In 2003, Jennifer Colao and her husband bought a fixer-upper in lower Westchester and embarked on an almost decade-long renovation of the house and garden. Inspired by the property’s heritage as the home and garden of a well-known garden writer in the early part of the 20th century, Jennifer reworked the entire property over a number of years (and continues to work on it!).

Along the way, she took numerous classes at the New York Botanical Garden, attended garden lectures, visited and studied many famous gardens, and read extensively about plants, trees, and shrubs, and their care. Jennifer formed Lilac Garden Design llc after fielding many requests from friends and neighbors to help them renew or recreate their own gardens. Jennifer is a graduate of Smith College, where she first encountered Monet’s gardens at Giverny in art history classes, and the University of Virginia Law School where she learned critical thinking and problem solving skills that it turns out are applicable not only in the practice of law but also to garden design.

My garden is my
most beautiful masterpiece.

Claude Monet