Friday, June 5, 2009

In the Garden With Margaret Roach

Margaret Roach is no stranger to anyone who has read Martha Stewart Living over the years. Until January of 2008, Margaret first served as the garden editor for Living and eventually her role evolved to the editorial director for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Today, she's "just Margaret" using her natural talent for writing to inspire and teach others about gardening through her blog, named after her 1998 best selling book of the same name.

Margaret welcomes visitors to her gardens each year as part of the Garden Conservancy Open Days. Hundreds of garden enthusiasts descended upon Margaret and her cat, Jack on Sunday May 31st.

After David and I said goodbye to Beekman, we ventured further east (south east actually) to Copake Falls, NY to participate in the open days tour of Margaret's garden.

GETTING to Margaret's was an adventure. We of course, did not know the area and we were relying on our GPS to assist us. Big mistake. The GPS would not work properly as we moved through the hills. As luck would have it, we were following someone who seemed to have the same trouble locating Margaret's home. As it turns out (and I didn't know until later in the day) the person we followed was a long time reader of Margaret's blog, "Bobster." Together, we worked our way and finally found Margaret's house. You couldn't miss it. Cars were lined up and down the road.

From the moment we walked up the gravel drive, the view was breathtaking. We walked toward the house to sign in. Margaret was there, welcoming guests and directing them to sign in. I introduced myself as my screen name on Twitter and on her blog, "GardenGuyKenn." She was so friendly and pleasant - despite the all the people trampling her well maintained lawn (she must have nerves of steel).

Unfortunately, there wasn't a great deal of time to chat. As people kept arriving, Margaret kept greeting as any good host would do. We ventured off to do our own lawn trampling. The photos below, taken during our tour should give you a good glimpse into just part of the garden.

One of my favorite Hosta - "June" with just a glimpse of a Caramel Heuchera

I believe this is a Petasites Japonicus, or as Margaret refers to it, "a nasty thug."

One of the frog ponds surrounded by a dwarf white pine, a gorgeous rhododendron and a Japanese umbrella pine. Stunning.

I loved this little shed which is painted to coordinate with the main house.

A bird decides to see what is going on. I can only imagine him saying, "who ARE all these people?"

I was SO tempted to climb into this tree.

The gardens went on and on. There was so much to take in!

From atop the hill, looking down at the house. Does it get any better than this?

An espaliered Asian pear tree along the side of the house. I love how Margaret used empty pots as decorative features in the gardens. You'll see them in a variety of places.

The main frog pond

A place to rest and read. Again, the empty pots. Love that!

Japanese maples could be found in large clay pots. I loved this idea so much I went shopping for Maples yesterday to use them on my patio.

This picture served as a great example of how everything in the garden just seems to 'fit.' I love the vining on the steps.

One of Margaret's frogs who seemed to be totally un-phased by all the visitors.

Another picture of the nasty thug

One of just a few pots of annuals.

Margaret's sense of design is incredible.

Come... sit down and take in the view

I love the concrete spheres that flank the steps

Another sphere

Paths and walkways are everywhere. Take a walk... enjoy

Now, if only those people were not in the shot, this would be a frame worthy print!

Suddenly, this person popped up as I was taking the picture. Nice.

Margaret's home will be open again on August 22.

For more inspiration and to see how the gardens progress throughout the year, visit her blog


mike said...

Wow - it's just like the issues of MSL. Wonderful - so glad you could visit in person! I love the pair of chairs in the grass. I also love how her house color makes all the Flora, Fauna (and Meriweather) "pop". And the red door is a classic! Very nice photos Kenn!

Elaine said...

Your pictures of Margaret's garden are just beautiful, Kenn! Thank you so much for taking us along on your tour. How very inspirational!


Wow, her garden is better than ever! And I just love the colour of her siding now - that deep, charcoal gray. Great photos!

kitty in the garden said...

Christmas 2011 - I was given a copy of Margaret's book "and I shall have some peace there.." from Yeats Lake Isle of Innsefree one of my favorites...I have simply not stopped reading and feel so connected and inspired doing something similar but on MUCH smaller scale...talking to a mouse that got in just after Christmas....and the fact of the "garbage night" giving structure to the week - I roared with laughter - as I have reached that point! and what a thrill when I discovered I could go on line and actually SEE what I have been reading. I am now officially a fan and will follow the newsletter for my gardening advise - the book has proven to be one of my best gifts ever. xoxo to Margaret