United States of America, Ohio, Cuyahoga County, Shaker Heights
Marting Residence (Shaker Heights, Ohio)
This .75-acre garden site was the Van Sweringen Land Company's lot #27 in the planned community of Shaker Heights, Ohio. Built for Mr. Wilbur Brooks in 1927, the house was designed by noted architect Monroe Copper (Dunn & Copper) and the original site plan was produced by Alexander & Strong, a well-known firm of landscape architects and town planners. The lily pool at the north end of the lot (large for Shaker Heights lots) was built in 1927. It holds approximately 2,750 gallons of water. Space was set aside on the eastern side of the property for flower borders, edged by hedges and divided by a walk. No plant material was specified on the blueprint. In 1937, Margaret Eaglesfield Bell produced a detailed blueprint for an evergreen, perennial and rose garden for the second owner, Mrs. Chester Brooks. Little is known about Bell, although she may have lived in Shaker Heights. Bell's blueprint replaced the original Alexander & Strong design. The spaces were divided into a series of three "rooms," separated by privet hedges, and bisected by a turf path set with stepping stones. The evergreen garden contained azalea, deutzia, and spring bulbs. The perennial bed combined such perennials as anemone, aquilegia, Arabis alpina, Dicentra spectabilis, eupatorium, lilies, iris, and peonies, among others. Several annuals such as ageratum and pansies were suggested as well. The color scheme was predominantly purple, pink and white. The formal rose garden contained hybrid teas bordered by teucrium, interplanted with spring bulbs. Each quadrant of the garden contained two Viburnum carlesi and a deutzia. In the center, a bird bath was underplanted with English ivy.
At the time the current owners purchased the house in 1988, the garden had undergone several decades of neglect. The perennial bed had been plowed under, and was adjacent to several large elms which shaded the area extensively. The rose garden shape remained, as did the ivy bed in the center. Only one rose bush remained. The evergreen garden was essentially a mix of ivy, pachysandra and myrtle. In the center of the yard, two large, dead elm trees predominated, and in their place the owner has created a large perennial bed with the help of gardener Joseph Simonelli. The predominant color scheme is once again purple, white and pink, with iris, peonies, lilies, chelone, roses, liatris, chrysanthemum, tradescantia, columbine, phlox, amsonia, Japanese anemone, Acanthus mollis, and Acanthus spinosus among others. The lily pond has been restored to working order, and a biofilter and pump have been installed. The hemlocks surrounding the pool cut down on the necessary light, so the lilies bloom only moderately well. Future plans include restoration of the rose garden, half of which is currently a garden where the owner's children grow vegetables and experiment. Throughout the property the owner is attempting to use the same kinds of flowers that were in the Bell design, even if they are not in the same location.
Persons associated with the garden include: Wilbur Brooks (former owner, 1928-ca. 1937); Mrs. Chester K. Brooks (former owner, ca. 1937-?); Mr. and Mrs. Hancock (former owners); Mr. and Mrs. Paul Fritsche (former owners); Mr. and Mrs. Roger Noall (former owners, before 1988); Alexander & Strong (landscape architects, 1927); Margaret Eaglesfield Bell (landscape architect, 1937); Dorothy W. Elliott (landscape designer, 1993); Alexander A. Apanius (landscape designer, 1995 to date); and Joseph Simonelli (gardener, 1988 to date).
The folder includes a worksheet and abbreviated garden plan.