After a long winter when spring seemed reluctant to rouse from its long slumber, we can finally anticipate time outside. Many of us feel inspired during this time of year to garden and embark upon a few outdoor projects to make our outdoor living spaces inviting and beautiful. We envision friends and family gathered around—playing croquet, enjoying lemonade and summer cocktails, and admiring our gardens. Or perhaps we want our own private oasis in which to read a book or meditate.
Fortunately, the much-anticipated annual Barrington Garden Fair & Marketplace is right around the corner, taking place on June 15 and 16, and poised to provide all the inspiration, motivation, and unique garden finds you won’t be able to resist. In addition, interactive workshops led by local garden and culinary experts promise to educate and provide some new ideas for entertaining, cooking, and perhaps even bee keeping. What makes this particular event even more compelling is that it raises much-needed funds for Hands of Hope—a nonprofit organization founded by Barrington’s Vicky Wauterlek, and made up of women in our community who give their time, talent, and resources to support improving the lives of women and children in Africa.
We are proud to offer a sneak peek below into this year’s three special gardens—ranging from a Santa Fe art-inspired retreat to an arboretum with Celtic stone pieces to a formal English garden. The variety will only be matched by the abundance of inspiration.
The Enchanting Forest
This property features unique works of art with Native American and Santa Fe influences nestled among a shady garden along quiet walkways. Bright white aspen groves greet guests as they pull up to the estate and drive down the drive lined with Chanticleer pear trees and crabapples to provide an abundance of spring color. Wandering around, the vista from atop the wooden bridge encompasses gentle waterfalls, the patios with a pool and koi pond, terraced stone walls, and the forest beyond. Mulched pathways wind through a forest thick with white and red oak, wild cherry, Japanese maple, black walnut, and hemlock trees. As you wander along, be on the lookout for sculptures, bubbling pots, and other well-placed objets d’art which surprise and delight. Of particular interest are the bronze pieces by Joshua Tobey, a Santa Fe artist, including the impressive Native American hunter with bow drawn, and sculptured metal fish that seemingly “swim” through a swath of tall Japanese grasses. A new addition to the forest magic is a butterfly way station, featuring milkweed, purple coneflowers, and phlox.
An American Arboretum
A study in texture, form, and function, this five-acre estate boasts gardens featuring many interesting stone pieces imported from Ireland, Scotland, and France. Your tour will begin as you cross a footbridge near the pond surrounded by a several varieties of early blooming plants including iris, Virginia bluebells, and woodland peonies. Dogwood and Japanese maple trees overhang the hand-hewn belvedere, a perfect post to observe the property spanning below. Note the “weeping” beech tree near the stone bench and a unique sunken rose garden as you wander along the mulched pathway, left natural and lush with redbuds, lily of the valley, and other favorites that caught the homeowner’s eye. Observe the change as you move from the wilder, more natural border gardens to the formal, structured, symmetrical gardens, or parterres, behind the French country farmhouse. The frog pond, with its oversized amphibian spouting into a tiny pool is followed by a spectacular boxwood creation highlighting two heirloom apple trees. Two grandiflora beech trees mark the entrance to the garden pool, which is bordered with veronica, lavender, and hardy geraniums. Still ahead lie the kitchen gardens, with their splendid use of espaliered pear trees and linked crabapple trees. This spectacular property was designed almost entirely by the current owner with the help of John Cullen of the landscape design firm, Celtic Gardens.
An English Masterpiece
Stately columns of trees and containers brimming with color set the stage for this magnificent estate spanning ten acres, designed by John Staab, of Staab & Olmsted, Landscape Architecture & Fine Gardening Services. The gardens surrounding the main house are decidedly formal, as evidenced by the English style boxwood gardens and brick path lined with perennials and yews. Travel through the garden gate to visit the serene grand terrace and lawn area where you will find a stunning vision of floral colors displayed in an oversize urn. Continue across the lawn to the back of the home and visit the elaborate bird feeding system. Take a brief moment to note the different breeds of birds enjoying the tasty treats provided. A gravel lane will lead you through the pool parterre and into the formal garden. The ornate pavilion covers distinctive perennials and annuals, grasses and roses, all in riotous bloom. Notice the use of containers to add more color and dimension throughout the area. A short stroll brings you to the potager garden—a French inspired vegetable, fruit, berry, and cutting garden, sure to inspire. Nearby, the charming cottage gardens bordering the 19th century farmhouse and guesthouse will have you pointing out your favorite blooms and noting new possibilities for your own garden.
Barrington Garden Fair & Marketplace shuttles leave from Barrington High School at 616 West Main Street (the Hart Road parking entrance) on June 15 and 16; and across the road from the high school at 800 Hart Road on Saturday. Tickets are $45 through June 8, $55 from June 9 to 14, and $60 day of event. An early buy ticket allows you to shop the French Market and Avant Garden before the Garden Fair opens. Tickets can be purchased at several local retailers or at handsofhopeonline.org. For more information, call 847-381-7367.