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Our 26 year old "Cotton-Arbo retum" is 1/2 acre of intensely planted garden rooms, linked by a series of sunken paths, ponds and waterfalls. foliage guides the aesthetic, with great emphasis on j.maples, conifers, deciduous trees and shrubs.Herbaceous peonies and non-bearded iris have a strong presence in the perennials, accompanied by other perennials, vines and ornamental grasses with particular foliage appeal.The repetition of yellow foliage and purple foliage is everpresent to keep the eye engaged.

The Cotton-Arbo retum is open to the public, sunrise to sunset, daily, May through October.
597 Washington St. 01890

(handout at entrance):

We moved to Winchester and began this garden in 1987. Aside from an evergreen hedge, and various mature maples and conifers, nothing that you now see - was here.
There were no fences and the back of our property was a wild woodland of junk trees and scrub. We began our landscape design by laying out garden beds that were visible from key viewpoints in our house.

As new gardeners, our interest was in perennial plants, particularly peonies , siberian iris and daylilies. Our property had a variety of sun and shade situations and we dove into researching the vast world of Zone 5 -hardy perennials. We joined the Mass.Horticultural Society and The Garden Conservancy, subscribed to Horticulture and Fine Gardening magazines, attended many classes and workshops, and visited as many gardens as possible. And we learned volumes from garden owners, teachers, classmates and vendors.

After three years of intense garden development, our gardens were awarded the "Best in Show" prize in an amateur gardeners competition sponsored by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and Boston Magazine. For our prize, we were sent to Holland, where, at Trompenberg, we discovered the wonderful world of conifers. This life-changing experience took us out of our perennials focus and raised our vision, literally and figuratively, so that we began to emphasizee the bones of our gardens- with conifers, shrubs and trees.

Visiting private and public arboretums and gardens in New England, the Pacific Northwest and England, we further developed our passion for these plants, particularly for Japanese maples, dwarf conifers and variegated trees and shrubs. Ever aware of the peaceful influence of running water in the garden, we put in a number of fountains and built a series of waterfall/ponds- to mask the traffic noise and provide some quiet sitting spots. Over the years, various pieces of garden art, quirky, beautiful or funny, have found their way in and taken up residence.

If this is your first visit, you will be surprised how different the gardens look from one week to the next. In the spring, perennials are short, there are many empty spots, and the gardens have a much more open feeling. You can see from one area to the next. In the summer, plants grow taller and fill in so that the various gardens become their own garden rooms. Fences disappear and flowering vines ramble over railings,walls and obelisks. By September, the plants are at their tallest,highlighted by the many ornamental grasses.

Things we hope you will notice: The role of purple foliage , yellow foliage and variegated foliage in keeping your eyes entertained; The role of varying heights in a garden bed; The role of hidden elements and glimpses of vistas - in drawing you into the various garden areas; The role of water elements; The roles of garden art and architecture. We are so glad you have come to share our gardens. Please bring friends and come back often. **And remember- When you see a gate, open it and explore!!**

May 2005
The Way To Have What We Want Is To Share What We Have


New England:
Mahoneys Rocky Ledge,Winchester,Ma.
Stonegate Gardens,Lincoln
Cavicchio Greenhouses, Sudbury
Alan Haskell , New Bedford
Katsura Gardens, Plymouth
Seawright Gardens, Carlisle
Tranquil Lakes Nursery, Rehoboth
Leo Blanchette, Carlisle
Sylvan Nurseries, South Dartmouth
Avant Gardens, South Dartmouth
Weston Nurseries, Hopkinton
Newbury Perennials, Newbury
Russells Garden Center, Sudbury
Corliss Brothers Nursery, Ipswich
Garden in the Woods, Framingham
Longhill , Ipswich
The Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain
New England Nursery, Bedford
Northeast Nursery,Peabody
Completely Clematis, Ipswich
Lexington Gardens, Lexington
Dorans Greenhouses,Lexington
Windy-Lo, Wayland
Betsy Ewing, Bonnie Brown, Judy Brain, Byron Getchell,
Carolyn Ward, Mary MacIntosh, Thalia Avila,Susan Dumaine,Mrs.Stanford Durand

Broken Arrow Nursery, Hamden,Ct.
Olivers, Fairfield,Ct.
Variegated Plants Nursery,Eastford,Ct.
Perennials by Susan, Amherst,N.H.
Rocky Dale Gardens, Bristol, Vt.
Cadys Falls Nursery, Cadys Falls, Vt.

Heronswood Nursery ,
ForestFarm, Greer Gardens, Gosslers
Plant Delights Nursery , Fairweather Gardens , Collectors Nursery, Ferncliff Gardens
Kurt Bloemel ,Carroll Gardens, Roslyn Nursery, Big Dipper Nursery, Klehms
Karchovsky Cannas ,Avant Gardens,
Scheepers, Van Bourgondien, Van Engelen


VIBURNUM SARGENTII ONONDAGA lg. Shrub, wonderful maroon bracts and maroon tinged spring foliage
VIB PLICATUM VAR. TOMENTOSUM SHASTA layered branches,lg wh. flat flower heads
and SHOSHONE (like small Shasta)
VIB. SUMMER SNOWFLAKE blooms all summer, flat white flower heads
V. PINK DAWN v. early small pink blooms

CORNUS: all are large shrubs except the mini
C. ALBA AUREO MARGINATA VARIEGATA- great bold med dk gn leaves w/ bold wide white edges
CORNUS MIDWINTER FLAME stems coral to flame in winter; fall fol. Color warm yellow/suffused w/ coral
CORNUS AUREA yellow summer foliage
C. GOUTCHALTII med dk gn leaves w/ wide bold yellow edge
CORNUS MINI VARIEG like alba aureo marg. var. but small- 2globe.

lg. heart shaped med gn. leaves w/ clean yellow edge, stay on late in fall.
Dies to ground and sprouts anew every yr.

DAPHNE X BURKWOODII CAROL MACKIE small shrub, small dark gn lves w/ cream edge, sweet smelling spring pink bell flowers

DEUTZIA GRACILIS NIKKO small compact shrub
covered w/dainty white spring bells
ELEAGNUS UMBELLATA -lgshrub, silver foliage

FORSYTHIA x INTERMEDIA AUREA- small fountain of small bright yellow foliage through season
F. KUMSON - med.gn.foliage w/ strong white veining

BERBERIS HELMONDS PILLAR - small ( to 4hx12"w) columnar , burgundy foliage
B. RUBY GLOW - burgundy foliage med globe
B. AUREA - medium, SLOW growing compact globe , yellow leaves

COTINUS COGGYGRIA GRACE lg. Shrub, smoky blue- green- plum foliage
C.COG. ROYAL PURPLE med to lg shrub, burg. foliage, likes dry, exc. drainage
C. COG. AUREA yellow leaved, slow growing.

PHILADELPHUS AUREA - med. size shrub, small yellow foliage all season

PRUNUS X CISTENA - med to lg shrub,small maroon leaves

DISANTHUS CERCIDIFOLIUS -med to lg shrub .heart shaped leaves,
wine red fall foliage

CARYOPTERIS _DARK KNIGHT - small loose fountain of deep blue racemes_

BUDDLEIA ELLENS BLUE -med to lg shrub, good saturated blue/lav.flower wands
BUDDLEIA DARK KNIGHT - dk. ppl. wands

HYDRANGEA QUERCIFOLIA SNOWFLAKE flat dbl. blossom heads of
wh. flow. w/ yell. centers
HYDRANGEA KYUSHU - V. late blooming, loose white flower heads

SYRINGA VARIEGATA - med. to lg size, green foliage splashed w/yellow
SYRINGA SENSATION - (flowers of dk.ppl.rimmed w/white)

CALYCANTHUS - small sweet smelling maroon flowers

CALLICARPA PROFUSION - med to lg shrub,fall wands of small med ppl. berries


CORYLOPSIS SPICATA v early spring light yellow bell flower racemes

VITEX AGNUS-CASTUS lg shrub, similar to buddleia in habit, blooms V.LATE(oct/nov); v.wonderful fragrant foliage. Dies to ground in winter and resprouts from base in spring.

WEIGELA FLORIDA VARIEGATA lg shrub, med gn leaves w/ wide bright yellow edge
WEIGELA FLORIDA MIDNIGHT WINE mini, varieg.burgundy foliage

KERRIA VARIEGATA - small fountain of serrated green leaves w/ white edge

NEILLIA SINENSIS -a fountain of coral flower racemes in e.june,
delicate serrated leaves

CHAENOMELIS -bright cup shaped salmon,orange or pink spring bloom

HAEMAMELIS late winter small raggedy blooms- yellow to orange/red

ILEX WINTER RED profuse red berries in fall/winter

AUREA (yellow foliage)
AESCULUS PAVIA lg shrub w/handsome 5 part leaves and
large bright salmon flower panicles



A New Convert To Spring; May 4th 2006 in the Cotton-Arbo retum.
Z.5, Boston area.

It may seem strange to most of you, but as a lifelong gardener, I think I have just come, this year, to really appreciate Spring in the gardens. It must be the glass half-empty syndrome, but previous to this year,I was always impatient for the real gardening season to get going. Maybe its the collective impact of a large and diverse finally-established collection, but I have finally seen the light. And like many types of converts, I want to Testify!! First of all, the visual field is not as dense as it is post-spring. Individual trees, shrubs, perennials, visually STAND OUT more. They havent yet been enveloped by the plantings around them.

Aside from the obvious bulbs blooming, here are most of the wondrous plants in which I am reveling. They are pretty much all about FOLIAGE. From the ground up to the sky, my eyes are filled with patches of yellow, purple, orange, blue, green, and variegation- in hundreds of different shapes, sizes, and permutations.

Trees: The Japanese Maples are the Queens- every possible color, and big patches of it. Even the green ones stand out beautifully because every green is different and also because of the hanging bright red seed/flower panicles that grace every Jap.Maple this time of year // Acer Negundo Kellys Gold simultaneously has its very yellow foliage and its drooping butter yellow flowers. And its right next to the deep Purple foliage of the Purple Leaf Plum tree// Prunus Kwanzan is just beginning bloom and Prunus Hallie Jolivette is still covered with long lasting dainty pendulous light pink flowers.The white and salmon Cornus Floridas have my very favorite of spring tree flowers.// Equal in my devotion are the Aeschulus Pavia. Their salmon red leaf sheaths, equivalent to a first flowering, are just fading as their stout upright salmon red flower stalks are getting ready to pop.// The dainty variegated foliage of Zelkova , Cornus Alternifolia and Liquidambar Styrac. Silver King, and the bolder splashy variegation and emerging flat flower heads of the Cornus Controversa// deep purple foliage of nascent Cercidiphyllum Red Fox and Fagus Sylv. Red Obelisk//Bright yellow of Metasequoia Ogon.

Conifers: how handsomely they stand out with their solid shapes of all versions of yellow, blue, and green.

Shrubs and Vines: Viburnums!!: Mohawk and Sweet Spice are blooming, Onondaga has outed its emerging maroon flowers; Aureas golden foliage is glowing.The tiny new Sino Calycanthus Hartledge Wine has its first maroon bloom. // Forsythias: assorted variegateds, and aurea, fully leafed out// Daphne Carol Mackie, my favorite but
most-often -lost shrub, all leafed out and beginning bloom// Spirea Gold Flame has its salmon/rust tinged gold foliage- so enjoyable without its later clashing fuschia flowers.//Pieris jap.Mountain Fires bright red new foliage and drooping ivory flower panicles// the glorious yellow foliage of that form of: Philadelphus , Physocarpus , Cornus Alba , Forsythia,Sambucus Sutherland Gold, Weigela, Berberis//gold- green leaved Kerria profusely blooming its single cream colored upturned flowers, in significant shade; the dainty leaved fountains of variegated Kerria with buttercup-yellow single flowers, in shade// the dainty pink pompoms of flowering Almond//
those high-impact large flowered salmon and multi-colored Quince with their month-long bloom period // the splashed yellow/green heart shaped leaves of Syringa Acubifolia Dappled Dawn// the small leaved, deep green/clear yellow variegation of Acanthopanix and Cornus Alba Goutchaltii, and green and white variegation of the red twigged Cornus Alba Ivory Halo and Elegantissima// the emerging light yellow/green variegation of varieg. mini and regular Weigela; the deep purple foliage of assorted Barberries, Weigela Summer Wine, Physocarpus Diablo , Sambucus Black Beauty, Purple leaf Sand Cherry,the just-emerging Cotinus Grace and Royal Purple// Vines: purple tinged Lonicera and deep purple emerging foliage of Clematis Recta Frieda; various yellow/green boldly-variegated Euonymus.

Perennials: The glorious aurea foliage of that form of: Dicentra, Centaurea , Stachys, Heuchera, Hakonechloa, Tradescantia , Carex Acorus, Lysimacia numularia.// brilliant blue flowers and silver spotted leaves in shade, of Pulmonaria HighDown? and Bertram Anderson? //Epimediums- thank heavens for these dry -shade tolerant dainties with their rust-variegated hearty shaped leaves and their shooting star flowers of white,pale yellow, cerise, etc.// various variegated silver and green leaved Lamium and Brunnera Jack Frost // Bright blue flowers of tiny mat-forming Veronia repens?Georgia Blue// large upright pink and white flower panicles of stately Dicentra// assorted white and red flowered Trillium, some with beautiful leaf variegation// felty green heart shaped foliage of Saruma Henryii with buttercup yellow flowers// the emerging salmon and white foliage of Fallopia Varieg.// purple-chevroned leaves of Tovara and Geranium Samobar// the emerging long-lasting yellow cushions of Euphorbia Polychroma// the deep purple foliage of Euphorbia Chameleon , Anthriscus, Cryptotaenia Jap. Atropurpurea, Cimicifuga Hillside Black Beauty,Lysimachia Atropurp., Eupatorium Chocolate,assorted Heuchera // the purple flush of emerging Japanese Painted Fern, Peonies, Astilbe// Yellow and green striped short Bamboo //the bold cream and green variegation of Liriope var., and the useful verticals of Hosta Fluctuans Variegata, Yucca Golden Sword, and Iris Pallida varieg.

So, I guess I have a lot to testify about. It is truly an eye- popping time here, and I am thrilled with Spring. Come visit!
Best, Mindy

I live in: United States

My zone is: z5 ,WinchstrMA

First registered on May 26, 2004 .