In the Garden with Stacy Bass

If you are a reader of such local upscale Connecticut magazines as athome, Greenwich or Westport Magazines, or national publications such as Garden Design, HorticultureLuxe,  House Beautiful, then you have undoubtedly seen the work of talented photographer Stacy Bass. Her award-winning photos of landscapes and interiors eloquently capture the essence of place with a sensuous light and luminosity that transport you directly into the lushness of the landscapes.

Photographer Stacy Bass' new garden bookThis past month, her first book, In the Garden, was published, celebrating 18 spectacular gardens here in the Northeast. As you gain exclusive access to these private enclaves, you explore, through Bass’ educated eye, the creativity expressed in these natural environments. From structured formality to rambling rustic meadows, each garden is brought to life through beautifully composed vistas and artfully shot details.

In the Garden by Stacy Bass featuring 18 luxe New England gardens

Accompanying the photography are short essays by Suzanne Gannon, offering insightful and entertaining information about the owners’ and designers’ visions. It is a perfect pairing. Thus we learn that the visual “Stairway to Heaven” above is “a lofty procession of grand terraces…on the terrace nearest the house is a jewel of a space: four quadrants of perennials – peonies, lupines, PeeGee hydrangeas, sedum, echinacea, dahlias, astilbe – each punctuated with its own dwarf lilac topiary trimmed to evoke a mushroom cap.”

Serpentine hedges of arborvitae in a Connecticut garden

In the same Connecticut garden, serpentine hedges of over 150 arborvitae form an impressive allee.

I did my best to capture the splendor of the amazing double page spreads in this oversized volume but they in no way express the vivid beauty of the originals. The owner of this seven acre estate in Connecticut commissioned an architect to design a pool house to echo the lines of the original 1958 federal-style house. The park-like property is an elegant ode to symmetry and structure.

Donna Craft's Connecticut estate in Stacy Bass' book In the GardenGerard and Arlene Pampalone’s Greenfield Hill garden is one of my favorites featured in the book. With a house dating from 1862, the gardens were in shambles when they purchased the property. Over the last 16 years they have worked tirelessly bringing the gardens into their current condition. The secret “Rose Garden” is a marvelous example of structure without being overbearingly pruned and perfect. Did you notice the charming “living bench” in the back? The backrest and arms are juniper and English box.

In the Garden by Stacy Bass

Their “West Garden” features eight intersecting borders. As with the rose garden, I love the contrast of the groomed with the more wild plantings as well as the architectural elements punctuated the green lushness.

In the Garden by Stacy Bass

Another Greenfield Hill garden provided Bass with this quintessential Connecticut shot.

Hydrangea in a Connecticut garden.Bass manages to capture not just the visual beauty but also the spirit of each garden. While Alease Fisher Tallman’s estate, Chelmsford, in Greenwich, CT has a distinguished pedigree, garden designer Phillip Watson rejuvenated the grounds without losing the feeling of relaxed timeless elegance. The woodland frog pond, guarded by a statue of Pan, is a peaceful spot that is somehow reminiscent of Tony Duquette’s Dawnridge.

In the Garden by Stacy BassAnd here Bass graciously captures the meeting of house and garden.

In the Garden by Stacy Bass

And within the larger contexts, Bass finds smaller magical moments. Frequently shooting at dawn, much of Bass’ work has that misty evocation of nature awakening. Here a red-speckled foxglove bears witness of the morning’s dew.

Red-speckled foxglove in a Connecticut garden

Whether you are an experienced horticulturist or someone with a brown thumb like me, In the Garden offers something for everyone who appreciates the landscaped beauty of nature. Through Bass’ passionate lens we are privy to experience the exquisite light, color and majesty of these magnificent gardens.

20 thoughts on “In the Garden with Stacy Bass

  1. This post leaves me wanting to buy this book Stacey! I have a fairly large garden and know how exceptionally difficult it is to photograph a garden as the photograph never really seems to do true justice! Thank You, Jenny

  2. I’ve met Stacy and attended a slide show/lecture she gave with her fabulous photographs. Her garden photographs are spell binding, and the most amazine thing is that she is not a gardener herself! Her creative eye manages to capture the gardens in all of their beauty with each photo standing on its own as a work of art!

  3. Thank you for this beautiful review. These photos take me directly into the gardens–the East Coast–a mythical place greatly missed here in So. Cal. The first photo–hmmm, looks like a poodle to me? Yes? I think that Jones would love him. Be well. Mary

  4. “Aaaaahhhhh…” This IS Heaven on earth! Something this beautiful doesn’t “just happen” without hard work…but, oh, my, it is wonderful. Kudos to all!! franki

  5. So beautiful. I would love to walk out of my house and be surrounded by such beautiful gardens. The textures, layering, patterns and colors (even the all different shades of green) are so well composed.

  6. Where to start?! Wow, so pretty! The living bench is so interesting and what lovely rose garden. I’ll need to order this book – thanks for sharing!


  7. I had a chance to peruse this gorgeous book at Terrain….and knew the minute I opened it that I must have it! I aspire to have a secret garden that I can enjoy and share with others!

    See you Thursday!
    ~ E

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