Building Community Through the Arts

Hidden Gardens Press Release

May 20, 2015

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
[email protected]

Spencertown Academy Arts Center Celebrates Hidden Gardens

Highlights: Columbia County private gardens tour and cocktail party; Garden Market on The Green with new Black Forest Flammkuchen Food Truck; Ellen Ecker Ogden lecture on edible gardens; “Concrete & Clay: Works Inspired by the Garden” art exhibition

Spencertown, New York– Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s 11th annual Hidden Gardens Tour, an annual gateway to summer in Columbia County, is scheduled for Saturday, June 20. It includes an array of events designed to inform, inspire, and intrigue garden enthusiasts. The theme of this year’s Hidden Gardens Tour is “Artful Landscapes: Ornamental and Edible Gardens.” Author Ellen Ecker Ogden will give a morning lecture about edible gardens. Shoppers can pick up items at the Garden Market on The Green and snack on food provided by the Black Forest Flammkuchen Food Truck. The “Concrete & Clay: Works Inspired by the Garden” art exhibition will be on display at the Academy and the Twilight in the Garden Cocktail Party will take place at an historic private home. Vivian Wachsberger and Academy Board member Madaline Sparks are co-chairs of Hidden Gardens; proceeds benefit the Academy and its arts-in-education programs in local schools.

The festivities kick off with the Academy’s annual Twilight in the Garden Cocktail Party on Friday, June 19 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm in Chatham, New York, at the home of Drs. Maureen Killackey and Bruce Pinkernell. Their house was designed in 1912 by noted architect Wilson Eyre, an innovator in Shingle Style. Originally called “Oak Hearth,” there are nine fireplaces located in the arts and crafts interior. Eyre was a founder and editor of House and Garden Magazine and wrote extensively about the interaction between the interior and the outdoors, hence many French doors and windows abound. Views of the Catskills are a notable feature of the landscape. A special cocktail “Solstice Spritzer” concocted by mixologist Jeremy Kenny of Rouge Restaurant in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts, will be served along with sparkling wines and a light buffet supper. Party tickets are $80. Advance reservations are required, and directions sent once tickets are purchased.

The Garden Market on The Green will take place on Saturday, June 20 from 9:00am to 3:00pm at the Spencertown Village Green across the street from the Academy. This year’s market will showcase more than 20 vendors, including both new dealers and popular returnees from last season. Shoppers will find herbs, annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees from four nurseries and farms, as well as hand-crafted garden trellises, garden-related vintage treasures, handmade pillows and cushions for outdoor furniture, birdhouses, tableware, note cards, soap, and a “white elephant” sale of garden paraphernalia and new and used garden books. Master gardeners from Cornell University Cooperative Extension will be on hand to offer advice on tough garden issues. Admission is free.

For the first time, food will be available for sale at the market by Black Forest Flammkuchen Co. Food Truck, a mobile restaurant with a wood­fired brick oven, offering a fresh and international interpretation of the traditional Alsatian and Black Forest regional flat-bread snack, flammkuchen.

On Saturday, June 20 at 8:30am, Vermont-based food and garden writer and landscape designer Ellen Ecker Ogden will give an illustrated talk about the art of growing food. Blending classic design with artful touches, the kitchen gardens Ogden has designed for clients, communities, and businesses are both practical and beautiful. Her books include The Complete Kitchen Garden, From the Cook’s Garden, and The Vermont Cheese Book. Her newest book, The Vermont Country Store Cookbook, is due out this September and features recipes, Vermont stories, and anecdotes about Vermont food. In addition, her designs and writing have appeared in a wide range of food, garden and general interest publications, from Martha Stewart Living to The New York Times. Lecture tickets are $20 and include a light continental breakfast. Copies of The Complete Kitchen Garden will be for sale and there will be a book signing session after the talk.

“Concrete & Clay: Works Inspired by the Garden,” a group exhibition featuring seven regional ceramicists and one concrete fabricator, will be on display in the Spencertown Academy Arts Center Gallery on Saturday, June 20 from 8:30am to 4:00pm and on Sunday, June 21 from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. The artists include Corinne Alexander, Sue Browdy, Kay Castelle, Mary Anne Davis, Marybeth Ketz, Justin Madsen, Lauren Mundy, and Jacqueline Wilder. Admission is free and the artworks are for sale.

The centerpiece of the Hidden Gardens weekend is the self-guided tour celebrating the art of the garden. It will take place on Saturday, June 20 from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Included are the grounds of five private residences located in Chatham Center and Kinderhook Village. Gardens range from intimate to ambitious. They include a romantic country garden anchored by a fenced potager covered in roses, a minimalist deer-resistant landscape with views of the Catskills, and a museum curator’s cozy English Style garden. Also on the tour, Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, a NOFA-certified organic farm and home to the non-profit organization Sylvia Center, whose mission is to inspire children to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm.

The tour will take place rain or shine and optional lunches will be available by advance purchase. Lunch from the food truck can be enjoyed at tables under the trees on The Green while shopping at the Garden Market or at Flammerie farm-to-table bistro in Kinderhook Village for a break while visiting the gardens on the tour. Tickets are $30; various package rates involving multiple events are also available. To purchase tickets for Hidden Garden events, go to Day-of garden tour tickets and maps will be available at the Academy and at the Market on The Green beginning at 9:00am on June 20.

There will also be a Hidden Gardens Raffle ($5 per ticket or five for $20, available online or at the Academy on the day of the tour). Donated prizes range from a truckload of organic mulch (delivered) and a pair of elegant steel wire tower trellises to gift certificates to local nurseries, collections of premium garden tools, and more.Housed in a restored 1840s Greek Revival schoolhouse, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information about Hidden Gardens events, see or call 518-392-3693.


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