Pixie Perennials in Wilton is among nearly a dozen Connecticut gardens open to the public this weekend as part of the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program.
The festive weekend provides access to some of the country’s most exclusive private gardens and the opportunity to meet garden owners, practitioners, and professionals for a lively exchange of ideas and techniques. Admission to each private garden is $7; children 12 and under are admitted free. Proceeds benefit the ongoing programs of the Garden Conservancy. Open Days take place rain or shine, and no reservations are required for self-tours. Maps, directions and further information is available at opendaysprogram.org or by calling 1-888-842-2442.
The Wilton garden is Pixie Perennials at 200 Nod Hill Road. A new addition the Open Days program this year, it is open Saturday, Sept. 12, from 10 to 4. This circa-1740 homestead is set on four acres overlooking a reservoir, home to mature and specimen trees. Terraced perennial gardens, a quaint rock garden, fish pond and frog pond are among the highlights of the historic property.
There are also plentiful fruit trees and bushes including peaches, a very old leaning apple, figs, kiwi, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, along with a hearty vegetable garden.
A kitchen courtyard garden room hosts many shade plants: hellebores, brunnera, heuchera, ligularia, shaped boxwoods and more. A stand of perovskia, now in bloom, creates a blue backdrop for fall flowering perennials. A barn, the site of many festive town dances during Prohibition, will feature a pop-up country boutique with vintage and handmade items from many local artisans.  Home-grown perennials and shrubs will also be for sale.
Also open nearby on Saturday from 10 to 4 are:
• In Situ at 73 Diamond Hill Road, Redding. Eight acres are surrounded by the 312-acre Saugatuck Waterfall Natural Area. Designer Richard Hartlage merged architecture and design into the landscape, blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces. Garden rooms are comprised of native meadows and plants, woodland walks, architecture arbors, water features and sculpture installations.
• Garden of Frances Palmer, 313 Georgetown Road, Weston. Home of the renowned potter and photographer, the garden is especially known for its dahlias, from the smallest “pom” to the largest dinner plate specimen. The dahlias are interwoven among tomatoes, zinnias, amaranth, sunflowers, and herbs for a frenzy of color and growth, especially this month. Palmer will also host a special Digging Deeper event at the conclusion of the day during which she will lead a personal tour of her studio and garden. Guests will also enjoy wine and light hors d’oeuvres. The fee for this event is $30; $20, for members of the Garden Conservancy. Space is limited for the small group experience and reservations are required.  Call 1-888-842-2442 for ticket reservations or visit opendaysprogram.org to book online.
In the greater Hartford Area:
• The Marsted’s Garden of Whimsy, 125 Indian Hill Road, Canton, 10–4;
• George Trecina, 341 Spring Street, Meridan, 1–5;
• The Murray Gardens, 576 Thompson Street, Glastonbury, 10–4, also on Sept. 13.
Litchfield County, Sept. 13, 10-4:
• Maywood Gardens, 52 Cooper Road, Bridgewater;
• Hollister House Garden, 300 Nettleton Hollow Road, Washington;
• Highmeadows — Linda Allard, Washington;
• Ridge Field, 49 Painter Ridge Road, Washington;
• Garden of Peter Wooster, 150 Apple Lane, Roxbury.
This weekend coincides with the release of Outstanding American Gardens: A Celebration — 25 Years of the Garden Conservancy (Abrams, 2015;  ISBN: 978-1-61769-165-2). The anniversary volume showcases 50 gardens in a wide variety of regions and habitats, and highlights two Connecticut gardens featured during the weekend’s Open Day event — Redding’s In Situ; and  Hollister House Garden in Washington, which will host its fifth Garden Study Weekend Symposium Sept. 12. More information and reservations for Hollister House’s Garden Study event can be found at hollisterhousegarden.org.
Information: opendaysprogram.org.