Nine Beautiful Gardens Displayed at Fourth Annual Bronxville Garden Tour June 11 : See Photos Print

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June 15, 2011:  Garden lovers celebrated the end of the endless winter at the Bronxville Beautification Council's fourth annual garden tour this past Saturday, June 11.

More than 100 intrepid gardening enthusiasts turned out on the cool misty day to visit the nine distinctive gardens that range in mood from relaxed wooded glades to more formal spaces with manicured hedges and lush lawns.  The event was capped off with a lovely wine and cheese reception held at the home of Si and Vicki Ford, which they so graciously opened to warm the tour attendees.

Successful gardens, like successful gardeners, all have distinct points of view.  But common themes emerge among these green spaces.  At best, they represent refuge and mirror the lives lived inside the walls of the home.  As extensions of the home, they are both welcoming and secluded--truly "rooms" with a view.  Saturday's garden tour included many such examples.

Typical of an English-style cottage garden was the Ruhanen garden on White Plains Road.  This unique home was built in 1935, and the original stone walls are still present, creating very distinct outdoor rooms and a backdrop for wild and abundant colorful plantings.  A stone fountain and statuary add to the old-world feel of this beautiful haven.  Another old-world garden was the Barr home on Governors Road, with its amazing grove of rhododendrons and laurels and seemingly ancient stately trees.

More traditional gardens included the Scioli garden on Sturgis Road, where the current owners have created a secluded park-like setting surrounding a secret extension of their home that one enters through a rose-covered archway--a true suburban retreat.  A similar retreat was displayed at the nearby Torell residence, where multiple outdoor seating areas welcomed the visitor with lovely specimens in abundance.

The three adjacent gardens along Gard Avenue were a clear demonstration of garden rooms creating extensions of the home and the evolution of the process.  Garden designer Katherine Sutton, along with her husband, Jim (the Council's vice president), have, over time, created a series of charming vignettes, all self-contained, and all different.  The effect is to make this steep hillside seem infinitely larger than it is.  A burbling waterfall seems to have sprung up from beneath the street and softens the ambient noise.  Whimsical touches abound, like twig fences, old windows, and rustic farm tools.

Next door, the Medaglias' recently begun transformation was a true lesson in the value of attention to detail in the out-of-doors through a poster display of their progress.  Further along Gard Avenue, the Wagner home had multiple water features and a lovely dining pergola.  Much of the beauty is new, and one can see how reclaiming overgrown, uneven terrain can create a soothing suburban oasis.

A different conceptual interpretation of the garden room was evident at the Jones residence on Park Avenue.  Here, a very spacious garden has been divided into distinct areas to create a feeling of intimacy.  The lush, curving lawn is surrounded by richly colored perennial beds planted by the property's owner.  Of particular architectural interest is the original 1918 fountain that has been restored in bluestone.  The Coffeys' beautiful retreat offered similar rooms and varied ways to enjoy the out-of-doors with multiple benches, a secret secluded butterfly garden, a shaded pathway under a canopy of Japanese maples, and a parterre with hidden colorful annuals to make it really pop.

Chairing the event this year was Meg Sunier, who was assisted by committee members Cathy Rodriguez (the tour founder), Sugar Generaux, Carolyn Moriarty, Cindy Tether, Cynthia Shively, Margaret Conaton, and Anne Lemberger.

Proceeds from the Bronxville Beautification Council's garden tour go to the group's efforts to preserve and maintain the natural and man-made beauty of our Village.

The Council's efforts are visible throughout Bronxville.  From hanging flower baskets to artfully planted traffic islands, the fountain at the traffic circle, and the ongoing efforts to restore the west banks of the train station, the Bronxville Beautification Council truly keeps Bronxville beautiful.

To see photos of the gardens and those attending, hit the link below:

Garden Tour Photos

Pictured here: Garden tour organizers (L to R):  Cynthia Shively, Cathy Rodriguez, Meg Sunier, and Margaret Conaton.

Photo by A. Warner; photos of the gardens in the Galas and Gatherings page by Meg Sunier.