Monday, March 7, 2011

A Behind The Scenes Look at Hidcote

From Vermont to the Cotswolds

Few of us get the opportunity to work in one of the great gardens of the world.  In the case of Vermont resident Helen O'Donnell, one great garden is not enough. Helen is spending the next month working at Lawrence Johnston's magnificent Hidcote Garden, in Gloucestershire, England and in 2012 she will spend time gardening at Great Dixter, the gardens of the late Christopher Lloyd.

Helen has been gardening seriously from a very young age.  She grew up on Mount Desert Island, Maine where she was surrounded by some spectacular gardens.  Helen's mother, Carole Plenty, is the Director of the Island Foundation which oversees the Asticou Azalea Garden, Thuja Garden, and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden on Mount Desert Island.  At the age of fifteen, Helen got her first gardening job on an organic farm and from that moment on she has been working the soil in some pretty nifty places.  

After graduating from Bates College, she moved to Bellingham, Washington where she served as the gardener in four different private gardens.  In 2008, she moved to Brattleboro, Vermont where she continues to pursue her passion for horticulture in the gardens of Gordon and Mary Hayward, in Westminster West, and Peter and Theodora Berg, in Walpole, New Hampshire.  

In addition to her interests in gardening, Helen is also an accomplished artist.  She has studied art, etching and printmaking in Italy and, since moving to Vermont, has opened Twin Vixen Press, a print studio. She offers classes in her studio and also teaches printmaking at the Putney School. 

Helen will be at Hidcote until the end of March and you can get a real behind-the-scenes look at what gardening is like at a world-renowned garden by following her blog, Anemone Times, at:

You can also link to Helen's blog from the featured gardening blogs here at Notes from Juniper Hill.

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to visiting Hidcote this spring. Sorry to find out the Quercus Ilex is zone 7, I was ready to start looking for a spot for some. Is there no tree that mimics the Olive that we can grow in zone 5?


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