September 22, 2010

The Gardening World Mourns the Loss of Wayne Winterrowd, horticultural Legend, Dead at 68.

Wayne Winterrowd (right) , garden book author, with his partner Joe Eck ( left). and their dog Harry.
According to their son Fotios, "Today, there is yet another gardener beautifying heaven." Indeed.

I am saddened to report that Wayne Winterrowd, author, garden designer and innovator, died at his Vermont home yesterday after a brief illness at age 68. Wayne, and his partner in life and gardening, Joe Eck helped transform American gardening, through their many books, and their popular gardening symposiums held annually at their unique garden, which they carved out of an ancient Vermont woodland nearly 30 years ago. The complete obituary in the Burlington Free Press is here

Co-Author of 'A YEAR A NORTH HILL along with Joe Eck, Wayne, who is perhaps my most influential garden writer ) aside from their friend Dan Hinkley, is a frequent contributor to HORTICULTURE magazine. 

I never had the chance to meet Wayne, but his writing and lifestyle affected me tremendously.
Just this past weekend, perhaps while he was passing, I was referring to the couples most recent book which I read last year, OUR LIFE IN GARDENS, where he rambles on passionately about growing Rhododendron maddenii species under glass, which reminded me to go order some, or to try growing a Prunus mume in a pot in the cold greenhouse ( this, I still must do). If you don't believe how influential he was to me personally, just compare the photos of the North Hill Garden, with mine. The first time I saw their stone alpine wall against their greenhouse foundations, I felt that I could create one too. Their books inspired me to grow winter growing Gladiolus under glass, Camellia's, Cyclamen coum naturalized in the winter garden in my glasshouse- in fact hardly a week goes by when I don't think of his inspirations, I know he will continue to inspire us in written words, but that his physical presence will be missed by many.

Friend and fellow gardening guru Fergus Garrett commented "Since the early 1990s, horticulture in America has really taken off in an exciting and sophisticated way. And Joe and Wayne were among the leading forces in that. They are one of the driving forces in North American horticulture,". Fergus Garrett, is the head gardener of Great Dixter in East Sussex, England, the renowned garden of the late Christopher Lloyd, both friends and peers of the Vermont couple.

Mr. Garrett continues:

"Wayne set a great example of how to be in the garden and at home, and as a result they created a place they could share and a community of people around it. There was an incredible life force behind North Hill," Garrett said. "Wayne will live on in his words and accomplishments. And we are lucky to continue to have Joe."

Also, The Garden Writer’s Association distributed this release to members which shares a more personal account:

Dear Friends,
“We’ve lost another great gardener - Wayne Winterrowd. I just received this
email from Fotios, Wayne’s and Joe Eck’s son.

“We brought Wayne home yesterday to die in his own bed. He was hospitalized
on Monday where he suffered heart failure, was revived but never recovered
from it. He died peacefully around 6:30 pm to the sound of his canaries and
many people who loved him were there to see him off.”

Today, there is yet another gardener beautifying heaven.”

The family will hold a small private gathering at home with the planting of four birches to create a memorial garden, their son, Fotios Bouzikos said. A fund has been created in Wayne Winterrowd's memory. Checks may be made to North Hill Garden; P.O. Box 178; Readsboro, VT 05350. For more information on North Hill visit the website northhillgardens.com.

 A blue Meconopsis Poppy, made famous in thier first book, A YEAR AT NORTH HILL, because they we're able to bloom this rare plant in their Vermont garden, and not in Seattle where it prefers growing.
The alpine wall along the foundation of Wayne's North Hill Garden.


  1. What a loss indeed. I have 'A YEAR AT NORTH HILL' also and treasure it.

  2. If anyone would like to help preserve Wayne's garden and help preserve his work, a memorial fund has been set up- information on northhillgardens.com Wayne's death is a huge loss to gardening world and the human and civil rights causes that he championed.


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