Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, seemed an appropriate time to knock off the first of at least four Connecticut gardens I've been wanting to visit this season.
We headed for the Bellamy-Ferriday House in nearby Bethlehem. To get there, we passed through Woodbury's antiques alley and then headed north on Rt. 61, a lovely secondary road that meanders through some pretty country. We were pleasantly surprised to see we had the place all to ourselves upon our arrival.
Thanks to an Entertainment Book coupon I had, admission for the two of us was just $4. We skipped the house tour and headed for the main attraction behind the house.
They may not be natives, but Chinese peonies do look lovely when planted en masse. I have fuchsia peonies in bloom now, but here at the garden, we also saw pink and white peonies.
Here's a view of the back of the house with the central garden.
Siberian iris lent striking bursts of color.
I was quite excited to see generous plantings of the mystery wildflower that is thriving in my lawn. Thanks to the plant ID cards, I learned it is Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos cuculi).
When it's done blooming, I think I'll transplant them to a sunny perennial bed. My research told me it's a European wildflower that has naturalized in the United States. It''s partial to damp or wet meadow, likes full sun and attracts butterflies.
I've been wanting to get some red coral honeysuckle for my garden. It's a native, non-invasive and attracts hummingbirds. I don't know if this is red coral though.
A vacant one-room building intersects a mowed walkway along the perimeter of the Bellamy-Ferriday property.
The Bellamy-Ferriday House is named after two different owners of the property who played a significant role in shaping its character. Joseph Bellamy was a local pastor and a leader of the Great Awakening religious movement in the 1740s and is the person responsible for building the house around 1754. Later, in 1912, New Yorker Elizabeth Ferriday and her husband, Henry, purchased the property as a summer home. It was the Ferridays' daughter, Caroline, who restored the house, filled it with antiques and maintained the beautiful gardens.
I always feel so inspired after visiting little gardens like this.I have so many perennials in need of dividing. But what I really need to do next is figure out how to replace the battery in my lawn mower!