WA­TER MU­SIC

THROUGH ADDING A SE­RIES OF PONDS TO HER PROP­ERTY, A SUB­UR­BAN GAR­DENER COMES TO AP­PRE­CI­ATE THE POWER OF WA­TER TO NUR­TURE NA­TURE— AND HER SOUL.

Country Gardens - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - WRIT­TEN AND PRO­DUCED BY TOVAH MARTIN PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY ROB CARDILLO

One pond led to many oth­ers on Phillis War­den’s sprawl­ing prop­erty—with de­light­ful re­sults.

Asked what it is about wa­ter that ap­peals to her,

Phillis War­den doesn’t have to think twice: “It’s the sound,” she says. On her and hus­band John’s 7-acre prop­erty, 11 man-made ponds, one nat­u­ral body of wa­ter, and many foun­tains pro­vide wa­ter mu­sic in sur­round sound. The whole scene is land­scaped al­most en­tirely with na­tive trees, shrubs, and peren­ni­als.

Forty years ago, the War­dens rented a farm­house in Bed­ford Hills, New York, to es­cape the city. They fell in love with the lo­ca­tion and jumped at an op­por­tu­nity to pur­chase the tiny house on a sin­gle acre next door. Some years later an ad­ja­cent 6 acres—with a nat­u­ral pond— came up for sale, and their prop­erty ex­panded. That’s when Phillis be­gan her love af­fair with all things wet and watery. But adding more ponds to the woodsy prop­erty wasn’t part of the plan un­til the day Phillis, driv­ing around the neigh­bor­hood, hap­pened to no­tice a lit­tle wa­ter gar­den in a front yard. Not par­tic­u­larly shy, she stopped the car and struck up a con­ver­sa­tion with the home­owner. It turned out that he made it him­self and was will­ing to try his hand at do­ing some­thing sim­i­lar on her prop­erty. So he dug a hole, in­serted a lin­ing, and

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