When we had our little snow last week, I decided to visit a garden I had never been to before. This is the formal garden at the Bamboo Brook Outdoor Education Center in Chester Township, New Jersey. I drive past it often to get to my sister-in-law's house, but until last week, I had never had time to stop and explore.
Now a part of the Morris County park system, the house was originally known as Merchiston Farm. The farm was the home of William and Martha Brookes Hutcheson from 1911 to 1959.
The gardens were originally laid out by Mrs. Hutcheson, who was one of the first female landscape architects in the United States. Morris County has just finished an extensive restoration, including new stone walls and plantings.
The land slopes gently down on three sides to a circular pool. It is a beautiful sight with a light dusting of snow. The pool holds reflections of this lovely winter garden.
The outbuildings are as beautiful as the house. There is such a sense of shelter and well-being here near the reflecting pool, surrounded by the gently sloping hills.
The house itself is used as office space for the park administration. Wouldn't it be wonderful if it were restored and decorated?
Ah well, I guess I can dream. The center hall has the most beautiful dark beams and white painted wainscoting. :)
There is also a beautiful view over the reflecting pool out to the hills beyond. The formal garden is surrounded by a deer-proof fence, but the center itself also has 100 acres of fields, woodlands and nature trails.
I can't wait to come back in the spring. And yes, I'll take more pictures. :)