Three Women, Three Gardens

  • Post published:09/09/2010
  • Post comments:9 Comments
Layanee deMerchant and me

Layanee of Ledge and Gardens came to Heath to see Elsa Bakalar’s gardens, now owned by Scott Prior and his wife Nanny Vonnegut.  I joined her, pleased to have an opportunity to introduce a new friend (we met at the bloggers July meet up in Buffalo) to the garden of an old friend. We got a private peek, but there is a tour on Saturday, September 19 being given by Jeff Farrell of Trillium Workshops. There are still a few places if you want to attend. Logon to the Trillium website for information.  Jeff worked shoulder to shoulder and knee to knee with Elsa in this garden before she sold it and he continues to maintain it.  The garden was featured in the September 2010 issue of Horticulture Magazine with a reference – and link – to the article I wrote about Elsa and her ideas about color in the garden way back in 1987. I told her all about my adventures will Elsa.

Layanee deMerchant

I couldn’t let Layanee leave Heath without a tour of Heath, pop. 800.  That didn’t take long. We were in separate cars and I stopped as we were about to enter Heath Center, to warn her that we were about to enter downtown Heath, with its town hall/library/post office/police office, all housed in Sawyer Hall, as well as the Union Church where noted theologian Reinhold Niebuhr first uttered the Serenity Prayer in 1943, then the old town hall and one of the 8 one room school houses that used to operate in Heath.

We drove through town, we drove through the woods to my house at the End of the Road. The garden doesn’t look as wonderful as it did in June after this long hot summer, but Laynee was generous in her comments, and posed in front of the Moth Light hydrangea which has not minded the heat much at all. Laynee told me all about her radio call-in show.

After the Heath tour I led Laynee and her mother, Beth, down the scenic Mohawk Trail to Shelburne Falls. They agreed that the Glacial Potholes were impressive, but really what they wanted to see were more flowers.

The Bridge of Flowers filled the bill. Layanee got lots of photos of this wonderful public garden that attracts tens of thousands of visitors a year. I photographed Beth admiring a combination that we all thought was beautiful. And tall. Beth told me all about her days as a school librarian.  Now I am looking forward to a visit to Rhode Island and Layanee’s garden. I don’t think we finished talking.

How’s that Cyndy?  I got Three for Thursday – twice.  Thanks for hosting from your Corner of Katy.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Layanee

    What a glorious day it was, Pat. The tours were all fabulous and there has never been as gracious a tour guide as you, Pat. Special moments with special friends and, you are right, we didn’t finish our conversation so, you must come visit.

  2. Lisa at Greenbow

    It is always so much fun to meet up with a fellow blogger. Meeting part of her family is a bonus. It looks like you ladies had a grand day.

  3. Pat

    Layanee – I had the best time! I was so happy to meet your mother and be able to show both of you around.
    Lisa – We never stopped talking – or inspecting the flowers. A grand day indeed.

  4. Rose

    What a wonderful time the three of you must have had! I met Layanee in Chicago last year, and she is such a warm, friendly person, but then aren’t all gardeners?:) I did read the article in Horticulture and would love to see Elsa’s garden one day; Heath sounds pretty fascinating, too!

  5. Pat

    Rose – Layanee is the best – and so is her mom. I’m willing to give the Heath tour to one and all. Just call.

  6. Gail

    Pat, How wonderful~I’ve visited Layanee and she is a wonderful and gracious host! You’ll have a great time and she has gardening neighbors whose gardens are real treats. I can’t wait to see your garden through her lens! I read your post On Elsa Bakalar’s garden and the Horticulture article ~ She must have been a really delightful woman. gail

  7. Pat

    Gail – Elsa was indeed a delightful woman. Everywhere she was, was a party with very funny (and knowledgeable) conversation – just what I have found in so many of the bloggers I met in Buffalo.

  8. Carol

    What fun Pat! It is so wonderful to meet other bloggers. Someday I would love to meet you!! ;>) How wonderful that Elsa’s gardens are featured in Horticulture… I recall them being so amazing. Lovely post!

  9. Pat

    Carol – we will have to arrange a meeting. We are practically neighbors.

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