A Misty View of the Funnel Gardens
|Location||45 High Road, Lee, NH|
|Area||35 acres (14 ha)|
|Operated by||Jill Nooney|
|Visitors||600 per year|
Named for its ever-present ledge, Bedrock Gardens was bought by its present owners in 1980, complete with a farm house, built circa 1740, a historic barn and three-holer outhouse. Over the next 20 years, it was extensively improved. The wooded areas were lumbered, a trail system was developed, and it was managed as a tree farm. A wildlife pond was built, and work was started on its multiple perennial and shrub beds. Hardscape in the form of walls, paths, water features and topographical improvements, have been added. Today it is noted for its concept of "the garden as a journey," with a starting point, "events" (or garden spaces) as places to go, and something to do along the way.
Bedrock Garden's main attractions fall into three categories: landscape design, horticulture, and art.
Bedrock Gardens include "garden beds full of unusual specimens of trees and shrubs: a diamond-patterned, 100-foot (30 m) fence on which 11 varieties of apple trees have been espaliered: a formal garden with pools, fountains, and water features; a 1-acre (0.4 ha) wildlife pond with a bridge, and 2 miles (3 km) of woodland trails." The smaller gardens include a more formal parterre, the spiritual "Spiral" garden, and the primitive "Dark Woods."
The Gardens contain over one thousand different plant species, many of which are in perennial beds, arranged with attention to texture, color, and size. There are other collections, such as the dwarf conifer collection, and the rock garden.
Scattered throughout the 20 developed acres are small and large pieces of sculpture by several different artists. The larger pieces include two large arches, and a large Torii in the middle of a double allée. The owner of Bedrock Gardens is the sculptor Jill Nooney. Nancy Grimes, the owner of New England Garden Ornaments in North Brookfield, called Nooney "the most imaginative and energetic force in modern American garden ornamentation." Many of her sculptures are from old agricultural tools.
While Bedrock Gardens is currently privately owned, it is open to the public four days during the year, or by private appointment. Active attempts are being made to turn it into a public garden.
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