Home & Garden

Monadnock Garden Club Tour of Private Gardens

Saturday, July 29: 10am-4pm

Proceeds of the tour support the efforts of the MGC to maintain The Spalding Nature Trail at Monadnock and The Wyman Tavern Garden in Keene.

MGC support The Monadnock Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, Student Conservation Association, Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, and the Audubon Camper Program.

Tickets ($20) may be purchased at local outlets or via mail order. Please send checks, payable to The Monadnock Garden Club, to:

P.O. Box 343
Jaffrey, NH 03452

On the day of the Tour, Tickets will be sold at the Monadnock Inn, Jaffrey, and at all the gardens.

The Gardens of Stan and Cheri Fry

Covering nearly 15 acres, these gardens (image above) consist of over 40 separate areas surrounding the c. 1810 main house. With the assistance of garden designers Gordon Hayward and Doug Hoerr, the Frys have created an intricate sequence of spaces which include a 300-foot-long pollarded sycamore allee, a formal boxwood garden with reflecting pool, terraced herbaceous gardens, a quarry garden, water gardens, a maze, and Lutyens steps; all decorated with an extensive collection of statuary, benches, and urns. The gardens have been included in the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program, filmed for a segment on HGTV’s Gardeners Diary, and featured in Traditional Home and Design New England.

The Garden of Marianne and Jim Rothnie

Marianne Rothnie adheres to no garden design rules. Instead, she improvises when choosing her plants, and likes to mix all colors and textures. With the assistance of her Gardener Sarah Bulson, Marianne has planted elegantly relaxed country gardens around their summer home. Situated at the rear of the house, collections of dahlias punctuate long, perennial borders which lead the eye through the garden, over the pasture fence, and outwards toward Mount Monadnock. Stretching away from the barn are curving lengths of stone walls, beds filled with masses of flowers, and paths mown through meadows. These are gardens that have been designed to quietly merge with the greater landscape.

The Royce Garden

Designed by Ann and Charlie Royce to complement rolling pasturelands and old orchards, and to take advantage of expansive views of Grand Monadnock, these informal gardens surround a c. 1985 Cape Cod-style home. Closest to the house – and within a picket fence – is a colonial garden of perennials and herbs. Nearby are vegetable and cutting gardens, a shaded rock garden with alpines and native shrubs, and island beds which flank the farm’s pond. Ann’s plant materials are combined for color and texture, and have all been chosen to survive the challenges posed by wind and wildlife. Charlie used granite found on the property to fashion stone steps, patios, and benches.

The Garden of Sally and Bruce Larsen

In 2007, after renovating their Jaffrey Center house and building a barn, the Larsens began to create the compact and elegant gardens which surround their home. They started by seeking Gordon Hayward’s advice about organizing the bones of the property, and about choosing tree and shrub material. Sally Larsen then designed a series of stairway-linked, terraced gardens, which function as separate garden rooms, and which cover the steep slope between house and barn. With the help of Maude Odgers, all garden beds were filled with plants which either provide screening or open views of the Larsen’s field, and of the surrounding village. All of the garden beds incorporate small trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals, and are connected by grass, stone, and brick walkways. Container plantings and small sculptures serve as focal points.

The Garden of Margaret and Gene Pokorny

Tucked away on a quiet lane in Jaffrey Center, the 14 acres of the Pokorny garden might almost be called a Hidden Garden. When the Pokornys purchased the property in 1989, Margaret says that, apart from a few mature trees along the frontage, some tree lilacs, and a vast lawn, she was presented with a tabula rasa. However, being a gardener, a trained garden consultant and tree expert, as well as a long-time advocate for green space conservation and care, Margaret rose to the challenge of defining her flat, rectangular parcel of land. Stone walls, pathways, and planting beds accompany unusual trees, shrubs, and ornamental grasses. Two vegetable growing areas and a small orchard are also part of the design.