Bedrock Gardens

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Bedrock Gardens
A misty view of the Funnel Gardens
Location45 High Road, Lee, NH
Coordinates43°5′36.6″N 71°2′39.53″W / 43.093500°N 71.0443139°W / 43.093500; -71.0443139
Area35 acres (14 ha)
Operated byJill Nooney
Visitors600 per year

Bedrock Gardens is a 20-acre (8.1 ha) garden located on a 35-acre (14 ha) property in Lee, New Hampshire, notable for its landscape design, its horticulture and its sculpture.


Named for its ever-present ledge,[1] 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.[2] 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.[3] 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".[4] In 2019, a 98 space parking lot, a welcome kiosk and restrooms were added. In 2020, there were 12,000 visitors.

Interest points[edit]

Bedrock Garden's main attractions fall into three categories: landscape design, horticulture, and art.

The sculpture 'Monocula' is in front of a row of Arborvitae.

Landscape design[edit]

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."[5] 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".[2]


The Gardens contain over one thousand different plant species,[6] 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 34-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."[7] Many of her sculptures are from old agricultural tools.[8]

Friends of Bedrock Gardens[edit]

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.[9]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hargreaves, Kathleen (Summer 1995). "Taking root". New Hampshire Home. pp. 38–43. Accessed March 16, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Kozubek, Jim (September 7, 2008). "Original Heavy Metal". The Union Leader. Retrieved March 16, 2009.
  3. ^ Sweetser, Robin (July–August 2004). "A Garden That Keeps on Growing". Accent Magazine. pp. 34–42.
  4. ^ Harris, Patricia; Lyon, David (June 2, 2017). "This playful NH landscape is far from garden-variety". Boston Globe. Boston, Mass. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  5. ^ Byrd, Janice (April 8, 2001). "Salvage Yard". The Boston Globe. Retrieved March 16, 2009.
  6. ^ Siebenthaler, Jack. "Plant it in granite". Gardens & Landscapes. Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals.
  7. ^ Stocker, Carol (August 15, 2008). "Ignore the Gnome, Forget the Flamingo". The Boston Globe. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  8. ^ Umbrell, Trish (July–August 2004). "Scrap Artists". Horticulture. F+W Media.
  9. ^ Nooney, Jill (May 11, 2018). "Bedrock Gardens Goes Public". Public Garden. 33 (1): 25. Retrieved January 12, 2019.

Additional resources[edit]

  • Nooney, Jill (March–April 1991). "Gardening on Bedrock". Fine Gardening. Taunton Press. Accessed March 16, 2009.
  • Braden, Susan (August 1, 2001). "Art in the Garden". Brandford Review. Accessed March 16, 2009.
  • Buchanan, James (October 2002). "Route 125: Highway of dreams". New Hampshire Magazine. Accessed March 16, 2009.
  • Lessels, Allen (Autumn 2002). "Sister act". People Places Plants. Accessed March 16, 2009.
  • Wilson, Craig (October 25, 2002). "Unique art makes garden year-round retreat". USA Today. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved March 16, 2009.
  • DuChene, Pat (July 13, 2003). "Gardens prove fertile ground for antiques and collectables". Antique Trader. Accessed March 16, 2009.


External links[edit]