when Ed met Bill…

September 1, 2011

bill and staff

A visit from Rocky Dale founder, Bill Pollard

It wasn’t exactly a surprise visit.  We heard Bill Pollard was coming to VT and we were hoping he’d want to visit Rocky Dale Gardens- his creation along with Holly Weir.

What was a surprise was how great it was to meet Bill and have the opportunity to hang out and walk the grounds.  I can only imagine what it was like for Bill after 10 years.

The closest way to describe the experience for me was to compare it to an adopted child meeting their birth parent for the first time. All the gaps in history were filled in and the mysteries solved.

Take It Down

take it down- billWe’ve been working on a lot of renovations lately and have taken a number of trees and shrubs out, but there were some lingering questions and choices to make. In a way it was perfect timing for Bill to visit. He generously walked the gardens with me while Oliver followed us with a chain saw.  In a way, perhaps I needed permission to take some things down, but the second opinion was definitely highly regarded!

Passing the Torch

stoneThough I’ve owned Rocky Dale Gardens since 2004, last week felt like the passing of the torch.  Bill bought this property with Holly because of the beautiful stone outcrop on the very west end of the property.  I did too and ironically we’re in the process of exposing that beautiful wall.  This is the stone we each bought that happened to come with a house.

The Central Garden

hazelsFor those of you who we haven’t seen recently, here is a glimpse of what we’ve been up to.  After years of observing and pondering, I decided to open up the gardens and create a central lawn.  The hazelnuts came out and the beds were pushed back.  We’ve been focused on this center the last two years and will move into the outer horseshoe ring that will take visitors through the conifer dell, the arbor and then along the ledges and the pond.  It’s a life’s work and you get to watch!

Friends with a garden in common

bill and ed Bill got over the his initial shock of the changes at Rocky Dale and we had a nice chance to get to know one another.  We share a passion for this place and when he left, I felt excited about what I’m doing, and Bill said he was really glad that they sold the place to me.  He knows it’s a labor of love- and hopefully it gets a lot of love for a long time.

Snowdrops under the contorted beech

It’s a late spring in the northeast, but we’re quickly catching up.  Two years ago hellebores and witchhazels were blooming in the 3rd week of March- and this year- they are two to three weeks behind that- still blooming now- and some just started!  The snow piles have depleted with some warm rains and it’s looking hopeful!

Here are some photos of what’s blooming now.

Helleborus purpurascens

Helleborus niger (Christmas rose)

Hamamelis Jelena (we think)

Chionodoxa labitica (Glory of the Snow)

Hamamelis Arnolds Promise

Hamamelis x intermedia Hiltingbury (we think)

Iris reticulata

iris histrioides Katherine Hodgkin

Crocus chrysanthus Cream Beauty

Crocus sieberi Tricolor"

Crocus chrysanthus Blue Pearl

Petasites japonicus giganticus Variegatus

Erica carnea cultivar (Heath)

Pulmonaria- self-seeded. First to show color this spring.

winter-barn

Luckily, this picture shows what Rocky Dale looks like in the depth of winter- beautiful- but enough of the snow now- we want spring…

img_2134

and this is what it’s looking like now.

 

snowdrops

One of the early signs of spring is the snowdrops that cover the grounds at Rocky Dale.  They’re just starting to open up now, even though some parts of the garden still have a foot of snow left on them.

 

hamamelis

The Hamamelis are starting to bud up too.  They should be in full flower within a week or two.

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