|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. The abandoned dairy farm came with a farm house, built circa 1740, a historic barn, a three-holer outhouse and 37-acre (15.0 ha) of scrub forest. Over the next 30 years, 20-acre (8.1 ha) were developed into a large ornamental garden. The wooded areas were lumbered, which created a trail system. 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, structures, 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. It has been called "one of the most beautiful and intriguing private landscapes in New Hampshire". In 2019, a 98 space parking lot, a welcome kiosk and restrooms were added. In 2020, there were 12,000 visitors.
Bedrock Garden's main attractions fall into three categories: landscape design, horticulture, and art.
Bedrock Gardens include "multiple garden beds full of unusual specimens of trees, shrubs and perennials: 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." There are many structures including a tea house, pergolas, a torii, and water features. 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, a 3⁄4-acre (0.3 ha) grass garden, and a rock garden.
Scattered throughout the 20 developed acres (8.1 ha) are small and large pieces of sculpture by Jill Nooney, one of the co-founders. Nancy Grimes, the previous 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.
Friends of Bedrock Gardens
In 2013, the Friends of Bedrock Gardens was formed and acquired nonprofit status. While Bedrock Gardens is currently privately owned, the ownership and management will be transferred to the Friends.
The Spiral Garden, a spiritual place with moss and ventilator art
The Wiggle Waggle water feature with the spring house in the foreground and the CopTop in the background
The rock garden with pergola
A perennial bed with barn in the background
One of the Funnel Gardens, with GrassAcre on the left and the Allée behind
A perennial bed on ledge with sculptures
The Garish Garden
The Paddock Garden with Arborvitae behind
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