Hollister House Garden, Washington

#5 of 6 in Things to do in Washington
Garden · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Beautifully situated on a sloping, terraced site in the rolling hills of Litchfield County in northwestern Connecticut, Hollister House Garden is an American interpretation of such classic English gardens as Sissinghurst , Great Dixter and Hidcote, formal in its structure but informal and rather wild in its style of planting. Begun in 1979 by George Schoellkopf and Ron Johnson, the garden since that time has evolved under George’s direction into a unique synthesis of the formal and the natural, the right angles of paths, walls and hedges melting seamlessly into the lush surrounding landscape, which forms a magnificent backdrop to the garden’s exuberant plantings. Since 1993 Gerald Incandela has contributed greatly to the garden’s development with his artist’s eye trained on redefining the surrounding landscape.

The garden is sited on the southeastern side of a rambling but serenely dignified eighteenth century house on 25 acres of mostly wooded countryside. Although the garden is in no way a recreation of an eighteenth century garden, it was nevertheless planned to complement the old house, and antique or hand made materials have been used wherever possible in its construction. Various eighteenth century barns and outbuildings are visible from the garden and further help to root it in the history of the place. The garden unfolds in successive layers of space and color with delightful informal vistas from one section to the next. Eight-to-ten-foot walls and hedges with dramatic changes in level define the progression of garden spaces – “rooms” as the English like to say – and create a firm architectural framework for the romantic abundance of the plantings. A winding brook and a large pond at the bottom of the lawn add to the variety of the garden scene.
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  • We went in May for Mother's Day. We enjoyed walking the grounds and looking at all the gardens. It is very beautiful and tranquil. I can see how the gardens are gorgeous at all different times of...  more »
  • This is an enchanted visit, full of fabulously well-designed and well-maintained English gardens. There are fountains and plants in all shapes and sizes, and it's easy to get lost in a happy haze...  more »
  • A great motivator for any one who thinks about making a garden at their home...25 years of plan and design are evident in formal gardens, pools, waterfalls and plantings as well as the landscape architecture. A must see! Donation accepted at entrance.
  • Lovely gardens; the house wasn't open when I visited but the gardens are worth a stroll!

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