Frank Cabot - A Tribute

Submitted by Peter George on

As some of you may know, Frank Cabot died on this past Saturday at age 86. Here is a link to a tribute to Frank, written by Panayoti Kelaidis. It's beautiful and reflects the collective debt we all owe to the man Panayoti suggests was "the most eminent gardener of our era, and possibly the greatest gardener America has ever produced."


Submitted by IMYoung on Tue, 11/22/2011 - 06:26

Even far-away Scots folks are aware of Frank Cabot. It is sad to hear of his passing... but what a fine legacy he leaves our world of gardening.

Thank you, Peter for the link from PK and to PK for his link to the Garden Conservancy notice.

Maggi Young

Submitted by Booker on Wed, 11/23/2011 - 03:13

Frank Cabot left a magnificent legacy to New York State and to the USA in the shape of Stonecrop Gardens at Cold Spring.  We were fortunate to visit this superb horticultural creation in the company of Anne Spiegel during our NARGS Eastern Tour in mid-May 2010 and, though our time there was relatively brief, we saw enough to appreciate the breadth and quality of his achievement.  The accompanying images were all captured during those few short hours and at a time of year when the garden was just awakening from a long winter hibernation.

More details of this fascinating garden and its late lamented creator can be found at:-

Submitted by Booker on Wed, 11/23/2011 - 03:17

More images from Stonecrop Gardens, Cold Spring, New York State ...

Submitted by Booker on Wed, 11/23/2011 - 03:21

More images from Stonecrop Gardens, Cold Spring, New York State ...

Submitted by Booker on Wed, 11/23/2011 - 03:24

The final batch of images from Stonecrop Gardens, Cold Spring, New York State ...

Submitted by Tim Ingram on Wed, 11/23/2011 - 06:30

Cliff - what a wonderful set of images of a garden I do not know about, made by a gardener I am sorry to say I had not heard of. It goes to show how parochial some of us Brits are when it comes to gardening (!), and proves my point about the nature of the AGS.

Submitted by Mark McD on Wed, 11/23/2011 - 08:33

MAGNIFICENT!  I regret never having seen the gardens at Cold Springs, all the more reason I'm thankful to you Cliff, for sharing such a fine set of images.

Submitted by McGregorUS on Thu, 11/24/2011 - 07:00

Frank Cabot is one of the most notable of all American gardeners but he and his wife Anne have extended their vision and generosity beyond North America.

One of their major undertakings was their support for Aberglasney and the restoration of the garden. Aberglasney is in southern Wales about 45 minutes drive from the National Botanic Gardens. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of the gardens in general but these pictures show the "Ninfarium". This glassed over the ruined center of the old house and created a series of artificial gorges which provide a habitat for a wide range of ferns and the like. The whole effect is remarkable - you enter from the main building with no view of what you are about to enter - a brilliant vision.

In the general picture of the house (photographed from the rock garden) the glass roof of the Ninfarium can be seen in the center of the building. On the left the walled courtyard garden can be see and beyond the wall is a water garden and a Himalayan valley. All this from what was previously an abandoned house and garden.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 11/24/2011 - 08:45

Wow, what an amazing garden.  I love how it is hidden until one walks through a passage way to be surprised.


Submitted by BalistrieriCarlo on Mon, 11/28/2011 - 07:55

I had the good fortune to meet Frank several years ago and hear him present in Manhattan. It remains to this day one of the best lectures with slides that I've ever seen. Not for content, but for style. He is on my mind when I present a lecture with pictures.

His other great acheivement, the gardens at his home, Les Quatre Vents, in Charlevoix County, Quebec, is memorialized in a book he wrote some years ago titled, "The Greater Perfection." In beautiful and detailed fashion he lays out the history of the construction of one of the continents great gardens.

He was a gardener's gardener, and did some incredible things. Thanks Frank.

Submitted by AllplantsAboard on Mon, 11/28/2011 - 15:05

Visited Les 4 Winds Garden... a few times once with private tour by Frank....What stuck in my mind was that this garden must be hugely expensive but he recommended to us if we wanted to buy statues or ornaments that he looked around and found slightly damaged ones in good condition at a good discount.  There were alpines growing in the crevices of patio stones and real nice ones, also some huge troughs besides the house with collections.

after taking us around I noticed not far off he had a large vegetable garden.. it was claimed by someone that the local nursery main business was looking after his garden.

He offered to take us on a botanical tour of the local area and we followed him.

Frank got to the wooded area and decided that they way to go was through a forest thicket and he separated the brush with his arms and plunged into the thicket. We came to a ridge with a ground cover of kalmia and he grabbed onto one and tried to pull himself up and we ended up pushing him up there and then he pulled us up with his climbing pole.
he stopped to point out various plants and a amelanchier bartramiana which he said he identified as unique. We arrived at the peak and beside a rock he showed us a one foot tall non-native rhodo that he planted some 20  years earlier as an experiment although he knew it was not the thing one normally does. He talked to the locals in french and bought wine at the grocery store and had a ham sandwich for his picnic lunch.

Not far from his Japanese Pavilions he created a water supplemented area for his collection of primula which were his favorite and was said to represent about a quarter of known species.
He consulted with some of the best well know garden designers but ultimately he knew best how to build his gardens.