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Shaping the Spirit of Your Garden

September 30 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Some gardens speak to us, others don’t. What do they say, and how do we learn to listen?

Learn how to create a richer experience by building on what already exists in our gardens by pushing the five senses in unexpected ways.

Horticulturist and professional gardener James McGrath will share the lessons he has learned from visiting and working in a number of different gardens around the world and how we can interpret those into our own gardens.

This talk approaches gardens from a novel perspective, exploring how our senses shape our relationship to the land. You will discover ideas that can shape your garden and enrich its spirit and develop a new appreciation of what a garden is or can be.

James studied Fine Arts in NYC and horticulture at Longwood Gardens, PA., where he learned the art and science of horticulture. He has studied at Great Dixter in England, the Jerusalem Botanical Garden, and has been the kitchen gardener at DeWiersse in the Netherlands, a private estate. He has been an urban gardener in New York City, Madrid and London, where he was also the head horticulturist for the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, and afterwards James helped to restore the gardens at Gravetye Manor. Currently he is the head gardener at Robin Hill, a private estate in NW Connecticut designed by Dan Pearson.

HHG Members $25

Non-members $35



September 30
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Event Categories:


Hollister House Garden
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Hollister House Garden
300 Nettleton Hollow Rd
Washington, CT 06793 United States
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​Development Manager

Mo is a seasoned non-profit professional with expertise in fundraising, communications, and marketing. As Development Manager for Hollister House, she works to strengthen the membership and fundraising aspects of the Garden by getting to know what its visitors, donors, and members love and value about the Garden. She also maintains accurate financial records and provides reports to the Executive Director and Board as requested.

Before joining Hollister House Garden, Mo was the Director of Advancement at Ridgefield Academy, where she led marketing, communications, and fundraising programs to build the school’s revenue and reputation.

Mo holds a BA in Psychology from Clark University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Connecticut, where she majored in Policy and Planning.

Mo is an Ironman triathlete, trail runner, beekeeper, show-shoe racer, and furniture rehabber who is equally happy creating annual fundraising plans as she is riding her bike or playing with her two rescue dogs, Loki and Cady.


Cynthia Newby, textbook author and gardener, is the president of Chestnut Hill Enterprises, Inc., a college textbook development company. Cynthia is a graduate and a trustee of Hood College, Frederick, Maryland. In Roxbury for over 20 years, she is active locally, serving as chairwoman of the Roxbury CT Public Library board and as a trustee of the nonkill animal rescue and adoption shelter, the Animal Welfare Society (New Milford CT). In 2015 she was named one of Litchfield’s 50 Most Influential People by Litchfield Magazine.

President – Washington, CT

George Schoellkopf was born in 1942 in Dallas, Texas, where he battled as a child against the harsh Texas climate to make his first garden. He was educated in Connecticut at The Hotchkiss School and at Yale University. He also holds a master’s degree in Art History from Columbia University in New York City, where for many years he ran a gallery specializing in 18th and 19th century American antiques and folk art and was thus only able to garden on weekends. He now divides his time between Hollister House and Santa Barbara, CA. George has written articles on gardening in Town & Country, House & Garden, House Beautiful, Fine Gardening and Rosemary Verey’s The American Man’s Garden. George is a member of the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and Lotusland in Santa Barbara California and an honorary member of the Washington, CT Garden Club.

Vice President-New York, NY

Susan Burke gardens in multiple locations, beginning thirty-five years ago with a cottage garden around an 1805 farmhouse in Bedford, New York. She has been working on her “garden by the sea” on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, for twenty years, and began work on a quasi-Japanese garden at her home in Florida three years ago. Her Nantucket garden was included in the Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens in 2012. In addition to being a founding member and serving as Vice President of the Hollister House Garden Board of Directors, Susan serves on the Boards of the New York Botanical Garden and the Garden Conservancy, where she chairs the Communication Committee. She is on the Horticulture Committee at Wave Hill and the Advisory Committee of the Untermyer Garden. She is a member of the Bedford Garden Club, the Nantucket Garden Club and a founding member of the Garden Club of America. In addition, Susan has served on the Board of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. She is former public relations and publicity director for Bergdorf Goodman, vice president of Calisch Associates, and advertising director at Frances Denny; and worked in marketing and public relations for Moet and Chandon.

Secretary-Norwich, VT

For twenty-five years Bill Noble has worked as a garden designer and professional in garden preservation. As Director of Preservation for the Garden Conservancy, he was instrumental in the preservation and restoration of dozens of gardens throughout the United States. Working with individual garden owners as well as public and private organizations, he provides the expertise and direction needed to preserve and restore gardens and to promote best practices in successful garden management. As a garden designer, he works with clients to create new gardens or to restore and rehabilitate existing ones. He has overseen the restoration of many significant American gardens, and his hands-on style and knowledge of plants, design, and maintenance contributes to the creation of gardens of lasting quality. The insights gained from the gardens and gardeners Bill has worked with are reflected in his own garden in Norwich, Vermont, which is included in the Smithsonian Institution’s Archive of American Gardens and has been featured in Martha Stewart Living, House & Garden, The New York Times and Country Gardens. He lectures widely on topics relating to garden history and design and preservation.


Treasurer-Washington, CT

Rod Pleasants and his partner Steve Godwin are owners of McIver Morgan Interior Design and Architecture and Godwin Residential Construction. Rod has been a resident of Washington CT for 20 years and has been an active member of the local community, serving on several Boards including New Milford Hospital and the Gunn Memorial Library. In 2013 he was named one of Litchfield’s 50 Most Influential People by Litchfield Magazine. His design interests have often involved landscape design for clients’ homes and he has developed a keen interest in gardening.

Salisbury, CT

Jeb Breece lives and gardens in Salisbury, CT. where he is working to establish native wildflowers and grasses in the place of a lawn.  He is also an amateur flower farmer and the co-founder of the Kent Flower Market.  Jeb is a Principal and Portfolio Manager at Spears Abacus Advisors where he manages public equity portfolios and works with clients on asset allocation and generational wealth planning.   He is a member of the board of Women’s Support Services of Connecticut and a member of the Acquisition and Stewardship Committee of Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy.  

Ashley Falls, MA

Lee Buttala is an Emmy Award-winning television producer of Martha Stewart Living and was the creator, producer and director of Cultivating Life, a PBS series on outdoor living and gardening. He has written for The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, New York, and Metropolitan Home. As an editor, he has worked for Saveur, Garden Design and Interview, and for the book publisher Alfred A. Knopf. He also served as the preservation program manager for the Garden Conservancy and has studied garden design at Kyoto University of Art and Design, the English Gardening School at the Chelsea Physic Garden, and the New York Botanical Garden. He is also the author and editor of the books Cultivating Life: A Guide to Outdoor Living and The Seed Garden: The Art and Practice of Seed Saving.

Falls Village, CT

Page Dickey is a garden writer, lecturer, and designer. She has written on gardening and garden design over the years for House & Garden, House Beautiful, Horticulture, Elle Decor, Fine Gardening, and Garden Design. She is the author of seven books, including Gardens in the Spirit of Place, the award-winning Breaking Ground: Portraits of Ten Garden Designers, and Inside Out: Relating Garden to House. Her first book, Duck Hill Journal, and her most recent, Embroidered Ground, are about Duck Hill in New York, where she lived and gardened for thirty-three years. A new book, Outstanding American Gardens, a Celebration of Twenty-Five Years of the Garden Conservancy, was edited by Page and published in 2015. Page is on the Board of the Garden Conservancy and cofounded the Open Days Program in 1995. She is also on the Boards of Stonecrop Gardens, the wonderful teaching garden in Cold Spring, NY, and Hollister House Garden in Washington, CT. She has recently been elected as an Honorary Member of The Garden Club of America. Page now lives and gardens with her husband in the company of assorted dogs in Falls Village, CT.

pagedickey.com | Instagram: page dickey

Dwight Keeney
Litchfield, CT

A retired corporate communications executive with a multinational manufacturer, Dwight has been involved with some aspect of gardening for much of his life. He still remembers researching English romantic gardens in literature many years ago. After graduating from Dartmouth College, where he majored in English, he studied religion and art at Yale University. Among his diverse interests are local history, music (baroque to bluegrass), American antiques and decoration, and art (renaissance to African and pre-Columbian). A resident of Litchfield County for more than 45 years, Dwight is active in several local organizations and is currently involved with the restoration and maintenance of an historic garden in Torrington, CT. He is a UConn Master Gardener and member of the MAD Gardeners, the American Public Gardens Association and the Connecticut Horticultural Society. At Hollister House Garden, he is involved particularly with our public programming.

Washington, CT

Barbara has been an amateur gardener for most of her life, starting in her mother’s rock garden in New Jersey and then moving on to her own garden, first in East Hampton and now at her home The Sumacs, in Washington, Connecticut. An environmental studies major at Connecticut College; she almost went on to get a graduate degree in landscape planning but made a large pivot and became an investment banker instead. She started her banking career at Goldman Sachs and left there, founding Shattuck Hammond Partners, an investment bank specializing in healthcare. She currently sits on several corporate and not-for-profit boards, and is the chair of the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy, a New York State Park and presidential memorial for Franklin D. Roosevelt in New York City

Washington, CT

Gay, a native of Great Britain, arrived here in 1960, settled in Manhattan and joined Bloomingdale’s that same year as a Sportswear Buyer. She later joined the Fashion Office and became Fashion Coordinator for Bloomingdales in 1969. Leaving Bloomingdales in 1972 Gay founded a design studio with two partners. For the next three decades, Gay consulted, designed and merchandised for major department stores, manufacturers and fabric mills and the studio’s “Colour Service and Colour Library” were sold worldwide. Upon retirement, Gay developed a passion for horticulture, aptly following in her mother’s footsteps. Her mother was an avid English Gardener, whose motto was “a gardener has to be a perennial optimist”. Gay’s penchant for horticulture led her to become an Accredited Horticulture Judge for The Garden Club of America and a Master Judge and Master Landscape Design Consultant for the Federated Garden Club. She is a past President and current Horticulture Chair and Board Member of the Washington Garden Club, a past President and current Board Member of The Mad Gardeners and at Hollister House is both a Board Member and Special Events Committee Member Gay’s current project is “Seniorizing” aka “Downsizing” her Gardens, which have been featured in Magazines and Newspapers in Connecticut and elsewhere. An avid traveler, Gay resides full time in Washington with her banker turned environmentalist husband, Carlos Canal.

Sheffield, MA

Elisabeth Cary is the founder and owner of Cooper Hill Flower Farm, a micro flower farm in Sheffield, MA. where she grows a variety of annuals and perennials specifically for cutting and making beautiful and natural arrangements. During the season Elisabeth sells these arrangements from a shed at the base of the driveway along with 6 packs of beautiful annuals that she grows from seed. Elisabeth started this business six years ago after a 20-year career as the Director of Education at Berkshire Botanical Garden.

Elisabeth has been gardening for over 30 years and she and her husband have created a garden that offers a display of distinctive woody plants and a series of perennial beds that have grown and evolved over the years. The gardens are framed by remarkable trees; tall, clipped quinces, big-leaf magnolias, hedges of beech and hornbeam and offers spectacular western views of the Taconic range.

Elisabeth has served on the Education Committee at Hollister House Garden since 2017 and has presented 3 successful and well-attended Barn Talks. She was elected to the Board of Directors in 2022 and serves on the Education and Communication Committees.

Falls Village, CT

Bunny Williams is a designer with a modern vision, a sense of history, and the confidence to take the unexpected path. Both a trailblazer and a tastemaker, Williams’ style is classic, but never predictable.

Bunny Williams Inc., the interior design arm of her companies, was formed in 1988. Her  home furnishings collection, Bunny Williams Home, was founded in 2008 and launched a flagship showroom in the summer of 2015 in NYC.  For 25 years, with her husband, antiques dealer John Rosselli, Williams ran and owned Treillage Ltd., a unique decorative home and garden shop that became an institution in New York. Her most recent book, On Garden Style, published in 2015, offers Williams’ inspiring tips on garden design. Born in Charlottesville, VA, Williams’ decorating DNA combines her upbringing and appreciation for gracious Southern living, with her hands-on training at the venerable firms of Stair & Co. Antiques and Parish Hadley Inc.  An Interior Design Hall of Fame inductee, today Williams’ work is regularly featured in top design magazines, in newspapers, on television, in film, and on a variety of websites and blogs. Williams’ new book, “A House by the Sea,” about her villa in Punta Cana, DR, was released in September 2016.

Summerland, CA

Born in Tunisia, Gerald Incandela lived throughout Europe photographing architecture and art until 1977, when he moved to New York City. An artist whose work is  held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Getty Museum, among other public collections,  Gerald’s artistic eye has complemented George’s vision in reclaiming the surrounding landscapes of Hollister House Garden.

Washington, CT

A founding member of the HHG Board of Directors, Betsy holds a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan and a master’s degree from the Kennedy School at Harvard.  She worked in Hartford and New Haven in government housing policy, development and finance.  Starting as a child and continuing to her first real garden in Litchfield County, gardening has always been the thread that ties her life together, and the spark that makes her eager to greet each new day.

Des Moines, IA​

Stephen Orr has worked inside many of the media industry’s most recognizable brands,  He is currently Editor-in-Chief of Better Homes and Gardens. Prior to joining Meredith, Orr most recently held the position of Executive Editor of Conde Nast Traveler and as VP/Editorial Director for Martha Stewart Living . Orr is also the author of several books, including Tomorrow’s Garden and  The New American Herbal.

Bronx, NY

Mr. Stufano is the Founding Director of Horticulture of Wave Hill a position he held for thirty-four years. He holds a B.A. from Brown University; studied landscape architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and is a graduate of The School of Professional Horticulture of The New York Botanical Garden. He was awarded The Scott Medal of the Swarthmore College Arboretum, the Garden Club of America’s Distinguished Service Award, The Thomas Roland Medal of The Massachusetts Horticultural Society and The Distinguished Achievement Medal of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. 

Executive Director

Pamela Moffett came to Hollister House Garden in 2010 as a volunteer in the welcome shed following a long career in the fashion industry. In 2012 she began working on planning events for the garden, which ultimately led to her current position.  She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and an energetic weekend gardener who constantly finds inspiration at Hollister House Garden.

Head Gardener

Krista Adams has been gardening at Hollister House Garden since 2007. She holds a degree in Biology and has been cultivating her craft as a gardener for over 20 years. Krista pursues all of her passions with deep devotion and boundless enthusiasm.

Program Administrator​

Anne graduated from Wesleyan University with a BA from the interdisciplinary program College of Letters and earned her MA in Classics from St. John’s College. For eight years, she directed a cultural immersion program for high school students in Nice, France. More recently, she served as the Director of Summer Programs and later the Director of Operations at Berkeley Carroll, an independent school in Brooklyn. Anne co-founded the non-profit organization Sustainable Learning in 2012, and currently serves as its board president. She has traveled abroad extensively and has studied gardening and farming in both North and South America. Anne lives in Roxbury with her husband, two children and eight chickens. 

Jessica de Velasco
Program Manager

Jessica de Velasco joins our team as the Program Manager focusing on Education initiatives and Community Engagement.

A career in Latin American Contemporary Arts and 20th Century antiques led this Miami Beach native to corners near and far in search of inspiring landscapes, rare antiques, and off path locales.

After many years operating a design gallery and hospitality consultancy, Jessica traded the palm trees and sea breeze of her home in Miami Beach for the rolling hills of Litchfield County.

A love for historic places and the allure of English gardens led her to Hollister House. It continues to hold a special place in her heart as a refuge for curious-minded garden enthusiasts. She is delighted to play a key role within the organization and share the experience of the garden with all who wish to enjoy it.

When not working on program development or chatting up visitors, you can find her riding her beloved Hanoverian horse, Rohanna.

Visitor Experience Manager

Linda Levin, a long time Litchfield County resident, has been part of the Hollister House Team since 2015.    Starting as a docent, she later developed programs for barn talks and lectures, and helped with fundraising for our yearly Garden Study Symposium.  This season she is returning to her love of greeting Hollister’s visitors and making sure their visit to the garden is both enjoyable and interesting. She manages the wonderful community of devoted Hollister House Garden Volunteers.

A graduate of University of Massachusetts with a degree in Plant and Soil Sciences, Linda has a wealth of experience sharing her love of the outdoors with people as a volunteer and an educator. She has designed and taught in a children’s learning garden for an elementary school in West Hartford, taught at The New York Botanical Garden Children’s Garden, worked as a Garden Advisor at White Flower Farm, and is an active member of the Litchfield County garden community.  Her horticultural interests are in the relationship between native plant species and specific pollinators and how they are adapting to climate change.

Most days you can find Linda in either one of two places, at the Hollister House Garden meeting old and new friends or working on her own lovely garden in Warren, Connecticut.

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