The garden exudes a strong sense of determination.
“Every rock is placed,” Bonnes said. “I strive to place the rocks so they look natural.”
Stones were also brought in to establish walls and steps.
“The second focal point begins with the original pond; however (it) aims up the hill to the massive old barn. A crane had to be brought onto the property to shift the leaning barn and align it properly,” Bonnes said.
A bird’s-eye view from the barn reveals a series of projects accomplished over the decades.
A perennial garden was established between the house and barn rather early. “It’s important to have something of interest all year round in a perennial garden,” Bonnes said. “This garden has a nice mix of flowering perennials, and boxwood that stay green all year round, plus stonework.”
The mix keeps the gardens attractiveness even in the wintertime. To the side of this garden is a pergola with hanging wisteria. The roots of the wisteria are prominently wrapped around the pergola poles, offering a striking contrast next to the rhododendrons.
In the spring, Bonnes planted four weeping beech trees near the vegetable garden.
“Every year I have a new project but gardeners need to be able to change too,” Bonnes said.
Plants and bushes planted years ago were obstructing the view, so they were removed.
“I had to learn to scale or calibrate appropriately,” Bonnes said with a smile. “Start small and work your way up.”
Quaker Hill Farm at 2121 Quaker Hill Road in Jefferson rests on a hill overlooking a valley. The trim lawn, flowers and garden plot veil the fact that this is a young garden that gradually transitioned into a space of interest.
“We moved here 40 years ago and spent years cleaning up the derelict barnyard,” said owner Liz Searles. “Then 20 years ago, Richard and I traveled to England and went on a garden tour. We met great people and our interest in gardening galvanized.”