This summer we are breaking grounds on The Fields of Eliot Estate. When we visited the countryside of France in 2019, I was left feeling a sense of home. There was something so magical and familiar when we passed the rolling hills of pasture and stone cottages. In these moments, I knew our hills back home in Amish Country could feel just as inspirational and renewing. My goal since then has been to bring the French countryside to Amish Country!
The Fields of Eliot Estate will be many years in the making but we're super thrilled to give these hay fields a new purpose. We have several hay fields at the family farm and one of the largest is turning into lavender fields and formal gardens.
The Estate, built in 1999 by Taylor's grandparents features beautiful gardens, stone work and mature trees. We hope to help Grandma bring back her gardens that have been overtaken by relentless weeds so she can enjoy the beautiful borders she created years ago. Along the way, we hope to share the renewal and progress with you on our YouTube channel (Eliot Estate).
The Fields will be made up of four quadrants; two for growing lavender and two for formal gardens. The 15' wide walkways connecting all the fields will allow the garden separation necessary and opportunity to host dinners amongst the lavender/formal gardens. I'm envisioning a rose tunnel leading up to a large fountain in the center of all four fields.
The new lavender fields will take several years to establish but at my current design plan, we will have roughly 22 rows of lavender within the two quadrants. Eventually, we plan to open The Fields to the public for harvesting their own bundles, taking photos in the rows and just wandering around for inspiration. We hope to harvest some of the lavender and collaborate with other small business creators to produce products from our lavender. The organic, perennial lavender will consist of Munstead, Hidcote, Sweet Romance, Melissa, Royal Velvet, Folgate, Phenomenal and a handful of others.
The other two quadrants of formal gardens will hold heirloom roses, peonies and whatever else we desire! We hope to harvest peony bundles to locals as well as creating an inspirational place to wander around. At the end of these two fields, a old wood and glass greenhouse that we bought back in 2018 will be situated. This greenhouse will allow us to grow whatever is needed.
Later this summer an 1800’s barn will be moved to the farm which will house production and a dwelling for guests to come experience the renewing and quiet countryside. Imagine rustic timber beams, plastered walls and crystal chandeliers- ultimate European-inspired setting. The dwelling will be a several year project and will host 1-2 bedrooms for couples or friends to come visit. What I find most captivating from the area we live in, is how quiet this countryside really is. The silence and beauty around my gardens allows me to dream and escape. This truly is what I want others to experience and the main reason we're dreaming so big.
We've already broken grounds a month or so ago creating the driveway back to where the barn will be moved. Taylor and my FIL scooped and moved dirt so that the rocks can start to be laid. Jules loves to watch all the big trucks and loves to wave at Papa on the dozer.
The analogy I like to share is how cool it have been to watch the creation of formal gardens like the Biltmore Estate or the Palace of Versailles. These new gardens will take time but as the saying goes, "Rome wasn’t built in one day”… or in our case, “The Palace of Versailles wasn’t built in one day.” We hope you guys are just as excited to follow along in the creation of these fields.