Honoring Gordon Hayward

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Every Yellow Barn participant receives a full scholarship—an essential fact that makes the spirit of Yellow Barn live on. During the summer, Yellow Barn audiences join together to ensure the future of the scholarship program and celebrate an individual who shares Yellow Barn’s philosophy. This year Yellow Barn honors landscape artist Gordon Hayward on July 30th with a scholarship benefit dinner and concert, the proceeds of which will underwrite a participant scholarship in his name.

In addition, Gordon and his gardens are the inspiration and setting for Gordon's Garden Music, a new piece by Yellow Barn composer Stephen Coxe that will have its premiere performance in Hayward Gardens at Yellow Barn's gala event "Music in the Garden" on July 20th. (A second performance for the general public will follow on the 21st.)

Ronnie Friedman, former Director of Westminster Cares, offers the following remarks in celebration of these events:

Thirteen years ago, Westminster Cares began a garden tour as a fundraising event. We started small, three or four gardens of our neighbors. We made a little money. The next year, we nervously asked Mary and Gordon Hayward if they would consider having their garden on our tour. They graciously accepted and our small fundraiser became a major event for Westminster Cares and our community. The thousands of dollars we raise every year help support programs such as Meals on Wheels, rides for those in need of transportation, a community nurse and other services that enable Westminster seniors to continue to live independently in their homes in our community. Dozens of local volunteers help support the tour by selling tickets, parking cars, making lemonade and playing music. And some of the people who come to the gardens learn about the work of Westminster Cares and start to volunteer.

Through the Hayward’s connections, we have been able to coordinate the dates of our garden tour with the annual North Hill Symposium. The Symposium brings people to Vermont from all over the country and in turn to our garden tour. It’s no surprise that they come. Over the years Mary and Gordon have created a spectacular garden that is a testament to their horticultural knowledge and most important creativity. In addition to Westminster Cares they generously open their garden to other non-profit groups such as Sandglass Theater, which performs a show aptly named Puppets in Paradise. We’re very fortunate to have Mary and Gordon as such good neighbors.

Gordon Hayward is a nationally recognized garden writer, designer, and lecturer. He wrote for Horticulture Magazine for twenty-five years and lectured with the magazine on nine of their multi-city lecture tours across the United States. He was a contributing editor at Fine Gardening Magazine for six years and the author of eleven books on garden design. With his wife Mary, he has been developing a 1.5-acre garden for the past thirty years around their 240-year-old home in southern Vermont. They also have a tiny garden outside their cottage in the North Cotswold Hills of England where Mary is from.