Hayward speaks about ‘The Intimate Garden’ in Westminster

WESTMINSTER — Helping you see your garden in a new way is what well-known landscape designer Gordon Hayward has in mind for his lecture, “The Intimate Garden.”

His free talk will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 6, at the Westminster Institute, Route 5 in Westminster. Light refreshments will be served. The presentation is a special advance program to the Westminster Cares Garden Tour, July 20-21.

Hayward, an acclaimed landscape designer, writer, and teacher from Westminster West, was recently named an honorary member of the Garden Club of America, during its annual meeting in Boston. The honorary membership, one of the club's highest accolades, is given each year to no more than four recipients in such fields as horticulture and conservation.

The personal garden that Hayward and his wife, Mary, have created over the past 34 years, centered on their 220-year-old farmhouse, has been documented and added to the GCA Collection at the Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens.

The garden has evolved over the past 34 years as they've integrated its design with the house and the surrounding landscape. Gordon's talk will be illustrated by slides and will follow the itinerary of their garden and its 14 “rooms,” or spaces, and the design principles they have used to create those spaces.

“It's a practical lecture,” Gordon said. “We both have our feet on the ground and a shovel in our hands. My whole design approach is to enable people to live in a house in a garden. The garden is an extension of the house and the people who live in it. Even if you don't garden, you'll enjoy the beautiful pictures in the lecture and learn how to appreciate the gardens you visit, much like artwork in a museum.”

The Haywards have hosted the Westminster Cares Garden Tour since the tour's first year, in 2002. Their gardens (and two other distinguished gardens) will be the center of this year's tour, July 20-21.

“We're very happy to support Westminster Cares. It's a small thing that we can do to help people maintain themselves in their homes,” Mary said.

“The notion of community goes right to the heart of what it is to live in Vermont,” Gordon said. “It's why we're here; the sense of community which is so deeply a part of the Vermont ethos. This garden gives us an opportunity to share and, in the process, to support community, which is what supports us all.”

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates