August Meeting

Many thanks to Joyce for opening her gardens to us for a social distanced, masked tour in August and for hosting our container contest!

Congratulations to Fran, Janet and Kathi on winning the annual container contest!

Some photos of Joyce’s wonderful gardens. Click the first photo to view as a slideshow then use arrow keys, on-screen arrows or swipe to move through the slides.

Joyce’s description of her gardens:

PepperKnoll Farm was established November 1994. The property was bought mainly as a private residence with the potential to be a backyard horse property. Any existing plantings were pretty much like the general ones you would see around Pepperell and other communities. The former owners of the property operated a small local garden center on an adjacent property. Both properties are located in the historic district. The home at the front of the property is on the historic register. It’s the Hannah Lawrence house built circa 1840.

The PepperKnoll Farm home was built in 1987 on what was formerly an apple orchard. Several significant apple trees still remain. The previous owners who built the home planted the typical yews, rhododendrons, azaleas, Rose of Sharon, and other fairly common plants and herbs around the grounds. Over the years, we focused on replacing some of the existing plantings which either were devoured by deer, were too high on the maintenance list and/or, for whatever reason, just didn’t prove to be in keeping with my vision for the property.

Over the last 10 plus years we have focused on developing the beds into strolling gardens comprised of conifers, dwarf conifers, heaths, heathers, junipers, ground covers, succulents, Japanese maples, hostas, dogwoods, various hydrangeas, heucheras, grasses, and other assorted perennial shrubs and plants. I guess one could say that my style is a bit eclectic in that it really doesn’t follow any particular school or style of gardens. Much of the property was a blank slate. We often rode our horses around the perimeter and through the back woods where we had established some short trails. I am a very intuitive creature, and an observer of nature and the elements around me. I focus on what works and what doesn’t. My belief is to not fight Mother Nature, but to let her guide us in supplementing and complimenting what is here, what works, and what this particular location allows to put down roots, grow, and shower us with happy plantings.

The gardens at PepperKnoll Farm are a twelve-month joy. Something is always blooming, changing, or adjusting to the elements. There is always something of interest … or just a peaceful place to ponder. The gardens emit a peaceful sanctuary appeal on the hottest day in the summer to the coldest day in winter. We are blessed to live here and be the owners, visionaries and stewards of this beautiful place that we call home. My only regret is not starting years ago. Having just retired last year, hopefully we will have many more wonderful years ahead to make it even better!