The Garden at Federal Twist

Stockton, NJ
Water feature, Meadow, Organic/toxin-free, Scenic view, Substantial native plants, Woodland/shade garden

Garden owner's description: When we moved into a mid-century house overlooking the woods, I immediately knew only a naturalistic garden would be appropriate to the place. The garden is hidden. You enter through a woodland garden to the side of the house, where you first glimpse the broader landscape behind: a large, sunny glade. Massed perennials and grasses evoke an Alice-in-Wonderland feeling (many plants are taller than you). Federal Twist is an immersive experience and is intended to evoke strong emotions. The garden is in the New Perennial tradition: plants grow in interwoven communities and emphasize structure, shape, and form—which are long-lasting—as much as flower.

Begun as an experiment to explore garden making in the challenging conditions of unimproved, heavy, wet clay, the garden is ecologically similar to a wet prairie and is maintained by cutting and burning. Flowering begins in early June and peaks in mid-July, when the perennials and grasses reach maturity; then a second peak occurs in October, when low sunlight makes the grasses glow in yellows, russets, and golds. Three small ponds attract hundreds of frogs, insects, and wildlife. Many gravel paths make garden exploration an immersive experience. This garden has been in several books, including Claire Takács’s Dreamscapes (Hardie Grant, 2018) and Christopher Wood’s Gardenlust (Timber Press, 2018), and was recently featured in the BBC television series Monty Don’s American Gardens and in his new book of the same name.  

Click here for a list of plants grown at Federal Twist (PDF file).

Open Days 2021: Saturday, July 17, 2021
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

REGISTRATION
Members $5 per person; General admission $10. Children 12 and under free. 

 


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