Sleepy Cat Farm

Greenwich, CT
Open Days, Edibles, Water feature, Garden structures, Garden sculpture

The thirteen acres of Sleepy Cat Farm have evolved over the last 25 years in close collaboration between the present owner and Virginia based landscape architect Charles J. Stick. The landscape bordering Lake Avenue includes an extensive greenhouse and potager. The “Barn,” distinguished by its half-timbered French Normandy vocabulary, is surrounded by thyme-covered terraces, providing an elegant stage set for a fine collection of garden ornament, sculpture and boxwood topiary. The visitor’s experience of the garden unfolds as pathways lead from garden room to garden room in a carefully orchestrated series of discoveries. The central portion of the garden is distinguished by two parallel garden spaces; the first is dominated by a long reflecting pool, terminated on the north end by a wisteria-covered arbor, and on the south end by a pebble mosaic terrace and fountain basin.

One of the great surprises of the tour is the adjacent garden space. Bordered by a precisely clipped hornbeam hedge, the green architecture of this room is meant to frame the view to the Chinese pavilion (or “ting” – a place to stop and take in the view) positioned on a small island in the middle of a pond teeming with koi. The north end of this garden is terminated by an impressively scaled statue of Atlas. The heart of the original six acres is most joyfully experienced along the “Golden Path,” a granite dust pathway that leads from the main house and formal terraces on top of the hill, out into the New England landscape. As it winds through the oak and beech woodland, one encounters fountains, statuary, an iris garden traversed by a Japanese spirit bridge and planted with 10,000 Japanese iris, and finally a rustic stone grotto. The woodland stream is bordered by native azaleas and a collection of spring flowering trees and bulbs all planted for enjoyment throughout the year.

The most recent additions to the property include a limonaia used for the winter storage of citrus trees, a new fruit orchard, and a sacred woodland grove that is enjoyed from a series of pathways radiating from a newly planted meadow. The southern expansion of the property over the past three years has added a new dimension to the overall landscape experience of Sleepy Cat Farm. A new addition to the garden is an English-style perennial border directly across from the koi pond and, directly below, a viewing path framed by a wisteria arbor. This border is surrounded by decorative stone walls covered with hydrangea, climbing roses, Clematis, and boxwood. It consists of four linear beds around a central axis of lawn pathway and features a mixed shrub and perennial border containing a succession of bloom through the seasons.

Directions: For safety reasons, there is no parking this year along Clapboard Ridge Road. Instead, attendees will meet at Camp Simmons, 744 Lake Avenue, Greenwich. There will be signage indicating both Camp Simmons as well as Garden Conservancy signage. Once there, guests will be directed to parking, and board a shuttle van which will take you to the gardens, as well as pickup. The shuttle will operate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Open Days 2020: June 14
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission to this garden is $10 per person and children 12 and under are free.

Don't forget to buy discounted admission tickets in advance. They can be used at most Open Days to make garden visiting easier.
Nonmembers get 6 visits for the price of 5 with advanced ticket book purchase
Members get 50% off ONLY by purchasing ticket books in advance

  • This garden allows photography

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