On Saturday, my friend Kim and I went on a garden tour at Sakonnet Garden in Little Compton, RI. Kim had found out about this once-a-year garden tour, and while I knew we’d be seeing rare plants and imagined it would be wonderful, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Well, I think you can say that we were simply floored by this spectacular garden which began over 35 years ago and consists of beautiful garden rooms that take root on more than an acre of land.
I don’t know what a lot of plants were that we saw are (feel free to leave comments if you do), but here are some of the many things in the garden that stood out to me, like this beautiful arched path.
If there is one thing that I learned on this garden tour, it is that I will not buy just any old tulip bulbs. I think these are the most beautiful tulips I’ve ever seen and the size of all the tulips was just amazing.
This picture doesn’t truly show the stunning deep purple of these tulips.
This may not look all the impressive except for that it was about five feet tall!
The garden rooms are partitioned with all sorts of hedges and walls. This log wall certainly stood out as fun and unique. I would be so much more excited about our wood pile if it looked like this!
Sometimes it’s the things that are unplanned that make such cool features like this vine covered tree.
I loved how the simple addition of found shells tucked into the holes of the stone walls made the wall so much more interesting and a little bit brighter.
In the more tropical section of the garden was this lovely garden pavilion. I adore the little elephants that sit atop each corner of the roof.
The pavilion overlooks this lush pond…
and has several palm trees nearby. We could not figure out how they could possibly grow palms in Rhode Island, but according to their web site, the owners have created micro-climates through the installation of the large hedges and stone walls which has allowed them to do this. Amazing!
Across the pond is a huge patch of woodland peonies (Paeonia Japonica). I had never heard of these shade tolerant peonies until a few weeks ago, and I was quite happy to see them in person. I have just the spot where I’m hoping to add them to my own garden, and based on the number of bees that were happily buzzing in them, they will bring lots of good things.
With my woodland peonies, I’m hoping to also add some of this lovely hellabore which features the unique characteristic of winter blooms! That’s right, hellabore goes into full bloom in February and lasts into as far as April (or in this year’s late season, May).
I don’t have a place for it, but I this dark purple trilium was really pretty too.
The view from the other side of the pond. The gardens are very well known for their rhododendrons and azaleas like these…
which must have been 25 feet tall!
I wish they had all been in bloom this weekend when we walked into the rhododendron room.
While the gardens may be elaborate, there were so many elements of these garden rooms that were simple but stunning like this antique bench set against a large green hedge.
Perpendicular to the bench was this simple garden trellis. When you don’t need the trellis to contain anything and just need them as more of a structure, I love the look of this large-scale square trellis.
I love all the little doorways between the garden rooms.
And how cool is this tree? In addition to the flowers and shrubs, the variety of unusual trees was unbelievable.
This camouflage bark patterned tree was another favorite. And not only was it cool looking, but it was also super soft to the touch, almost fuzzy.
And beyond the gardens was this enormous meadow that looked like a painting. I would love to see it in the summer as there were hundreds of tiny little rose bushes mixed in with the grasses and ferns.
The garden is only open once a year to the public so mark your calendars to look for it next year! In the mean time, check out the Sakonnet Garden web site where you can find a list of their favorite plants, check out more images from other times in the season, and check their calendar of events which features an upcoming symposium.