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Early Blooms in New England

Native Plants

The entry garden that graces Honey Sharp‘s restored 1789 farmhouse in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, showcases spring blooms from subtle to showy. From the driveway, an iron gate opens to a path that meanders through a woodland and then melds into a sunny garden next to the front terrace. The varied light conditions let Honey, a garden designer, play with a wide-ranging palette of plants. She’s especially drawn to ones that tie in with the barn-red color she chose for her home.

In late spring, Honey’s sunny garden hosts various bulbs in burgundy, white, yellow, and orange. Tall-crown imperial fritillaries, with their pendant bell-shaped blooms, are among the most dramatic. Later, purple, burgundy, and white alliums, along with magenta and pink hardy geraniums and purple salvias, resonate harmoniously with the house and the rest of the garden.

An avid environmentalist, Honey especially likes connecting her cultivated garden to the surrounding landscape, which includes many acres of woodland. Her plantings continue to evolve through the growing season, with other perennials and certain shrubs in starring roles. She designed the area to be enjoyed from inside the house as well as outdoors. Honey and her husband, Dr. David Lippman, added a sunroom that connects to the kitchen, and with floor-to-ceiling windows, it affords a panoramic view of the garden all year long.

For photos and articles, visit:

Gardens on Tour

Many regional gardens will be available for self-guided tours as part of The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program. For more information and to obtain a directory of participating gardens, visit:

More Specialty Gardens

Read about gardening with seaside species, moss, and native plants, and link to our sister publication, The Old Farmer’s Almanac All-Seasons Garden Guide.


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Updated Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

One Response to Early Blooms in New England

  1. Jeff Folger February 4, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    very beautiful and I can’t wait for spring flowers…

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