A group of club members and guests recently enjoyed a special tour of an Epsom, New Hampshire property called Wells Corner. Homeowner Kyle Landt led the tour of her property that features an 18th century house with a post and beam barn. The landscape design is her own vision, and what a vision it is! The garden has been transformed in the course of thirty years from a simple landscape of vinca and tawny daylilies to one filled with deep mixed borders. The borders are comprised of small trees, shrubs, and perennials interspersed with 250 flats of annuals.
(Photos courtesy of Barbara Williams)
Deeply influenced by the late Christopher Lloyd’s book, The Adventurous Gardener, and his gardens at Great Dixter in England, where she makes regular trips, Dr. Landt plans her own designs determining color only after considering plant texture, size, and shape. Her advice includes improving the soil before planting and topdressing annually with her own special compost mix. It is vital to give the plants a running start in this short growing climate, she advises.
Walking the natural path around the buildings, one discovers a reward at each destination such as a raised octagonal potager, a woodland walk, and a large koi pond built to look like a natural spring overflowing a horse trough.
The morning ended with the group resting on the shaded porch while Dr. Landt entertained with stories and provided much useful gardening information.
Read more about Wells Corner in the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program guide and a recent issue of New Hampshire Home magazine.
Wells Corner Garden Spring Soil Prep
To each wheelbarrow of good quality compost, add:
- 1½ gallons alfalfa pellets
- 1 gallon bone meal*
- ½ gallon of commercial 19-19-19 fertilizer
Mix together and spread evenly to depth of 1 – 1½ inches. Fork in before planting or use as top dressing on established perennials and shrubs.
If applying to acid-loving plants, mix 50/50 with peat.
* For an animal-free alternative, try rock phosphate.