Saturday, March 1, 2008

A True Adirondack Garden

Via Carol Eichler, chair:

Dick and Mary George reported at our February meeting that they are involved with a huge rock garden restoration project at White Pine Camp, near Paul Smiths in the Adirondack high peak region. Located on Osgood Lake, the history of this great camp includes having served as the summer White House for President Calvin Coolidge. The restoration effort, described more accurately as an archeological excavation, is moving along, with still much to do before the dedication scheduled for Sunday August 10th at 11:00 a.m., which includes a formal tour of the property, music and refreshments. They will be sending a formal invitation to the Adirondack Chapter and would be delighted to have a delegation or the entire membership attend!

Mary and Dick report they are still willing to put some of our members up for a couple of nights at White Pine Camp in exchange for some consulting advice on plantings. Be sure to check out their well-designed web site for a look at the camp, guest quarters and more. If you’re interested, you would need to work out a date with them, probably mid-June would work best since it is after snow melt but still before the high season begins. They state they are novices and could use the advice of experience. The man who designed and built the rock garden was Frederic Heutte, a French immigrant who received a presidential commendation from Calvin Coolidge for the garden. Heutte went on to achieve national acclaim and The Frederic Heutte Center in Norfolk Va. was named for him. Unfortunately Heutte did not keep good plant records. Fortunately, Mary does and is!

Of course they would be very grateful for any plant specimens (remember they are Zone 3 there but do get good snow cover) our members are willing to share too. The garden is comprised of several stone mounds covering and area 100 feet by 100 feet with a tall canopy of trees and mostly likely a highly acidic soil. To contact Dick and Mary email them at

Want to get serious about helping out? Contact Carol Eichler or 607-387-5823. She will coordinate a working week-end to the camp in June.

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