From cow pasture to botanical garden: the Brine Garden is a 22-year-old project by Garden Large principal designers Duncan and Julia Brine, who have transformed a six acre pasture into a naturalistic garden and arboretum. The Garden Conservancy Open Day is October 13, 2012.
Leave your preconceptions at the garden gate and discover the “purposeful confusion”between the natural and the designed.
The six acre garden has been underway since 1990 when the Brines began their transformation of the former pasture. GardenLarge, their landscape design and installation firm, specializes in native plants and naturalistic gardens. For the Brines, the use of natives makes sense in terms of both design and ecology. The garden features a wide variety of grasses, perennials, shrubs, and trees indigenous to Dutchess County, along with other U.S. natives.
Large native shrubs and trees structure the garden experience. Winding paths take you through a series of garden areas, including an allée of Bald Cypress (Taxodium) and a grove of River Birch (Betula Nigra). Throughout the garden, more than 20 species of Viburnum display their vibrant berries.
Panayoti Kelaidis of the Denver Botanic Gardens wrotethat the Garden Conservancy selects gardens for their Open Days "because they possess that special magic of design and execution”. In the fall, Garden Large’s Brine Garden is at its most lush, ripe, and colorful. Plantings shaped to frame views obscure boundary lines. Rustic benches provide spots to sit and help direct attention toward subtle, multi-layered, natural compositions typical of the Brines’ naturalistic design aesthetic.
In the chapter on GardenLarge’s Brine Garden Gardens of the Hudson Valley, authors Nancy Berner and Susan Lowry write, “The line between art and nature had never seemed so blurred as it is in the Brine Garden.” The New York Times, Horticulture Magazine, The American Gardener, and Hudson Valley Magazinehave featured the Brines’ work, and a photo of the Brine Garden is on the front cover of Timber Press’ 50 Beautiful Deer Resistant Plants.
Mr. Brine is an instructor at theNew York Botanical Gardenand the New England Wild Flower Society. He has also lectured about naturalistic design at the Peconic Land Trust’s BridgeGardens, in Bridgehampton, NY.
Garden Large’s Brine Garden is located at 21 Bluebird Inn Road in HudsonValley's Pawling, NY. The garden is open from 12noon to 6pm on October 13th. An entrance fee of $5.00 helps support the Garden Conservancy and Friends of the Great Swamp. Children 12 and under are admitted free.