Digging Deeper: The Making of a Meadow Garden

Digging Deeper: The Making of a Meadow Garden

The meadow in bloom at Swiftriver Farm

Sun, Jun 2, 2019
4:00 PM

Faced with undeveloped space on his property, a true luxury for any gardener, Bruce Lockhart decided to create a meadow. Enlisting the aid of designer Gordon Hayward, Bruce gave him two directives: look to the work of Piet Oudolf and create a pollinator-friendly habitat as a companion to the orchard nearby. In 2012 Gordon arrived to lay out thousands upon thousands of meadow plants, and he brought help: nurserywoman and garden designer Helen O’Donnell, who has been part of this strong collaboration ever since. In this behind-the-scenes look at the creation and ongoing management of a visually striking meadow that is alight with more beneficial insects every year, Bruce and Helen will share techniques, challenges, successes, and, of course, favorite plants.

Helen O’Donnell manages a garden design and maintenance business and co-owns the Bunker Farm in Vermont, where she has a specialized plant nursery. Working at Great Dixter under the tutelage of Fergus Garrett, she developed a passion for garden design and growing interesting plants from seed, as well as a belief that great gardens come from exquisitely grown plants. Helen is equally a gardener and a grower, finding she cannot be one without the other.

Bruce Lockhart was a gardener without a garden until 1998, when he and his partner found this 88-acre property with a scrappy house and lots of weeds. It has been a labor of love ever since, the first fourteen years while working full time as a physician, and the past six years retired.

Advance registration is required and space is limited.

Swiftriver Farm
27 Nichewaug Road
Petersham, MA 01366

Date and time
Sunday, June 2, 2019
4 p.m.

$30 for Garden Conservancy members
$40 for Nonmembers

Read more about the Swiftriver Farm meadow here on Helen O'Donnell's blog, Anemone Times!

Swiftriver Farm 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.

For more information, call the Garden Conservancy's Open Days toll-free weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, 1-888-842-2442, or via email at opendays@gardenconservancy.org.

  • Swiftriver Farm
    Swiftriver Farm

    A woodland grade screens the house from the road and continues along the north side of the house filled with spring ephemerals and ending in a small collection of tree peonies...

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