Open Days Part III: Ambitious Gardens: Bevacqua-King

Just one garden room in the truly spectacular Hudson NY landscape of Peter Bevacqua and Stephen King, one of the Garden Conservancy Open Days Gardens. Horticulturally and design-wise, the season's garden that left us vibrating the most.

I’m still contemplating the Bevacqua-King gardens in Hudson, and remembering fondly how kind, welcoming, and unpretentious the hosts were. Note how they use evergreens to create the walls of a garden room, and how the evergreens, like boxwood, in the garden beds are formally sheared, while everything else is wild and woolly. A skillful study in contrasts. A marriage of symmetry and asymmetry. That is my petite friend Kathe in white. She and my husband and I had so much fun on this tour.

This is the entrance to Stephen and Peter's outdoor dining area. The wisteria on the pergola has to be trimmed weekly or more! I love how they've used the sedums as a kind of foyer planting. Also note the volunteers growing in the gravel. What a sweet touch, and with all those visitors. nobody trampled them.

This is called pleaching, when you "knit" branches together via pruning to create an ultra geometric hedge, in this case, of European hornbeams (Carpinus betulus). A lot of work, but how grand! The serpentine line is a cheeky twist.

Green Garden. Sigh. Love it. It makes you aware of how many different greens there are. Peter and Stephen amaze me!

(Above) In the perpetually wet part of the property, Bevacqua and King planted an oasis of Petasites.

Design that invites you in and pulls you forward.

Sometimes when I see gardens of this order of ambition, I feel tired. I know a bit too much about how much work goes on beyond the scenes. But the Bevacqua-King Garden presents itself as a masterwork of grace and effortless creativity. I could really relax there. Bravo.
3 Responses to “Open Days Part III: Ambitious Gardens: Bevacqua-King”
  1. vintagejenta says:

    I’m normally a flower gal, but I really like all the greenery in this garden. It looks so cool and inviting! And, I feel silly for asking, but what kind of plants are Petasites? I have never heard of them before, but they look like wild ginger leaves or land-based water lilies.

  2. Peter Bevacqua sent this comment to me and asked me to post:
    Thank you so much for your kind words and beautiful photography of our garden. I’m glad that you talked about the power of green in a garden, and how varied it can be. A note about a hornbeam hedge … hornbeams are tolerant of various situations (except standing water), and the more they are clipped, the more their leaves stay on the plant during the winter … turning our hedge a toast-like color for most of the winter.The new spring growth pushes the old leaves off … but the great thing about hornbeam is that DEER do not bother them!

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