October 3, 2009

A visit to Robin Magowan's garden in Connecticut

Anemone japonica in the Connecticut garden of Robin Magowan. Nearly more beautiful than any Mary Cassatt or Willard Metcalf painting.
One of the greatest pleasures of being active members of plant societies such as the North American Rock Garden Society, ( NARGS), is the people you meet. Over the years we have met many interesting people, with amazing life stories, incredible gardens and have made long lasting friendships, and in a world of Facebook, blogs and email, meeting real people is a rare thing sometimes! Last weeks' workshop on trough-making was held in the western Connecticut garden of Robin Magowan, well known for his alpine garden plantings, and frequently featured in journals, magazines articles and on television programs. It was a treat to be able to take some time after the workshop and tour Robin's garden.

A Zinnia grandiflora blooms in the rock garden

Grasses and maples in full, autumnal glory edge the clearest and cleanest Koi pond I have ever seen. These are the luckiest fish in the world.
A Colchicum 'The Waterlily" blooms solo, near a large rock.

I'm guessing that this is a Glaucium grandiflorum or G. flavum, a 'horned poppy' in bloom on the slopes of the massive rock garden in full sun.

These 'mountains' mimic the real hills in the distance, a thoughful landscape design is the first thing I noticed about this garden.

A good garden has both humor, folly and botanical interests in it. Robin's garden has it all. Plus art! It's not too serious, nor too horticultural, with tags ruining the view. I like that. I try to remove all of my tags in the rock garden, opting to look things up, instead.

An autumn Clematis never looks much better than this. Clematis paniculata is the king of fall vine displays.


  1. Your first photo is so painterly and stunning. Lovely! I have just discovered your site via Hermes... I look forward to strolling through your pages. Carol

  2. I remember visiting Robin Magowan's garden while attending a NARGS meeting in a village not far from there. He also gave me a copy of his autobiography. Have you read it? It is most interesting.


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