Terry’s Connecticut Garden - FineGardening

Today we’re visiting with Terry Karpen.

My garden in Redding, Connecticut, is a study of interplay between the planned and the wild, the artistic and the practical, the ecologically sound and the aesthetically pleasing.

Woodland shade perennial borders, in which the native trees and shrubs comprise the upper story, surround my log home, which is adjacent to a 1,600-acre Nature Conservancy preserve.

The property is protected by a discreet deer fence that was installed to allow the forest to recover from the ravages of the excessive local deer population. In addition to emphasizing hardy perennial plants, the structure and composition of the garden precludes all use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, which minimizes both negative ecological impacts and maintenance costs. For example, fallen leaves are left on beds to provide natural mulch, invasive plant species are removed by hand, and volunteer native plants are encouraged. My goal with this garden, as well as with Queen of Spades, my garden and landscape design company, is to provide an example of how global concerns such as forest loss and chemical fertilizers and pesticide use can be addressed in gardening practices without compromising the grace and beauty of the landscape design.

small tree surrounded by ornamental grassThis Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’ (Zones 5–9) is surrounded by Carex ‘Ice Dance’ (Zones 5–9).

purple flowers next to plant with variegated foliageHelleborus orientalis ‘Royal Heritage’ (Zones 4–9) blooms in the midst of variegated vinca (Vinca minor, Zones 4–9).

garden bed full of hostasHosta ‘Great Expectations’ (Zones 2–9) is side by side with the foliage of Helleborus orientalis ‘Royal Heritage’.

hostas planted along the edge of a pathHosta ‘Pacific Blue Edger’

hoastas along the edge of a forestHosta ‘Regal Splendor’ dramatically edges the woodland with beautiful foliage.

view of the backyard gardenView of the garden from the back of the house.

foundation plantings on back of houseAgain viewed from the back of the house, the garden is a beautiful, serene, green space.

stone path in the gardenCorydalis lutea (Zones 5–7) blooms all summer with small yellow flowers in the shade, complementing the foliage of Hosta ‘Regal Splendor’.

garden shed surrounded by plantsGarden shed with window boxes


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Terry’s Connecticut Garden - FineGardening