Garden Of The Week2016-2017 Series 11
Proudly Presents

Betsy Palmer Thompson
East Greenbush, New York
 flag USA

"Welcome to Briaridge Gardens"

spacerIt is a joy to have this opportunity to share my garden with you, as it is not generally accessible to the public, or even as a tour garden for AHS. I will explain.

spacerI live in a townhouse development, in the middle of a building of six houses. I selected my house before it was built, to be the one with the deepest lot. I told the realtor my intentions to make a garden and was told it would not be permitted. Why? Is it illegal? No, but we have a homeowners association here and the builder's intention is to have a continuous landscape. Then I discovered the builder had moved to Florida. The house itself was just what I wanted in just the right location, so I ignored the realtor and bought it.

spacer The front garden is 55' long, and continuous with my neighbor on one side. At first, I just did a little planting by the house and mowed the rest. To mow the back lot, I had to haul my lawnmower all around the building to mow the lawn in back, where my lot was 100' deep. That is something the builder didn't consider and I found it a trial.

spacerThen, a new neighbor moved in next door. I told her of my plans to replace the front lawn with garden and found she wanted to do the same. Fortunately, she was a lawyer who worked for our Attorney General, so she knew what we could and could not do. I helped her identify and locate the plants she wanted and she gave me the moral support I needed to proceed with my plans.

 Betsy Thompson

spacerThen, I met Harriet Mooradian, co-founder, with Sally Millman, of the Hudson Mohawk Daylily Society. I told Harriet I enjoyed garden photography and she encouraged me to join the club and enter the annual daylily photo contest. It did not take long before I was deeply involved in the world of daylilies, joining AHS, spending $$$ on daylilies, going to the National in Boston, some Regionals, even becoming the go-to person on daylilies for the Berkshire Botanical Garden, where they developed an AHS Display Garden, combining their collection of old varieties with newer donations from HADS members supplemented by some I procured myself from hybridizers.

spacerDuring this time, I also expanded the garden to cover my entire lot. No more lawn for me to mow now, but 250 daylily cultivars, along with increasing numbers of iris, hosta, small trees, containers, you name it. Articles on the garden have been published in Country Gardens and Fine Gardening, yet only a handful of friends know what is behind my house. Meanwhile, dog and exercise walkers stop to tell me how much they enjoy seeing the garden they can see – the one in front of the house.

spacerThese pictures were taken during the last three years. The winter of 2016 left us with little snow to protect and water the garden and the rest of the year provided little relief from drought. Thirsty, hungry, deer ate my plants, in spite of many deterrents, leaving few flowers to photograph. But there is always another year, and this one is looking at least a little wetter, so I am looking forward. Enjoy!

Email: Betsy Thompson at

please click on top left photo to start the viewing

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