Federal Twist wasn't the only garden we had the chance to visit while traveling to and from the Perennial Plant Conference at Swarthmore College. Tovah arranged for us to visit Andrea Filippone's elegant garden in Pottersville, New Jersey. Andrea owns an interiors and landscape design firm and has in the process become a boxwood expert. Her interest in the organic management of her boxwoods and garden transformed her into passionate proponent of sustainable and environmentally friendly gardening practices. She is a partner in a company called F2 Environmental Design which "bases its landscape management techniques on encouraging and maintaining the natural living systems, through soil management techniques, applying custom blends of compost, liquid biological amendments often referred to as “compost tea”, and other biological nutrients."
The gate into the Boxwood Garden
Andrea doesn't severely shear her boxwoods into balls, hedges or cones. She allows them to grow naturally. She has found that they are more disease resistant, stronger and healthier. This is a cultivar of Buxus microphylla named 'Grace Hendrick Phillips'
All the lawns are treated organically with a compost tea filled with beneficial naturally occurring organisms to improve the soil.
I recognized this view immediately from a NYTimes article about the garden
Andrea is demonstrating where, deep in to plant, is the best place to prune boxwoods to let in air and light to the in order to keep them healthy and strong.
Andrea's dalmatian leads the way into the formal French potager
The pool is the central feature leading to the greenhouse which is heated and powered by solar energy
A grouping of antique sprinklers
The greenhouse was salvaged from Rutgers University and is filled with tender plants brought in for the winter including many cultivars of Agave. Adrea has found both boxwoods and succulents are perfect plants for keeping the local deer population at bay.
Andrea says the leaves of this agave move throughout the day, depending on the light, almost like an octopus
The boxwood nursery that Andrea uses for projects and clients is a garden in itself.