I will never forget my interview with Ann Stookey in May, 2010. Ann was an accomplished floral designer and choral singer, but my interest was in her Chestnut Hill garden. It was unlike any I'd ever seen. It was all green. That sounds pretty boring, and really, how different could it be from most other gardens? Plenty.
Here's how I saw it then: "For too long, green's been disparaged as dull background, like outdoor wallpaper, not considered a color in its own right in the garden. But it can be quietly spectacular, as Stookey's garden will attest. Here, green comes in lime, teal and forest; shiny and matte, and variations in between. It's a subtle and dignified landscape to rest the eyes and calm the nerves. 'It does not draw attention to itself,' says Stookey."
Ann and I had a wonderful time walking around the garden, examining the topiary hydrangea balls and clipped, geometric boxwoods. I remember the huge gray containers and window boxes filled with succulents and black elephant ears. So striking against the Wissahickon schist of her 1863 Victorian home.
Sadly, Ann died suddenly Nov. 6, 2012, in Paris, where she was travelling with her husband, retired Comcast executive Joe Waz (they have one son) and friends. She was only 60, and she is missed by many, including her pals in the Wissahickon Garden Club, which she referred to in our interview as "the mighty Wissahickon."