For Rye resident Pam Kindler, “gardening is an ultimate favorite hobby, and bird watching comes close behind.”
By Caitlin Brown
For Rye resident Pam Kindler, “gardening is an ultimate favorite hobby, and bird watching comes close behind.” Lucky for her, these two passions have found a way to gel in her glorious garden perched on a hill on Dogwood Lane. “I love to go outside with a cup of coffee and just look around and think about what I want to do next. I want my garden to always be evolving. Every year, I like to come up with something new,” she says.
Kindler and her family moved to the property in 1988. It was already laden with wonderful rock formations and special trees — the yard has many dogwoods and oaks up to 100 years old — “to dress up with gardens.” And the back of the house provided a spectacular, pristine backdrop: a view of the Apawamis Club golf course.
“When we first moved here, the house was on a rock ledge; it obstructed the view and limited use of the property,” she explained. So, about nine years ago, to make the yard more usable and open up the view/vista, she added a terrace in the back that extends from the house out and is bound by a 40-foot-high rock wall. A beautiful pergola covers a seating area where all can enjoy the amazing landscape below. For Kindler, it’s a great place for her to look down on her cedar wood raised vegetable beds, which she built from a kit she bought online from a company in Oregon.
Kindler leveled off the lower property to make an ideal foundation for the raised vegetable beds (built four years ago). It’s amazing to think a professional did not create this; Kindler modestly describes herself as a self-taught enthusiast who, like most avid gardeners, learns through trial and error and research (she is very astute at finding information on the Internet). She’s also learned through participating and interacting with other enthusiasts: fellow members of The Rye Garden Club and those she has come across as a judge of The Garden Club of America (GCA) flower shows.
The lower backyard garden boasts a wonderful variety of vegetables: bell peppers, eggplant, beets, lima beans, scallions, lots of radishes (she’s a big fan), tomatoes, cucumbers, various lettuces, zucchini, and more. The garden is flanked by raspberry bushes, a peony cutting area, and plants to aid in her next project: attracting butterflies. Kindler has planted parsley and celery to attract Black Swallowtail butterflies and members of the Milkweed family to attract Monarch butterflies.
Butterflies seem a likely extension of her love for beautiful flying things. Bird feeders are everywhere on this property. Plants throughout the property call to hummingbirds and other area-loving birds.
Up the hill in the back, there’s another pergola with a Betty Corning clematis climbing, a gift from the Fort Orange Garden Club — of which Corning was a member — given to Kindler for judging flower arrangements. There is a beautiful border of ostrich ferns to delineate the four-foot wall it borders. From Adirondack lounge chairs, you can look down on the landscape from another angle. There is also a wonderful formation of rocks next to it. “That’s another project,” she says. “I need to do some research on rock-friendly plants.”
At the front of the house birds are everywhere. A surrounding bird-friendly border offers privacy. Here you can find Viburnum, hardy Hibiscus, Joe-Pye Weed, Poppies, and Bee Balm. There are bird feeders and birdbaths and a surrounding border along the beautiful stone front wall. The birds chirping in this sanctuary-like atmosphere are heavenly.