Tour a Connecticut Farm with Ethereal Beauty
I don’t believe in luck, but I do believe in magic. The wonderful thing about magic is, if it finds you, you have the possibility of being part of something glorious. Many times, magic presents itself when we least expect it. I vividly remember the day my husband and I first saw Linden Hill Farm. It was a beautiful, bright summer day. We had recently started the conversation about searching for a bigger house for our growing family, which then consisted of two slightly rambunctious young boys, three lizards and two turtles. We weren’t ready for a move just yet, but we thought we would start looking.
Linden Hill Farm was the third stop on the first day of house hunting. Following the realtor, we made a left turn through a pair of white wooden gates and slowly drove up a long ascending drive lined by an allée of mature linden trees. In the distance, a classical white Georgian Revival house with black shutters appeared. Pulling up to the front of the house, I realized my heart had skipped a beat and I had stopped breathing. Magic had found us.
To the left, a long narrow bluestone walk led to a large swimming pool, a small white pool house and tennis courts. Surrounding a screened porch, a garden room, defined by a hexagonal-shaped yew hedge, was filled with an assortment of hybrid and climbing roses. To the right, a drive-through breezeway framed the garages and rear parking area. We circled to the back of the house and found ourselves in the middle of a large expanse of fields with a view of Bear Mountain rising in the distance. As if out of central casting, a rusty red tractor zigzagged across the fields leaving a trail of hay bales behind. We were spellbound.
Like Alice in another Wonderland, we took the plunge down the rabbit hole and never looked back. For the 14 years we have been the stewards of Linden Hill Farm, every garden has been slowly and lovingly tweaked. Old or damaged trees have been felled, paths widened, and the brick wall in front of the house was rebuilt. A new kitchen garden was planted at the back of the house surrounding the newly renovated breakfast room. The rose garden, which on that first day seemed so full of promise, turned out to be so extremely unattractive; we aptly named it the “Garden of Shame.” After many attempts to reboot the roses, we finally just threw in the towel. Still lovingly referred to as the “Garden of Shame,” it is now a formal moonlight garden, planted with white flowers—lupines and tulips in the spring, echinacea, delphinium and clematis in the summer.
The gardens keep me present. They awaken my childhood feelings of wonder when I notice that the bleeding hearts have pushed through or the peony buds have begun to open. There is not a day that goes by without noticing a few of life’s small moments. Last summer, a giant bullfrog appeared from nowhere and moved into our swimming pool. We named him Bruno. At first, we kept catching him and sending him on his way, but he kept returning. After a while, we just let him be. He spent most of the summer as our frog in residence. I would see him staring at me from inside the pool skimmers as I swam my laps, his huge bulging eyes following my every move. I think he felt the magic too.
A version of this article appeared in the May 2018 issue of CTC&G (Connecticut Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: A Spell Is Cast.