146 Clapboard Ridge Rd., Greenwich, CT Phone: 888-842-2442.
The thirteen-acre gardens of Sleepy Cat Farm have evolved over the past seventeen years through a close collaboration of the present owner and Virginia-based landscape architect Charles J. Stick. The most recently developed portion of the landscape which borders Lake Avenue includes a greenhouse and potager all managed, planted, and tended by expert horticulturist Alan Gorkin. The newly constructed "Barn," distinguished by its half-timbered French Normandy vocabulary is surrounded by thyme-covered terraces which provide an elegant stage for a collection of garden ornament, sculpture, and boxwood topiary. The visitor's experience unfolds as pathways lead from garden room to garden room in a carefully orchestrated series of discoveries. The central portion of the garden is distinguished by two parallel garden spaces, the first is dominated by a long reflecting pool, terminated on the north end by a wisteria-covered arbor and on the south end by a pebble mosaic terrace and fountain basin. One of the great surprises of the tour is the adjacent garden space. Bordered by a precisely clipped serpentine hornbeam hedge, the green architecture of this room is meant to frame the view to the Chinese pavilion (Ting) positioned on a small island in the middle of a pond teeming with koi. The north end of this garden is terminated by an impressively scaled statue of Atlas. The heart of the original six-acre garden is most joyfully experienced along the "Golden Path," a granite dust pathway that leads from the main house and formal terraces on top of the hill out into the native New England landscape. As it winds through the oak and beech woodland, the path engages a rose and wisteria arbor, a small fruit orchard, fountains, statuary, an iris garden traversed by a Japanese spirit bridge and planted with 10,000 Siberian and Japanese iris, and, finally, a rustic stone grotto and fish pond, the source of the woodland stream which is bordered by native azaleas and a collection of spring flowering trees and bulbs. The most recent additions to the property include a limonaia used for the winter storage of citrus trees, a new fruit orchard, and a sacred woodland grove which is enjoyed from a series of pathways that radiate from a newly planted meadow. The southern expansion of the property over the past two years has added a new dimension to the overall landscape. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission: $5. 05/10/2014 10:00 am - 4:00 pm Fairfield County Open Day Sleepy Cat Farm Greenwich CT.