of 2015.

It’s tough to add to a garden design when its features are buried under snow! Since I regularly shoot photos of our entire landscape, I have plenty to work from as I continue my garden dreaming in January.

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