Daily Garden: Kingdom Cottage Garden

kingdom cottage garden

While on vacation for the last couple weeks, I made a bit of a grand circle.  We traveled by car up to Quebec, Canada and spent a week before returning to spend a night in Boston, say goodbye to my parents and travel partners, and hop a plane for LA.  After spending one night with my husband’s parents in Palos Verdes, we headed south to San Diego for 4 days to stay in a beautiful resort with my husbands family to celebrate his parents 50th anniversary.  We wrapped up our trip back in LA for a handful of days (Disneyland, the pool, another Golden anniversary party) and finally returned home on Sunday night.  I am officially still on vacation this week as I have set aside 4 days to paint our house (oh my right arm hurts and I am not even only halfway done!!)).  I didn’t have alot of time to spend wandering gardens (as I love to do when I travel) but I snuck in this one that was just up the road from the bed and breakfast where we stayed as we passed through Danville in the northern part of Vermont.

raised bench at kingdom hall garden
This garden was created by Sue and Dick Strifert.  Dick is a retired fighter pilot who wanders the garden with a little Jar of soapy water use to kill Japanese beetles and Sue’s goal is the grow every zone 3 viable plant.   I am not sure what Sue did in her pre retired life, but I wouldn’t be surprised if wasn’t a librarian.  She has the most meticulous records and documents related to every plant in her garden.  I asked if they were growing butterburr (which I am still obsessed with) and I was forwarded to an alphabetical picture book. This cross-referenced with the bloom season index and the site map (the organization was impressive).   Winters are spend updating the books from the previous seasons additions and re-arranging.

Dick gave my family the grand tour.  We literally just showed up and you would have thought we were old friends that were expected.  As we wandered the garden and it started to rain, we were invited into the gazebo where iced tea and cookies were set out for us.  I repeat, we were unexpected guests, so I am not sure how this charming bit of hospitality was whipped together on a moments notice.  They really love to share their gardens and welcome guests.   Sue was busy during our visit cutting and arranging these beautiful bouquets for the summer candlelight series that take place at the nearby Old North Church.

My favorite feature was the 8 ft tall bench that was at the top of the garden (which runs up a hill) and you can climb up for a beautiful view of the garden and countryside.  The garden is reglarly open for visitors (who call ahead or, like me just show up).  If you care to visit the look them up in Danville, VT, or you can email me and I will happily pass along their details.

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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1 Comment

  1. Private on August 14, 2010 at 4:44 am

    I love the bench, too. Creative, unusual, easy enough to make. It would perfectly block a particular view in may backyard, and could easily be painted…Being wider makes it appear more permanent, less tipsy tower and more secure seat. We would probably get ivy or cinquefoil on it, but that might coexist batter with the tree roots than large holly bushes. And such an intriguing space underneath. Storage? Sculpture frame? or is that where my hammock will finally hang?

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