Rare plants/plant collection, Substantial native plants, Garden structure/sculpture, Woodland/shade garden
The garden of Robin Lensi (aka lensi designs photography) and Tom Zabel in Burlington, CT started as a blank slate six years ago. Every landscape is first seen through her lens. As a photographer for the Garden Conservancy a few years ago, and a member of the Connecticut Daylily Society, those many wonderful spaces inspired this one. This creative yardscape is intertwined with color explosions and architectural structures spanning months of viewing beauty incorporating all the possibilities into a personal landscape, that creates "magic" and infuses one with a calm zen-like feeling. Enamored of all types of plants and with a background in interior design, garden design, and horticulture, there were tons of ideas and a blank slate to begin. The challenges here: the heavy clay soil, a windy site, exceptional water runoff down the mountain, rabbits, and voles. We all know gardens are never stagnant but a constant work in progress, and this one's no different. As with her passion for cooking, she views the landscape like a layer cake combining large trees and shrubs for color, texture, height, bird habitat, and structure. Then the filling: the perennials that change with the seasons, ending with the icing: the annuals like herbs, dahlias, and zinnias that thrill all summer. Finally, hundreds of bulbs like alliums, tulips, and daffodils that prepare us to be excited when spring beckons us outside again. This true four-season garden is a passion, including a wide variety of daylilies, hydrangeas, dahlias, roses, grasses, and hostas scattered throughout. Springtime here is for peonies, lilacs, roses, bleeding hearts, nepeta, magnolia, irises, amsonia, spireas, viburnums, and hawthorn trees as the later blooming plants start waking up. Through this diversity the landscape changes daily-and who knows what next year will reveal, since only Mother Nature will decide?-but they will keep trying to intervene and influence.
Open Days 2022: Saturday, June 4
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Members $5 per person; General admission $10. Children 12 and under free.
- New garden or feature
- This garden allows photography
Burlington, Hartford, CT, 06013