United States of America, Vermont, Bennington County, Manchester
Glebelands (Manchester, Vermont)
The term "glebe land," from which this garden takes its name, means land owned by a church, and the owner of this property pays a yearly glebe rent to Zion Episcopal Church. Pockets of glebe land (many of which still exist) throughout the village of Manchester and on nearby Mt. Equinox, when rented out in the 18th and 19th centuries for grazing, provided revenue for the church. A focal point for the property today is a 100-yard long marble dam, which dates from the 1840s when the property was a marble mill. It now provides water for the lower swimming pond. The hillside across the upper pond is all marble chips and displays a host of daffodils in the spring. The shell fountain in the secret garden is fed by the waterfall from the dam. The formal garden was started in the 1930s and is entered through the orchard, which is underplanted with naturalized narcissus. Ornaments of diverse origin are encountered, including marble balls that were the tops of gateposts at "Avalon," the Princeton, New Jersey, home of the theologian and hymn-writer Henry Van Dyck, and which were liberated by the owner's mother when that property was torn down. An Italian marble table and wrought iron gates and grilles came from New Orleans, while a wrought iron arc, originally a fanlight, was salvaged from a demolished bank in New York City. The small pool of Portuguese tile at the end of the peony allee is known as "Polly's bathtub," and is where the owner's mother cooled herself after gardening. Flower beds are edged with bricks removed from a heart-shaped patio once found in front of a large rock. The succulents in the patio were put on the rock and compete with moss for survival. The marble walls which contain the formal beds were built in the 1950s. The caisson housing the bubble fountain is what remained after a marble column had been extracted. The caissons were used as culverts on local roads and here have been cut in half to make garden seats. Richard Olcott, F.A.I.A., designed the reflecting pool in 1995.
Persons associated with the garden include: Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Carver (former owners, 1892-1913); Mr. and Mrs. William Prettyman (former owners, 1913-1921); Joseph Leiter and Franklin Remington (Carver trustees, 1921-1923); Mr. and Mrs. William Powers (former owners, 1923-1929); Mr. and Mrs. George Hardy (former owners, 1929-1931); Mr. and Mrs. Anton G. Hardy (former owners, 1931-1985); and Richard M. Olcott (architect, 1995).
The folder includes a worksheet, narrative description of the garden, and a garden plan.