Garden with Grace

"I hope that while so many people are out smelling the flowers, someone is taking the time to plant some." ~H.Rappaport

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Fuller Gardens: A Fragrant, Rose Lover’s Paradise

I’ve spent so much time in my own garden this summer, that it was a treat to visit someone else’s last week!

I could have not have picked a better evening than last Wednesday to visit Fuller Gardens in North Hampton, NH. It was the night of their Annual Garden (and Art) Party!

A long time Granite State resident and frequent visitor to our 13 mile seacoast, I’ve passed the sign for this well-known NH garden hundreds of times over the past few decades, but never turned off of Route 1-A for a visit.

The property is within view of the Atlantic Ocean, among the sprawling estates that line the narrow and curvy road along NH’s scenic seacoast. I was a guest of my friend, Bobbi, who is a new resident of this area – she’s also a long-time gardening friend. Plants from each of our gardens have been shared with one another and our families for many years. This was Bobbi’s first visit to Fuller Gardens, too.

We were both in awe of the rose gardens that include 125 varieties and 1700 bushes. Immediately, we noticed that the roses in our own gardens aren’t planted like the ones at Fuller Gardens. Neither of us mound the soil around the crowns of our own rose bushes.

The beauty all around us was almost overwhelming. Right away, we found the path that lined the area of the David Austin roses. The fragrance enveloped the area — there’s no better scent than that of rose mixed with the misty sea air (if it were bottled, I’d buy it all!)

There were hundreds of people at this garden soiree. But, I didn’t notice until I looked through my photos the next day that I captured a moment when the gardens appeared to be quiet and lonely. The reality is that the air was not only filled with the fragrance of salt air and roses, but also with the sounds of jazz and people laughing and talking, and ooohing and ahhhing! Only one of the artists (and none of the party-goers) was in what is now my favorite photo from that evening. Several artists from across the region were sprawled around the property, all painting their own beautiful interpretations of the gardens.

Garden2015-FullerThis is how I will always remember Fuller Gardens. Serene, fragrant, and overwhelmingly beautiful.

While the estate also features a gorgeous Japanese Garden, Conservatory, and English Perennial Garden, Fuller Gardens is definitely a rose lover’s paradise. It is now at the top of my list of “must-visit” places for people who travel to and through New Hampshire.

I can’t wait to go back! (And tend to the roses in my own garden a little bit better!)