Saturday, August 05, 2006

The rockery - Deep Cut Gardens

Should you not have the chance to travel to Naples to see Mount Vesuvius you could settle for this miniature replica in the rockery at Deep Cut Gardens. At one time this thing actually spewed smoke - crime boss Vito Genovese once owned the property, which he fashioned after an Italian estate, and hired Italian workers to build hillside rock gardens on the steep slope behind the renovated farmhouse.

The Sargent's weeping hemlocks are the jewels of the rockery. They are impressively sized and form a shady green canopy over the cascading pools set into the hillside. These pools were dry and quiet for years, but have recently been refurbished, bringing a delightful cooling effect to this area of the park. On the day that I visited it was more than 90 degrees, but cool enough in the shade of the hemlocks. The gardens here are planted with many of the ericaceous species one expects to find in a rockery, and recently the pool borders have been planted with a variety of ferns and other moisture lovers. The small waterfalls were very popular with birds like the robin that I photographed, as well as goldfinches and chipping sparrows that seemed to have a nest at the bottom of the hillside garden.

The shade of the hemlocks leads down the hillside and into the blazing sun of the parterre, which is finally a work in progress. It looks like park staff is beginning to lay down the outlines of what will be a colorful perennial and rose display garden. At the end of the parterre you can just make out the vine-covered pergola. I met an older gentleman on the day of my visit who told me that he comes to the park and practices his tango steps beneath the pergola! He says it is quiet and cool and like a whole other world there. Farther in the distance is the meadow and pond, beneath which lies the swimming pool that Genovese had built. I'll share those pics on another day.

I also blogged about Deep Cut Gardens on 7/24/06.

4 comments:

madcapmum said...

Lovely. Natural beauty. Someday I want to build something in stone.

Susan Gets Native said...

Yum...hemlocks. Good place to look for crossbills!

LauraHinNJ said...

It is a very pretty park, madcapmum - I love the hillside gardens - wish I had a hill or two here.

Crossbills would be nice, but I think we're way to far south. We can dream, though! Do you get crossbills where you are, Susan?

Susan Gets Native said...

There are two very small places in Ohio that have hemlock gorges, and neither of them are close to me.