Duck Hill is what I call our simple Federal farmhouse, painted yellow and white, perched on three acres of land, sloping to the south, in the village of North Salem, New York. The soil here is sandy and only slightly acid, the property mostly sun-filled, but with a spit of woodland along its southern boundary where I can grow shade-loving plants. We are surrounded by fields, old orchards quickly returning to woods, and pastures, left from when our town was a thriving dairy farming community in the nineteenth century. We still have dirt roads here, and many residents have horses as well as chickens and other farm animals. About sixty miles north of New York City, we are a rural oasis at the very edge of New England. Our climate is wildly variable, with hot summers and cold winters, glorious springs and falls, in hardiness a cold zone 6, our winter temperatures these days rarely going below -10 degrees. Here I have gardened for thirty years, now in the company of my husband Bosco, our three dogs (Roux, a Norfolk terrier; Noodle, a miniature dachshund; and Posy, a Scottish deerhound-collie mix), Felix, the cat, and assorted chickens, ducks and two Royal Palm turkeys.
The garden at Duck Hill was featured in House and Garden in April 1993, Vogue in June 1993, Elle Décor in April 1998, Fine Gardening in March/April 2001, Home and Garden in Fall 2005, House Beautiful in December 2005, the New York Times in August 1987, May 1995, and October 2010, and Garden Design in May 2011.
Visit the garden at Duck Hill on Sunday, June 3rd, 2012. We will be open to the public for the Open Days Program of the Garden Conservancy. Visit www.opendaysprogram.org for information.