Hollister House Garden

Hollister House Garden in Washington reminds us of a classic English country garden. We spent a delightful morning touring the property with owner George Schoellkopf. What an inspirational realm for artists, photographers, and bloggers!

Allow us, and George to show you around…

The gardens are open to the public Wednesday and Friday afternoons and Saturdays, and for groups by appointment. Hollister House Garden makes a tranquil, visually stunning landscape. Oh, and the bird soundtrack is off the charts. A slice of heaven right here in our backyard.

A parterre garden – we learned stuff!

George Schoellkopf and his many roomed gardens…

With birds singing a classical symphony around us, George shows us each of the garden “rooms” in a very poetic way. In English gardening, each space outlined by large hedges or walls is referred to as a room. Makes sense. George is so eloquent we could have spent all day listening to him describe the nuances of English gardens and his love for them. He bought the 1770s home on the property (historically registered building) over 40 years ago, and after a trip to England where he flipped out over the gardens he visited, he came home and started Hollister House Garden in 1979.

It started with a daylily…

Other than a single daylily and a couple of trees George knew he wanted to keep, he bulldozed and terraced the area behind his home and basically started the gardens from scratch.

Natural streams feed the fountain, which is gravity fed, no electricity needed. George confesses to taking a refreshing dip now and again. If ever there was a fountain of youth, we bet this would certainly help!

Vistas and terraces…

Gardens are planted in such a way that landscapes beyond are framed by hedges. Rare hydrangeas are planted below a forest of Japanese maples, and willow trees beyond that, forcing the eyes to look up. Here and there we discovered a bench or place to sit….and we imagine, ponder.

Lora’s note: It felt as if we were transported into a beautiful landscape painting, so I decided to edit a couple of shots to give the feeling of what we were seeing and feeling…

Color comes from leaves when flowers aren’t blooming.

The charm of the garden…

…”is the invasion of the structure, by the plants. You have a structure to give you confidence you’re in a real place and you’re not going to be overrun by bears….but the plants take over. It’s romantic.”

“A good plant is anywhere you find it.”

“The gardens are visually stimulating yet offer a feeling of repose at the same time.”

Thank you, Evita, for overseeing the tour and following along for the entire thing.

Upcoming Events…

Want to go? Get all the details about visiting here. We would also recommend checking out the upcoming events that sound lovely; Bluegrass in the Garden, Flower Arranging in the Garden, and more.

ARTISTS & PHOTOGRAPHER DAYS Hollister House Garden will welcome artists and photographers in the garden each Wednesday 8am-12pm from June 5th through August 28th.   Both amateurs and professionals are invited to be inspired by the beauty of the garden in the morning light. Reservations are requested: a contact form can be found on the Hollister House Garden website under Special Events.  A $5 per person donation is suggested.

Happy photographer and blog writer!

We couldn’t have felt more reposed when we left. Hollister House Garden, BBS!


Hollister House Garden

Hollister House is owned by George Schoellkopf and Hollister House Garden Inc., a nonprofit organization.

294 on Nettleton Hollow Road, Washington, CT 06793

(860) 868-2200

Pics: Lora / Words: Bev