In 1984, the language of plants, in all their regional dialects and forms, lured Kathy and Chris Tracey into forming Avant Gardens. Living and working from the center of New England, they bring together plants and ideas uniting a rich horticultural past with a developing movement of yet unknown global forms.
For twenty seven years they have given voice to an evolving expression of a landscape that rejoices in all four seasons. The nursery, located in North Dartmouth, MA., sits behind their 18th century farmhouse. With assistance from their many friends, clients and dedicated staff, they acquire plants from all over the globe. Home gardeners and professionals travel to this off-the-beaten-track nursery to discover those plant treasures unavailable in the mass horticultural market. Here, the lines, colors, forms and songs of 12 months are sung in a rehearsed spontaneity, whimsical and playful, but skillfully practiced. The composition has some familiar players but foreign progressions and distant melodies arranged by an enthusiastic horticultural ensemble.
Designs and installations are cued to client’s lifestyles. Plants and stone, central in their designs, are embraced to build outdoor spaces correspondent to each site with its existing structures. Through developing an open dialog with clients, Avant Gardens creates landscapes that are intimate expressions of their owners. The engagement of all the players is expressed in process and product. The result is delight and promise, embodied in the dynamic course of plant growth and the changing seasonal expressions of the garden.
From the inside-out, Kathy and Chris Tracey