A Country Garden in Vermont

Please sit with me a spell.
I have two things to share with you today.
One is a garden, the other is a gardening workshop
and they are both in Vermont.

I had the very good fortune of being introduced to garden writer, lecturer and landscape designer, Gordon Hayward by my good friend Joe @ Notes from Juniper Hill.  From the moment I met Gordon, I knew my search for a landscape designer was over. 

We met in April to discuss Tahilla Farm and have been plotting and planning ever since. He has a clear vision and embraces a project with you and only you in mind. It is a collaboration of mindsets and in our case, we are right in tune with each other. I think the best way to describe Gordon style is to see his work, in particular, the garden at his home in Vermont. One of my many special memories this past summer was the chance to visit his extraordinary garden. Gordon and his lovely wife, Mary, graciously welcomed us into their garden where we started the most beautiful journey. 

Mary and Gordon Hayward
Yankee Magazine Sept/Oct 2013
Photo by Ian Aldrich

I am going to give you glimpses of their garden only because I think that to truly appreciate the nuances of this garden, you have to see it for yourself. It's a feeling..a wonderful feeling. Gordon and Mary's garden is open to the public on special occasions during the summer. To find out when, you contact Gordon here.

Glimpses of an Intimate Country Garden...
designed by Mary and Gordon Hayward

It is easy to see that their garden is a labour of love. 
They work together, thinking big and small, 
tilling the soil in their 1 1/2 acre garden alongside 
a 240-year-old farmhouse in Vermont with love and devotion. 
It shows in everything they do. 

There are times you wonder 
if you are in a country estate in England 
or a rural country farm in Vermont. 
I just love that about this garden.

  I should mention that Mary is an English gardener 
who married an American gardener. 
Gordon and Mary draw much of their inspiration from England 
where they have a beautiful cottage in the North Cotswold Hills of England. 

 Gordon and Mary wrote a book about their beautiful garden, 
 This book is one of many fabulous gardening books written by Gordon Hayward.
You can read more by visiting here.

Something very special is coming up in the gardening world.
Garden Inspirations Workshop 
on January 25, 2014 in Brattleboro, Vermont.

If you live in New England, plan to visit Vermont in January
or know someone who will...it would be wonderful if you could 
spread the good word.

A gardening workshop will be held by four gardening gurus 
to benefit the historic Latchis Theatre in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Small town love at it's best!


Fine Painting as Inspiration for Garden Design

From Practical to Fantastical: Building a Dry Stone Landscape
Screening of Dan Snow's video 'Stone Rising'
The Work of Dan Snow

An Insider's View of the gardens at Great Dixter

Landscaping Ideas That Work
Screening of Julie Moir Messervy's "The Music Garden", a video
about making a garden with Yo-Yo Ma. 
A garden in Toronto designed by Julie.

The event will be held at the Latchis Hotel and Theatre 
in Brattleboro, Vermont

This would make a wonderful Christmas gift 
for the special gardener in your life.

You can call, email or print this form 
and pop it in the post.

If you go, please let me know!
I want to hear all about it!

With that I leave you from Saigon with
Yo Yo Ma and Bach's Cello Suite No. 1
"The Music Garden"

and that is the end of my story!

Thank you for sitting with me for a spell.
I thoroughly enjoyed it, I hope you did too!

All garden photos taken by me
on a tour of Gordon and Mary's garden.
August, 2013


  1. Jeanne, thank you for this - superb. I have loved seeing glimpses of the Hayward's garden via Juniper Hill's Facebook. I was just feeling sad that i wouldn't be able to attend the lectures (what a program!) when you delivered me a treat anyway with Yo Yo Ma. Magnificent, love his work, adore the cello.
    What a treat!

    1. So glad you enjoy Yo Yo Ma as well Jenni and that you are following Joe's Facebook page...his blog is a great source of inspiration too! From Australia...I imagine it would be a bit of a challenge to get to Vermont. I will be out your way at the end of January, getting my youngest son settled into boarding school in Sydney. You and I will be thinking of a garden worshop in Vermont together... :)

  2. I have a rather small patch of flowers in my garden, however, with no apologies. It is beautiful. Sometimes after dinner, I bring a chair outside and just listen to it sing. I may be interested in taking the lectures. Are they hands-on or strictly lecture style.
    Love your blog, and admire your lifestyle.

    1. Let me find out Kathleen and come back to you. Thank so much for your very sweet compliments. Like you I would be happy to listen to a simple pot of flowers sing..any flowers work for me. Gordon and Mary's garden is a tremendous symphony! Back to you shortly.... :)

  3. Jeanne,

    I just saw a post from Joe on this garden lecture and I thought that it looked fabulous! Sadly I cannot be in Vermont in January.

    As for Gordon and May's garden...spectacular! It is peaceful, beautiful and a mix of interesting styles that makes it so unique. I am looking forward to seeing your collaboration at Thalia Farm. Any chance og getting back in the Fall to see the changing leaves?

    I hope that you have a wonderful day Jeanne! Take care, Elizabeth

    1. Hi Elizabeth..I wish I could see those leaves a changing...not looking hopeful for this year. Next year..looking much better! :)

  4. Abundant beauty of Gordon and Mary's garden and farewell from Yo-Yo Ma.
    Thank you Jeanne.

    1. Your very welcome Edgar...I think it is the one song that I can easily play over and over again. Yo Yo Ma and Bach...a great team!

  5. an english gardener who married an american gardener...i love that description!!! And their garden shows that the 2 styles have obviously got on quite happily.

  6. Hello Jeanne,
    Gordon and Mary's garden is, indeed, beautiful ....... it probably appeals to me because it really is very English.
    I think that you have found the perfect person to help you with your own garden ..... it is going to be wonderful. I think that we can take that as read !!
    Thanks so much for your comment today Jeanne ....... I've been a little bit lax at commenting lately .... real life sometimes takes over, doesn't it ?
    Hope that yoand your family are all well ..... you have some exciting times ahead ..... hope that we will see your garden transforming over the months ahead. Much love. XXXX

    1. Thank you Jackie...always wonderful to connect with you! xxx

  7. Their garden is beautiful in a very beautiful place in Vermont. Lucky for them that they live in both countries in America and in England.

  8. Gorgeous garden! My son is in Vermont now for college. It's one of my favorite states and Yo-Yo Ma is my favorite cellist, especially when he plays Bach. Beautiful music!

    1. Hi Sarah...so enjoyed seeing your paintings of Maine today. Just love your photographs as well...makes me very nostalgic. :)

  9. Hi Jeanne, I feel a similarity in design of our gardens and Gordon and Mary's. I suppose we have similar climates and properties. I love the idea of adding a simple garden bench between the trees; acting both as sculpture and and invitation to sit. PS. I noted you on my blog yesterday....your advice was perfect thank you!!!

    1. Hi Brenda...thanks so much, I read your post but for some reason Blogger was not being friendly and would not let me comment. So glad to see you got Pinterest up and running! :)

  10. a little to far for me + wish i could go + i will be there in spirit. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

  11. What a beautiful post, thanks for inviting us. It is a truly lovely garden. I especially like the dining terrace and the ring of water. The tree stumps left for architectural interest are brilliant.

    And a little Bach by Yo-Yo to put the cherry on top.

    Lovely ... just lovely.

    Karen in CT ... now VA

  12. Thank you Karen..if anything, I thought it would be a nice little start to the day. Gardens and music..perfect in my mind. :)

  13. That bench is breathtaking. Would trade mine in a heartbeat. Can't wait to see yours.

    1. It has been a tough decision on benches Webb...we are thinking of bringing over one from Vietnam to spice things up. Should be interesting! :)

  14. Absolutely gorgeous. I love living in California, but we will never have perennial beds, nor forests, nor meadows that remain green for very long. Thank you for sharing these photos.

  15. Not sure how I missed this on the Latchis website, but considering it is just across the river from me, I will probably be going! Thanks for passing on the information :D

  16. I'm not sure how I've missed this, but I will definitely plan on attending this! This would be a wonderful gift for my daughter too as she has just gotten interested in perennial and vegetable gardening. I would imagine this would be lectures only as the main theater has been completely gutted and is undergoing complete renovations of the zodiacs on the ceiling, the murals on the walls and new seating. I've been to a lecture by Dan Snow and have seen quite a bit of his work in the area. Were you able to visit North Hill in Readsboro VT this summer to see that garden?

    1. Hi Roxane..I think it would make a great gift! So glad you have attended one of Dan's lectures...his creations are breathtaking. I was not able to go to North HIll last summer. I am going to be sure to find out the local garden schedule when I am back next summer... :)

    2. This year North Hill was open Friday & Saturdays starting at the end of April and closes for the season on October 12th. Plenty of time for you to see it next summer!

  17. You had me at the 1st pic. His garden is pretty and has the easiest plants !! Love a bench focal point, functional & pretty.

    Knew Gordon was a winner simply from the beauty, simplicity & plant selections.

    Adore introduction to fabulous talent.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

    1. I thought you would enjoy this post Tara...so glad you had a chance to discover another fellow designer through this post. :)

  18. "The kiss of the sun for pardon,
    The song of the birds for mirth,–
    One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
    Than anywhere else on earth."

    True artistry here.
    I know Gordon will create a paradise for you.

    1. It has begun Pamela...I look forward to sharing it with you one day! xx

  19. Jeanne, one of the things that we don't have in common is that I know nothing about gardens. And yet, even a beginner like myself can't help be moved by the beauty of the Hayward's garden--even if I don't understand the why of it! I can't wait to see what magic lies ahead for TF.

    One of the things that we do have in common? Your musical selection is one of my very, very favorite pieces of music ever.

    PS. Heaven just might look like the scene with the bench under those giant trees.

    1. Could not agree more on that distant scene with the bench Heather. I have seen photos of it in all seasons, a magical spot. I am not an expert on gardens by any means but like you...such a joy to behold. I could hit replay on Yo Yo Ma all day long.. xx

  20. hello dear Jeanne

    Mary and Gordon's garden is beyond beautiful - it is an understated and comfortable country garden with surprise elements.
    The area in the shade of a lovely old tree, perfect to enjoy a long lunch or cool drinks after a day's toil in the garden!.
    The hard landscaping of the stone wall balances the beautiful soft underplanting.
    I've always dreamed of a 'long walk' encompassing my garden - but that will never happen now as we are in a small townhouse garden which I'm gradually knocking into shape! But you Jeanne on the other hand will be able to at Tahilla Farm!

    I'm making a note of their books so I can order them from the library!
    Thank you Jeanne - I'm inspired once more by another of your lovely posts!

    Much love and hugs

    1. Thank you Shane...from Vermont to New Zealand...a lovely thought. xx

  21. Jeanne, this garden is stunning...as I am certain the one at Tahilla will also be!!


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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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