Water feature, Open Days
When we moved into a mid-century house overlooking the woods, I immediately knew only a naturalistic, informal garden would be appropriate to the place. The garden is hidden. You enter through the house, where you first glimpse the landscape, a sunny glade, through a wall of windows. Huge perennials and grasses evoke an "Alice in Wonderland" feeling (many plants are taller than you). The garden is in the New Perennial tradition: plants are massed in interwoven communities, and emphasize structure, shape, and form—which are long lasting—rather than 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. Much of the garden peaks in mid-July, when plants reach mature height and flower, then a second peak occurs in October when low sunlight makes the grasses glow in yellows, russets, and golds. Two small ponds attract hundreds of frogs, insects, and wildlife. Many gravel paths open the plantings to extensive exploration. The garden has been featured in The New York Times, Horticulture magazine, and in two books, Gardens of the Garden State (2014) and Planting in a Post-Wild World (2015). Most recently, it appeared in the Garden Design Journal, the magazine of the Society of Garden Designers (UK) in January 2016, in the September 2016 in Gardens Illustrated, and the October issue of Better Homes & Gardens.
Directions: From the New York City area, take I-78. Take Exit 29 for I-287 toward Route 206/Route 202/Morristown/Somerville. Keep left at the fork and continue onto I-287 South for about 4 miles. Take Exit 17 onto Route 202 and continue to Flemington (about 19 miles). At the traffic circle, continue to the opposite side, and continue on Route 202 (about 10.8 miles) to the last exit in New Jersey, to Lambertville and Route29. At the foot of the exit, turn left, then at the bottom of the exit, turn right onto Route 29/River Road/Daniel Bray Highway. Continue north, passing through the village of Stockton, for a total of 5.1 miles from Lambertville. On the right is a large sign for Hidden Valley Nursery. Federal Twist Road is immediately past the sign. Turn right and drive up Federal Twist Road 2.9 miles to #208. Park on the right side of the road (the house side), taking care to leave the left lane open.
From western Philadelphia suburbs, take the I-276 East/Pennsylvania Turnpike east to Exit 343. Exit on Route 611 North toward Doylestown. In about 10 miles, exit onto Route 202N/New Hope. In about 10 miles, continue on Route 202 past New Hope, and cross toll bridge over Delaware River, exiting immediately on the New Jersey side toward Lambertville. At the foot of the exit, turn left onto Route 29 N/River Road/Daniel Bray Highway. Proceed as directed above.
From northern New Jersey or the Hudson River Valley, take I-287 south, take Exit 17 onto Route 202 and continue to Flemington (about 19 miles), at the traffic circle continue to the opposite side, and continue on Route 202 (about 10.8 miles) to the last exit in New Jersey, to Lambertville and Route 29. At the foot of the exit, turn left, then at the bottom of the exit, turn right onto Route 29/River Road/Daniel Bray Highway. Proceed as directed above.
Open Days 2017: June 17.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission to this garden is $7 for members and nonmembers without tickets purchased in advance.
Buy discounted admission tickets in advance! They never expire and 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