friends of garden





get involved

The Garden of Ideas is located

in Ridgefield, Connecticut, approximately one hour

north of New York City.




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Untitled, by David Gelfman

Eight acres of marsh, woodland, meadow and vegetable plots coalesce to form the Garden of Ideas.  Come enjoy an arboretum-like collection of plants (trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, vegetables, tropicals) amidst a unique array of original garden art.     The Garden was  conceived and is maintained to create beautiful garden spaces, grow interesting plants well, minimize unnecessary landscape maintenance, provide animal habitats, and produce an abundance of nutrient dense food crops.  

Founders Joseph Keller and Ilsa Svendsen work to realize this vision for many years.   Since 2005, Keller has continued with the assistance of a not-for-profit organization called the Friends of Garden of Ideas.     Please come and take a stroll.   If you have children, check out our self-directed adventure programs.

Four seasons of interest make repeated visits desirable.   The trip is suitable for all ages, young and old.  

The garden includes a natural marsh, which is fed by overflow from Lake Mamanasco.   Water levels in the marsh fluctuate greatly.    Some interesting animals and plants are present due to this unusual and changing water feature.   Of particular note, is an annual crop of Zizania aquatica (wild rice).

About the Design:  All features were designed and created by founders Joseph Keller and Ilsa Svendsen.   For more info, visit: