April 27, 2017

The Elizabeth Park Conservancy

If you’re planning to be in or around Hartford, Connecticut this summer, and want to see some of the most beautiful roses, I encourage you to visit the Elizabeth Park Conservancy.

Elizabeth Park is on the national register of historic places and offers more than 100-acres of formal gardens, green space, recreational facilities, and walking loops. The centerpiece of Elizabeth Park is the country’s oldest public rose garden. It was designed by Theodore Wirth in 1904. The Rose Garden is two-and-a-half acres with 475-beds and more than 15-thousand rose bushes and arches.

Earlier this week, I asked my gardeners, Ryan and Wilmer, to attend Elizabeth Park’s pruning workshop to sharpen their pruning skills and to learn some valuable tips from master rosarian, Stephen Scanniello. I learned about the workshop a couple of weeks ago, when I delivered the keynote speech for The Elizabeth Park Conservancy 2017 Garden Lecture Series. My talk was entitled "Two Very Different Gardens: A Mountain Landscape and a Rural Farm”. I spoke about restoring my Bedford farm, about the work I did to Skylands to preserve its historic detail, and about the gardens at both properties. I also conducted a book signing for "Vegetables: Inspired Recipes and Tips for Choosing, Cooking, and Enjoying the Freshest Seasonal Flavors" and briefly toured the Rose Garden with Stephen. 

Enjoy these photos from my talk and visit, and from the pruning workshop attended by Ryan and Wilmer.