Open to the public only one day in spring and one day in fall, the Steinhardt Garden is a wondrous private garden that rivals anything you might see in a public botanical garden. “Here are some photos that I took on my visit on a clear, early November morning,” says Jan Johnsen, who was lucky enough to be one of its few visitors. “The colors sparkled around me and I hope you can catch a little of the joyous feeling I felt as I wandered through.” A must-see garden, make sure Steinhardt is on your itinerary.
The 8-acre Japanese maple garden features an extensive maple collection planted naturalistically as the understory within a deciduous forest. Here, wide paths, covered with pine needle mulch, gently curve through more than 400 cultivars of Japanese maples and unusual shade-loving flowers and shrubs. The wide diversity of the maples is on full display here in November when the fall color is at its peak. The specimen trees are ablaze in yellow, orange and red.
This garden, although seemingly natural, is actually organized into harmonious groves. One area is dedicated to dwarf varieties of Japanese maples while another consists of japonicum varieties, and so on. Again, a true plant lover’s paradise.
The famous view here is of their “Westport” red threadleaf Japanese maple (so called because it hails from a garden in Westport, Connecticut) set against a lovely, arched red bridge. I often wonder if they painted the bridge to match the tree’s color because they seem to match perfectly!
Left: A specimen red threadleaf Japanese maple (Acer palmatum ‘dissectum’) frames the view of a similarly colored bridge.