Jean Nonna’s Fairytale Garden in Pleasantville

Though her property is no larger than one-and-a-quarter acres, Nonna’s lush gardens are packed with a wide variety of carefully curated plants.

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Nobody would guess that Jean and John Nonna’s property is relatively small at one and a quarter acres. But thanks to all that is happening, it has the impact of a much larger panorama. Not only does it weave down the hill with a series of vistas that keep you transfixed, but along the way, the Nonnas have staged creative sculptures and accents to enhance the connoisseur collection of plants. And when Jean Nonna hits sales, she returns repeatedly, ferrying carloads crammed with botanical booty back home. As a result, the storybook garden that Jean Nonna created—with its drama and colorful characters—is the best possible plea for patience. Gardens like this are worth the wait.

Jean and John Nonna’s garden is open to the public through the Garden Conservancy Open Days Program on Saturday, August 10. For more information, go to

With seven acres of gardens and meadows around her home, Tovah Martin shares an obsession with the land. In addition to digging the earth, she writes about gardening organically indoors in her latest book, The Unexpected Houseplant (Timber Press). Plus, she spreads the word, lecturing throughout the region (her schedule can be found at and she blogs at

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