Garden Photo of the Day

The gardens of Les Quatre Vents

The pigeonnier at Les Quatre Vents
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Photo/Illustration: Virginia Small

Many years ago, I had the great privilege of working at Stonecrop Gardens, a small and wonderful public garden in upstate New York that was started by Frank and Anne Cabot in 1992. Frank is also the person who founded the Garden Conservancy, an organization dedicated to preserving noteworthy gardens. I’m a huge fan of the Cabots, not only for their efforts on behalf of gardening, but also for how warm and genuine they were throughout the time I knew them.

The pigeonnier at Les Quatre Vents and its reflection
Click to enlarge
Photo/Illustration: Virginia Small

The Cabots make their permanent home in Quebec at a stunning property they call Les Quatre Vents. While I never had the opportunity to visit this spectacular garden myself, one of our former editors, Virginia Small, did, and her interview with Frank Cabot was in the April 2005 issue of Fine Gardening. For the next couple of weeks, I’ll feature some photos from that interview, as well as a few that wouldn’t fit into the pages of the magazine.

The pigeonnier at Les Quatre Vents with a pond and a swan in front
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Photo/Illustration: Virginia Small

Today’s photos are of what is probably the most photographed portion of the garden – the pigeonnier and its stunning reflection.

Frank Cabot
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Photo/Illustration: Virginia Small

Want to learn more about Les Quatre Vents? Read the book! And stay tuned for more photos tomorrow.

Frank Cabot planting
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Photo/Illustration: Virginia Small


Welcome to the Fine Gardening GARDEN PHOTO OF THE DAY blog! Every weekday we post a new photo of a great garden, a spectacular plant, a stunning plant combination, or any number of other subjects. Think of it as your morning jolt of green.

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  1. Cottagegardenfee 08/29/2011

    As a New Englander, the morning after tropical storm Irene, I found the title of your newsletter "Les Quatre Vents" very timely. My garden is a mess! I can't imagine what stronger winds would have done to a garden. However, the photos of the Quatre Vents gardens inspire me to roll up my sleeves, throw on a good pair of garden gloves, grab a [few] refuse bins, and start cleaning up. Perhaps by the time my hubby gets home from work tonight it'll be orderly enough to enjoy a glass of Chardonnay on the patio and watch the children play. Looks like I could lend a hand to a few neighbors who faired worse than we did! Allez!

  2. Deanneart 08/29/2011

    Great pics of a great garden, I love Stonecrop... Like Cottagegartdenfee I'll be spending my day assessing the damage to the gardens and trying to put things back in order. The best thing about gardens is that they do grow back! Thank goodness we aren't dealing with flooding and downed trees. Just hoping to be able to straighten up my precariously leaning Cotinus 'Golden Spirit' but, compared with so many are dealing with this morning we are very lucky.

  3. sheilaschultz 08/29/2011

    I would love to see Stonecrop someday, everything I have seen and read about this space is amazing.
    I also want all of the East Coast gardeners that are dealing with the aftermath of Irene to know that you are in my thoughts. Deanne is right that gardens grow back, it's just physically and emotionally hard to deal with the destruction of a beloved garden. Good luck to each and everyone of you.

  4. arboretum 08/29/2011

    Our 'retum is just north of boston and we spent 'the day before Irene' taking down sculptures and urns and obelisks and and and..... Now she is past, and we were very lucky; just alot of branches from our 30' salix sericea alba (great silver canopy but yes, a messy thing). I have been worrying about Chanticleer and Longwood, and hoping they are O.K.

    btw, if you join The Garden Conservancy, you receive a copy of the wonderful dvd of the story of Qautre Vents, with Frank Cabot narrating. There is also a large very well illustrated book that he wrote about it a few years ago.


  5. loischen 08/29/2011

    Many years ago we had the wonderful experience of visiting Frank Cabot's amazing garden, "Les Quatre Vents" and we met him there, possibly in the same Wellies he is wearing in one of the pictures. It is truly an amazing garden--no doubt much more so now, after years of additions and surprises. It is well worth the trip along the north shore of the St. Lawrence past Quebec. Stonecrop is also a magnificent garden. Hope all of you gardeners didn't have too much damage from Irene.

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