June 13, 2012

New England Idyls - the Garden of Gioia Browne and Jim Marsh



A PAIR OF VINTAGE FRENCH BISTRO CHAIRS INVITE GUESTS TO REST UNDER TOWERING AMERICAN ELMS AT THE HOME OF GIOIA BROWNE AND JIM MARSH IN LITTLE COMPTON, RHODE ISLAND.


It's always a treat to see a mature landscape. You know the type - century old trees ( or even older), with massive trunks and deep, dark cool shade. A nineteenth century barn, ancient stone walls, towering American Elms and elegantly long and breezy drives - such is the garden of our good friend Gioia Browne and Jim Marsh, located in the peaceful and understated New England town called Little Compton, in Rhode Island. This was our second stop on this past weekends' Garden Conservancy Open Garden Days in Little Compton, which featured two amazing gardens, each offered a unique view into some of America's most special and important private gardens and homes.


JESS ADMIRES GIOIA AND JIM'S GRAVEL DRIVE, PERFECTLY RAKED AND EDGED. WE IMAGINED THAT THEY HAVE DOZENS OF GARDENERS, AND NOT JUST ONE!



BOXWOOD PROVIDES STRUCTURE AND AN APPROPRIATELY PERIOD TOUCH ALONG WITH SOME ARCHITECTURAL CARDOONS. WE COULD SPY SEEDLING VERBENA BONARIENSIS EMERGING.

Gioia and Jim's garden is enchanting - the sort rarely seen anywhere today, classically New England with stone walls, shingle potting sheds and formal plantings, it also is a true plant collector's garden with treasures tucked away in every nook. Sure, there are the classic English border plants - towering foxgloves, old world roses, primroses and clipped box hedges, but there are also plant-lover plants: gentians, alpines, rare Japanese woodlanders and interesting trees and shrubs. This is truly a knowledgeable plant enthusiasts garden which happens to be charming and designed to perfection. 

GIOIA (right) DISCUSSES HER COLLECTION WITH A GUEST

 We met Gioia three years ago when she attended a planning meeting for the American Primrose Society at our house. She helped me make a huge baked Alaska that day with me. We never imagined that she had help create such an amazing garden, but once we got to know her, it's no surprise. Gioia is a passionate plant collector, so given her knowledge about plant species, this garden makes sense. Gioia is not what one might expect in Little Compton. She is not the 'garden club' type of gardener - she is a get your knees muddy, start your own primula species from Tibet sort of gal. Sure, she can still work her Lilly Pulitzer as fine as her posh neighbors, but what impressed us was her collection of rare plants. Many planted in drifts. Clearly, she knows what she is doing out in the garden. Gioia and her gardener have created one of the finest American gardens, and surely, they are not done yet.

A VIBURNUM BLOOMS IN A HEDGEROW, IN GIOIA'S AMAZING GARDEN

A RED LOUISIANA IRIS BRIGHTENED A STREAM AND WATER FEATURE

AN ALPINE BED IN FULL, JUNE SPLENDOR

A STUNNING BLUE ANCHUSA AZUREA 'DROPMORE' IN BLOOM IN THE CUTTING GARDEN. ON THE LEFT, A PRACTICAL COMPOST PILE WITH ENGLISH SWEET PEAS ALMOST IN BLOOM.


ANCHUSA AZUREA 'DROPMORE'







1 comment :

  1. New England has beautiful gardens throughout. These gardens have an ol' time charm that cannot be recreated without the age of time.

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Most Popular Posts