Digging Deeper: Making a Garden, Leaving a Trace—An Afternoon Salon for Gardeners

Digging Deeper: Making a Garden, Leaving a Trace—An Afternoon Salon for Gardeners

Sat, Jun 8, 2019
4:00 PM

Join plant collector, gardener, and architect Fred Bland for a walk through his garden, where he works to weave his ever-growing collection of choice plants into a beautiful, engaging design. In the spirit of a true salon, Fred will then gather guests with some refreshments for a leisurely and hopefully lively discussion of ideas about gardens and what drives us to make them. On that topic, Fred has written a short book, The Making of a Garden(er): An Urbanist Architect in the Garden. To fuel the afternoon’s conversation, he hopes guests will read his booklet beforehand and come with ideas of their own. It is available on his firm’s website, Beyer Blinder Belle, and a link is provided below.

Here are some of Fred’s thoughts:
“Many people view a garden as nature incarnate. It is the opposite: a garden is an artifact created by humans for human pleasure and edification. A garden is no more ‘natural’ than a building is, even though it uses natural plant material to create its story just as a building uses bricks, steel, and glass to explain itself. The creation of a garden, unlike some other so-called leisure pursuits, does not simply mark time but creates a product, a place, a physical record of accomplishment. This kind of hobby—so different from golf or bridge, for instance—is something that always appealed to me. It does not “fade into the void leaving no trace” (John Updike in Toward the End of Time describing the hours each day devoted to the practice and perfection of bridge). I want to leave a trace. To make something always was important, perhaps as an architect is compelled to make things. It is also an idea—this making of things—that grew in me over time, and became over time, the time of my life.”

The Making of a Garden(er): An Urbanist Architect in the Garden, a link to the first part:  http://www.beyerblinderbelle.com/stories/72_a_gardener_grows_the_making_of_a_garden_er_installment_1
(Links to subsequent parts are at the end of each section.)

Fred Bland is an architect, the managing partner at Beyer Blinder Belle in New York.  He is a Commissioner on the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission and a Trustee of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, where, until very recently, he was Board Chair. Fred self-nominated his garden for Open Days and as a result, visitors have been enjoying Uptop in Stony Creek, Connecticut since 2014.

Advance registration is required and space is limited.

Uptop—The Garden of Fred Bland, Stony Creek, CT
Directions will be sent to registered guests only

Date and time
Saturday, June 8, 2019
4 p.m.


Uptop will be open to general Open Days visitors on this date from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Your registration includes Open Days admission to this garden destination—a $10 value.

  • Uptop - Garden of Frederick Bland
    Uptop - Garden of Frederick Bland

    This is an intensively cultivated one-acre village weekend garden created by an architect/plant collector. The garden has more than 1,400 species of plants...

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