Daily Garden: Antiquities Garden

January 26, 2010

garden conservancy open days garden in berkshires

This garden had me at first sight of this entry way.   The mix of materials, classic furniture, toiary, and vine covered houses is a seducing style combination. 

micheal trapp garden connecticut

The garden surrounds the home of Micheal Trapp in Litchfield County, CT.  It is the perfect garden for Micheal as it so clearly expresses his own style and passions.

micheal trapp garden lichfield ct

Micheal is an antique and architectural fragments dealer as well as an interior and garden designer.  His home and garden portrays his individual style that he describes as “juxtaposing old with older to create a timeless environment”.

micheal trapp terrace garden lichfield ct

Once a year Michael’s garden is generally open for a visit through the Garden Conservancy’s open days program.

micheal trapp garden pool ct

micheal trapp garden

It’s a style that I think is not so easy to pull off as it looks, would you agree? Getting age into a garden is a hard thing and making it look like it evolved through generations is tough to do.  Have you tried to pull this off?  What are some of your tricks for adding age and character to a garden?

images from Rural Intelligence and Micheal’s own website.

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  1. Tatyana says:

    Yes, that entry way is fabulous and made my heart beat faster. Topiary, stones, terracota…. I love it. Thank you!

  2. Jennifer says:

    I have a few techniques for “aging” gardens (I like to think of it not as ‘elderly’, but ‘with character’):

    1. I use woody plant materials that have character – they’re usually more expensive and older (like trees recovered from sites being demolished), but they go a long way towards clearly not being straight-from-the-nursery-new.

    2. Tough to do sometimes, but jump-starting the weathering on surfaces. Like keeping a retaining wall wet to allow mosses to come, then letting it dry out – I try to stay away from chemicals, and the techniques to start the aging process take time themselves, but it sure helps give some warmth to new installations.

    3. OH! and use natural materials. There’s no way new-fangled materials (like concrete pavers and fancy computerized fountains) are going to lend a sense of time.

  3. Sheila H says:

    To pull off an aging garden, you first need to have the right house style. Then, one need to incorporate fast growing vines, evergreens that are #25 or more, groundcovers, use of recycled pavers, tumbled stone, and garden antiques. To get the mossy look, mix moss with buttermilk in the blender and paint any surface. I would go in the woods and pick up stones covered with moss and place in shady places. It’ll take at least 3 years to fill in.

  4. Susan aka Miss R says:

    This garden is worth the visit. It is intimate and intriguing and built on a very, very steep piece of land. My favorite part isn’t shown here–a ghostly poolhouse filled with white coral, crystal chandeliers and other bits. The ‘Italian cypress’ are some Hetzii junipers bought as 4′ plants that Michael clips twice a year–yest I asked him about it.

  5. The topiaries are beautiful and give a lot of character to his outdoor space.

    Some ideas for making new look old would be to purchase items such as patio pots and patio furniture from an estate sale or second hand store. Any type of vine that would creep up a wall would add that look too. Stonework would be very important and rather than buying new stones or pavers you could find them in nature.

    This garden looks very “old english” and it could be located in the Great Britain countryside.

  6. john north says:

    If you have ever looked at wonderful old Roman ruins and wondered what they must have looked like before the fall… this is it. A little too lush to be Mediterranean but you get the idea. So much texture to everything. I’m sure that it pops in the spring as well. But many gardens depend upon that springtime pop to look appropriate. Very texture rich… Wonderful patterns, pathways and shapes. The potted offerings along the stone baluster, the wonderful cobble pathway… And I love the stoneware above the entrance. I am inspired

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