Taking Design Outside – The Garden Conservancy

Taking Design Outside – The Garden Conservancy

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The Garden Conservancy is an organization that saves and shares gardens. Each year in the summer and fall, both public and private gardens across the country are open to the public as part of its Open Day Program. This past weekend I was able to visit two gardens in Dutchess County, New York that I wasn’t able to see last year. I loved every minute of seeing Copperheads (with this beautiful parterre garden above) in Dover Plains and Christopher Spitzmiller’s Clove Brook Farm in Millbrook. Not only were the gardens beautiful, but both properties have Greek Revival homes-one from the 1830s and the other from the 1840s. Whenever my husband talks about moving, I always tell him to find me a 19th century Greek Revival house in the country, and I’ll go! It’s one of my favorite architecture styles.

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It’s a beautiful approach as you walk up the driveway of the Copperheads property.

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Getting closer to the property at Copperheads, this is what you see – a beautiful 1840s Greek Revival house. The Greek Revival style dominated American architecture from about 1818-1850. It was the first truly American style due to strong associations with classical tradition and democracy. Associated with this style is the Greek temple form with columns in Doric, Ionic or Corinthian styles, an entablature and pediment. This style was popular at the time for both private homes and public buildings.

Turning to the right I saw a beautiful view of the Berkshire foothills.

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More at Copperheads….

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A formal perennial garden with a beautiful pond in the center.

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Every garden should have these majestic stone dogs on guard.

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I was fascinated by the vegetation in the pond. Almost fell in when I was taking pictures because a stone around the pond was loose. That would not have been good!

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This formal parterre garden was in back of the house. And the urn was filled with succulents which reminded me of my friend Wendy Spiziri, the biggest fan of succulents I know.

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Greek Revival homes have several entrances, some with porches, some not. Here is a beautiful display of espaliered fruit trees pruned horizontally against the house. I love the symmetry!

The second property I visited with an 1830’s Greek Revival farmhouse, was Christopher Spitzmiller’s Clove Brook Farm. The farmhouse style is more informal with squared off columns It has a classic symmetrical design and painted white exterior. This visit checked off all the boxes for me-beautiful gardens, interesting architecture and interiors, a pool house, and a barn where Spitzmiller’s beautiful dishware is fabricated. Best of all was his warm hospitality.

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Again, multiple entrances-all around the home.

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A lovely patio area with ceramic pieces by Spitzmiller below.

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The cast iron furniture is painted navy blue in a gloss finish, and the chair cushions are upholstered in a lovely purple indoor outdoor fabric and trimmed with navy blue. The garden stool is a Spitzmiller design.

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A peek into the kitchen. I love the black and white scheme with the natural wood beams, soapstone counters and white cabinets. The hydrangea arrangement on the beautiful antique wood table inspired me to do the same once I got home.

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The dining room has a beautiful floral antique wallpaper actually hung for the third time. I love the dark table and white chairs, natural fiber rug and lighting fixtures! Handsome and beautiful at the same time!

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The garden is anchored by a beautiful fence with gorgeous hydrangeas in their fall splendor and a pigeoneer structure for pigeons. And I think I saw some doves as well. Inside the garden are beautiful dahlias-some varieties that I have never seen such as the one below. This is called a Black Dahlia or Black Spider. There were similar flowers in white with a yellow center, but I was struck by the color of the petals on this one.

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A large border of hydrangeas frames the fence of the garden.

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Here is the pool house which was recently built. It’s a classic structure decorated with antlers and has a blue and purple color scheme with rustic elements. I love the reflection of the pool house in the water.

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The furnishings are upholstered in performance fabrics, and the pillows are in a terry cloth material.

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The powder room in the pool house. I love the whole situation.

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Here’s a shot of the silo from a corner of the pool area.

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The ceramics on display in the barn where they are made. And below are the kilns, just so you get a sense of it all.

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Thank you again to Copperheads and Christopher Spitzmiller for sharing your beautiful properties with the public. I very much appreciate what it takes to create and maintain beautiful gardens and homes and look forward to hopefully seeing them again next summer during the Garden Conservancy Open Days Program.

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