Have you ever just lucked into a great spot down a dirt road in New Hampshire or Vermont? My husband and I did this weekend. We headed out for a light hike in the White Mountains that we promised would end with a trip to Fat Bob’s (Read more about Fat Bob’s) and a child-size cone. That all went as planned.
On the way back home, down RT 25 towards Wentworth, we saw a sign for “Japanese Gardens” and we decided to venture off the beaten path, turning right and meandering down a dirt road until we came to a sign for Shin-Boku Stroll Garden and Nursery. Well, after our White Mountain hike, a stroll sounded just perfect. We turned in and parked.
Right alongside the dirt road was a Japanese inspired garden with large stones, moss, granite lanterns, bridges of all kinds, rocks and amazing, one-of-a-kind trees. Amazing.
BTW, here is what their website says about the Stroll:
“This section of Garden building will go on for years but at this point it is about 70% complete. It is planned that there will be two more different garden bridges and a Machi-ai, a covered resting bench, for reflection and garden viewing. One of the yet-to-be-built bridges will be an “Earthen” bridge, one of perhaps 10 in this country. Stay tuned.
You are cordially invited to visit. Please call in advance if you would like a guide: (603) 764-9993.”
Palmer Koelb, the nursery’s owner and visionary happened to drive up as we were headed back to our car. When we expressed an interest, he volunteered to give us a tour of the nursery where everything originates. The nursery was actually started some 40 years ago in Massachusetts, but was relocated to Wentworth in 1986. There’s more info on the website that details the layout and history of the nursery.
The Shin-Boku hosts a pruning class in the Fall that sounds fascinating. The class is taught by Japanese-trained arborist, Doug Roth of The Journal of Japanese Gardening, and his Japanese-born wife, Tamao Goda. The class uses trees throughout the Shin-Boku property to give you hands-on pruning experience.
What a find this place was for us! I highly recommend it and the random drive down a New England dirt road. You never know where it might take you.