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Tasha Tudor’s Garden

by Grace Bonney

Growing up, there were few things more important to me than books. I collected them and read them with such excitement and was always happy to end my day reading The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe with my parents. I remember going through so many stacks of books as a child, but sadly I don’t remember ever coming across a book by the wildly prolific writer and illustrator, Tasha Tudor.

Tasha illustrated over 100 books and won the Caldecott award for her book, Mother Goose. And while I greatly admire her achievements in writing and illustration, I find myself drawn even more strongly to the fairytale home and garden she created for herself in Marlboro, Vermont.

Over the weekend I met with a garden consultant to teach me about the existing plants and flowers in our yard upstate. I’ve never had this much outdoor space to work with (or this many deer to deter), so I’ve been working on a personal Pinterest board of my dream garden images. During my search process I came across images of Tasha’s almost-magical garden, and I couldn’t resist sharing it here today. Whether you’re looking for natural garden inspiration of your own, or just want to escape somewhere beautiful for a few minutes, these photos are bound to transport you somewhere lush, green and relaxing. xo, grace

*You can also take a video tour of her garden here (the voiceover is in Japanese)

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Daisies growing in Tasha's garden. (Image by Richard Brown via Tasha Tudor's website)
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Gorgeous roses near Tasha's home in Vermont. (Photo by Richard Brown)
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The lush peonies in Tasha's garden. (Photo by Richard Brown)
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Stunning purple foxglove next to Tasha's cottage. (photo by Richard Brown)
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I love the different textures, trees and perennials in Tasha's garden. This vista with trees and daffodils feels heavenly. (Photo by Richard Brown)
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Sweet Rocket and lupine in the garden. (Photo via Tasha Tudor's website)
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Tasha at work in her garden. (Photo by Richard Brown via the Tasha Tudor website)
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Tasha Tudor arranging flowers. (Photo by Richard Brown)
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I love this ethereal photo of Tasha in her garden. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotations of hers. "There is no peace that cannot be found in the present moment.” (Photo by Richard Brown)
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If you want to see more of Tasha's garden, this book from 1994 is a wonderful read and visual inspiration.

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Comments

  • Hi Grace! Thank you for posting this about Tasha Tudor’s Gardens. I have always had a soft spot for Tasha Tudor, and my best memories of meeting my husband’s mother for the first time revolve around learning about the lovely T.T from a book my mother-in-law shared with me. I’m looking forward to repinning many of your Dream Garden Pins, yay!
    Cheers,
    Nitasia
    REVERIE Textiles

  • Oh-my-god~! This is so breathtaking! I guess living in NYC for a while makes me forget that places like this exist… Like you said, it’s magical! It feels like I just stepped into a whole new world somewhere far away. Thank you for sharing!

  • If you feel like catching up on Tasha Tudor’s work I recommend starting with Corgiville Fair. My favorite of her books.

  • A truly beautiful and inspiring escape! What a treat this video was on a cozy, cloudy day in Southern CA. Thank you for sharing! xo

  • Hi Grace, what fun to see Tasha Tudor on Design Sponge! That book is so wonderful, Tasha Tudor such a singular gardener and artist. I wish you much joy in creating your garden – so much to learn and so much fun. It’s great that you have a consultant, so helpful to learn the local conditions making reality match dreams. Remember: make good dirt! And enjoy the whole process.

    • I agree about the roses being peonies, but I think the ‘foxgloves’ are actually delphiniums (delphinia?). Then again, I’m no plant or flower expert. But I do know that Vermont is a bit of heaven on earth.

  • I’ll bet a can of Benjamin Moore paint that you grew up with a copy of The Wind in the Willows– Tudor created some iconic illustrations for it an edition.

    And more garden tours, please. All of those peonies are mana for my apartment dwelling soul.

  • Stunning. I would love to see more gardening design content on your site. Particularly inspiration for how to make a productive kitchen garden beautiful

  • I thought Tasha Tudor was recommended to you on your Instagram account…in a comment about the photo of your porch. I googled her after reading that comment.

  • I love this!

    Years ago, my oldest son and I took the subway from Brooklyn to see Tasha speak in the city. He had drawn her a dynamic dinosaur masterpiece and added flowers just for her. He was able to give it to her personally. We were both so excited.

    Tasha still rocks the casbah.

  • Grace, I am so excited that you’re getting into gardening because I’m hoping that means there will be more gardening content on the site in the future! I would love to hear what the consultant found in your yard. (I’m a garden consultant too and I love, love, love meeting with people in their own backyards. It’s so fun!)

  • Grace, you have to go out right this second and find Tasha Tudor’s ‘A Time to Keep.’ It was my absolute favorite as a little girl, and now I’m fortunate enough to be able to read it to my own little girls. Though you have been warned….you will forever after want your birthday cake to come floating down a river.

    Also: delectable elevenish picnics!

  • Hi Grace! I love your dream garden page — and Tasha Tudor too! If you do a Pinterest search under “fairy ring Tasha” you will see the most gorgeous picture. I am trying to create a version of it in my front yard with forget me nots. Looking forward to seeing your garden’s progress.

  • Oh I remember as a little girl I had a picture book about the seasons and seasonal festivals celebrated by a large family in Vermont by Tudor. I loved it very much, and I think it quoted Shakespeare and Keats and other great poets with each season (“daffodils that take / The winds of march with beauty” from Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale, for example). Quick editorial note: those are peonies, not roses in photo 2. Equally gorgeous though!

  • Tasha Tudor moved to Vermont in her later years after having spent most of her adult living in NH. This house was built by her son Seth. The wonderful Vermont gardeners, designers and writers Joe Eck and Wayne Winterowd did quite a bit of work on this garden, though there is no denying that TT was a very creative person.

  • a million years ago when the wonderful Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum still existed as it was intended to exist, I visted Williamsburg, Va to see an exhibit of Tasha tudors’ enormous creativity. My sister in law was a docent at the the time and had the great opportunity to meet and learn from TT. I’ll never forget seeing a tiny trio of owls (none higher than 4 inches) and learning that she made them after a fox literally got into the henhouse and killed some of her chickens. Never one to let anything go to waste she made these whimsical creatures from the feathers and paid homage to her dear chickens at the same time. This was a woman of great wonder, endless energy, and boundless joy for sharing.

  • I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw this post. I can’t even tell you how many times I have thought about this woman over the year. I remember seeing a 20/20 episode of her when I was a small child and being mesmerized. I never could recall her name. Her kind face and soft voice made such an impact on me. She reminded me of my grandmother. I have often Googled “little old lady with amazing garden” hoping I would stumble across a photo. I’ve apparently been living under a rock. Has she really illustrated so many books? Wow. Thank you, thank you!!

  • i had the great good fortune of visiting Tasha Tudor and her home back in the mid70’s. she had goats and my brother was helping her with them. her garden and home were every bit as magical (maybe more so!) than you portrayed. she was indeed a treasure. i still have a letter with little drawing she sent me after the visit. very treasured memories.

  • I got a corgi for my sons when they were little and that’s how I came to know about Tasha Tudor. So many of her illustrations include her beloved dogs.

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