The Gardens

Originally, the gardens were located within the Litchfield Hills in the northwestern part of Connecticut in the United States, on the site of a farm that was established during the mid-1700s. At the turn of the 20th century the farm was purchased by the landscape artist William Merritt Post. A studio was built and Post raised his family and farmed until near his death in 1935. Post called the farm Applewood. After Post's death the property became known as Post Hill Farm. Several of the recent owners raised horses but for us the stables housed flower pots and bags of growing media.

The rear of the property borders a small stream, the Bantam River, and is wooded with hardwoods, pines and hemlocks. The Litchfield Hills are rich in Cypripedium acaule, our logo flower.

We moved onto the property in February, 2005, with dozens of pots of plants that had to wait until the April thaw to begin putting into place. They spent the last two months of the winter in boxes in the barn!

In 2016 we also began to grow some plants in Seabeck Washington, on the Western shore of the Puget Sound across from Seattle. Whereas Litchfield is in agricultural zone 5, Seabeck is in zone 8, which allows us to grow plants that do not survive in Connecticut. In late 2019 we sold the Connecticut property and moved to Washington full time. We closed the commercial nursery at the end of 2019. Since we are dedicated propagators, we will continue to hybridize Cypripedium and a few other plants for our amusement. As excess plants become available, we will make them available in the Spring prior to breaking dormancy, and in the Fall, after the plants become dormant.

View of Puget Sound

The Olympic Mountains, visible from the deck at Seabeck.

Propagating Our Plants

One of the most important activities we undertake is the propagation of our plants. Many of the plants we grow require specialized methods to propagate using seed. The orchids, in particular, are challenging since their seed do not contain stored nutrients. In nature, orchid seed depends upon soil fungi to infect them and provide the developing orchid embryo with nutrients in the form of simple sugars, amino acids, and vitamins. In order to artificially germinate orchid seed, they must be sterilized and placed into sterile growth media until the seedlings are old enough produce their own food by means of photosynthesis. Our plants are expensive since they require sterile laboratory conditions to initiate growth with several transfers of the seedlings over a period of a year to 18 months to fresh flasks, all done within laminar flow hoods. Once the seedlings are transplanted outside to growing beds, another 4-5 years is required for the seedlings to reach blooming size. Thus, each plant is handled many times individually during its time with us, over a period of many years.