United States of America, Connecticut, Fairfield County, Stamford
June House (Stamford, Connecticut)
Located on approximately five acres, June House gardens have been constructed in sympathy with the natural topography of the land and with respect to the plant communities employed. The goal has been to create a balance between traditional styles of gardening and plant community-based landscaping.
Silas June (1753-1832), for whom this property is named, built the main house in 1797. There are many rock outcroppings and few broadly flat areas on this land. The woodland areas are largely second or third growth, indicating the property had been cleared of trees in Silas' day.
There were no ornamental gardens when the present owners moved to June House in April, 1977 so they started to develop the immediate area around the main house and carriage house by putting a shady border perennial bed in between the two houses and named it "Valley Garden." In 1984, the owners constructed a terracing and stone retaining wall by the swimming pool with rock used from the construction of the pool in 1960 then planted apple trees, a sunny perennial bed and apiary. An increase in deer browse by 1990 prompted the enclosure of over 4 acres with a deer fence. By 1992, the owners decided major work needed to be done around the two houses and professional design assistance was needed. Landscape architect, Dickson DeMarche was asked to create a master plan and managed the installation of designs over the ensuing three years. The Overlook Garden and the Arbor House by the swimming pool was added in 1994 and an enclosed vegetable and herb garden with raised beds and pergola was completed in 1995.
With the millennium came renewed efforts to enhance the property. A prominent rocky promontory named "Mole Mountain" was stripped in 2002 of unwanted plants growing on it and xeriscaped by landscape desiger, Michael Harvey. A wildflower meadow seed mix was then planned and installed along the north face of Mole Mountain by Larry Weaner of Larry Weaner Landscape Design Associates in collaboration with Harvey. In 2003, the owners along with Harvey turned their attention to the south of "Mole Mountain" for the installation of an Alpine/Conifer Garden using H. Lincoln Foster's Rock Gardening (Houghton Mifflin Co., 1968) as a guide. In 2004, a bridge designed by Dickson DeMarche (landscape designer), was constructed joining the barn with the top of "Mole Mountain" and a butterfly garden was designed and planted by the owners south of the croquet/tennis courts. From 2005 to present day many projects were started and not yet completed or will continue to be refined. Such projects include a shade garden under the bridge, conifer grove and southwest shrub border, woodland garden trails, Metasequoia grove and a meditation garden. The owners are "hands on" gardeners; they do a significant amount of the planning, planting and maintenance themselves.
Persons associated with the garden include Slias June (former owner, 1797-date unknown); Dickson DeMarche, (landscape architect, 1992-1995, 2004); Larry Weaner of Larry Weaner Landscape Design Associates, (landscape designer, 2002); Michael P. Harvey, (landscape designer, 2002-2005) and Lori Chips of Oliver Nurseries, (garden designer, 2003).
Additional materials on the June House can be found at the Stamford Historical Society. More information about the landscape designs of Dickson DeMarche can be found in the archives of the Laurel Rock Company.
The folder includes worksheets, site plans, photocopies of articles about the project, and other information.
This garden was featured in "Finding solitude by touring others' gardens," The Stamford Advocate Newspaper, June 1997. Sound Gardening Column, Greenwich Time Newspaper, May 27, 2005 and June 6, 2006. "Volunteer Spotlight", Bartlett Arboretum News, Spring 2003. "A Farm Garden That's Neat and Petite," Small Gardens Vol. 2, Number 1, Harris Publications, Inc., 1998. "New Breed...of home gardeners," The Advocate and Greenwich Time Newspaper, April 10, 1988. "Sweet Science," Living In Stamford, September 2001. "Two Days with the Bees," Open Spaces: Stamford Land Conservation Trust, Inc. Newsletter, Summer 2007. Photograph of the Garden was printed in the article: "A potpourri of Stamford Gardens," Inside FC (Fairfield County) Newsletter, Summer 1997