United States of America, New Jersey, Mercer County, Lambertville
Hart-Vorhees Farmstead-Lipson Garden (Lambertville, New Jersey)
An historic New Jersey dairy farm was divided into two ten acre properties about 40 years ago, with one containing the house and this one containing two massive stone barns.The barns were converted into livable structures by subsequent owners, with the completion of the house and installation of the gardens surrounding it commencing in 1998. Now there are five distinct garden areas: the driveway and front circle planted with low maintenance shrubs; the front courtyard which is protected by an extensive cedar trellis style fence and features shade plants in chartreuse, dark green and maroon; the back patio along the barn wall with the dining area, fire pit, a dogwood tree espaliered against the barn wall, and a stone ruin that is a wind block; the swimming pool surrounded by ornamental grasses that grow tall enough to give privacy; and a natural pond with the native plants augmented with grasses and yellow water iris.
Among the challenges faced by landscape designers Chris Pugliese and Jonathan Alderson were an extensive native deer population, compacted clay soil from the days when livestock lived in the barn, the massive scale of the converted barns, and converting an entirely exposed property into gardens and outdoor entertaining rooms. Their solutions included planting trees near the house for shade including fast growing river birches, honey locust and magnolias, designing the fence and ruin to define garden rooms and offer protection from the deer and other elements, planting ornamental grasses and other species that deer do not eat, and sinking the garden areas down steps, again to keep out the deer. The compacted soil was removed and replaced with ten inches of mushroom compost.
The massive two-story stone dairy barn has been balanced with large-scale containers including an oil jar and by allowing ivy planted along the side path to climb and soften the façade. The front courtyard and back patio floor are dry laid blue stone that allows small plants to grow between the stones. The height of the trellis fence is staggered so it does not appear to cut the house off from the rest of the property.
Persons associated with the garden include: Bob Waligunda (former owner, 1970-1994); Robert Dunham (former owner, 1994-1996); Mr. and Mrs. Keith Coleman (former owners, 1996-1998); Maximillian Hayden (architect, 1996); Chris Pugliese, ASLA (landscape architect, 1998-2000); Jonathan Alderson, ASLA (landscape architect, 1998-2000); Bill Dear (landscape designer, 2009- ).
The folder includes worksheets, plant lists, and photocopies of articles .
Garden featured in "Fields of Folly" by Sandy Hingston, published in Philadelphia Magazine's "Home and Garden," Spring/Summer 2003
Garden featured in "Garden Visits- Suburban Trenton," The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, July 12, 2005
Garden featured in "Outstanding in its Field," by Christian Kirkpatrick, Packet Magazine, September 2005