United States of America, Connecticut, Litchfield County, Washington
Red Mill Farm (Washington, Connecticut)
This 22-acre garden site consists of a series of informal gardens and natural areas in a rural setting. Development of the current garden dates only to 1991, but previous owners of the property contributed significantly to its overall design and plantings and to the preservation of the ca. 1840 farmhouse and the historic red sawmill that gives the property its name. Today, intimate spaces on changing levels around the house and conservatory, paved with local granite, feature tropical and half-hardy container plants and vines along with roses and perennials. Fieldstone steps and walls delineate specific areas. A curving sunny border below the house is backed by a stone wall topped with a picket fence. Drifts of spring bulbs are planted under trees, while sweeping lawns drop to the sawmill area, where native plants, wildflowers, and a wet garden border the millpond and waterways. To the southeast ferns outline a rustic grape arbor. A vista north of the house leads through the circle garden enclosed by mature evergreens to a shady glen.
Persons associated with the garden include: Captain Gideon Hollister, II (former owner, 1750-1803); Gideon Hollister (former owner, 1803-1844); Almon D. Galpin (former owner, 1844-1876); Edward Wallace Fenn (former owner, 1876-1926); Clarence L. Richmond (former owner, 1926-1936); Bonnell W. Clark (former owner, 1936-1952); Sidney and Beatrice Hessel (former owners, 1952-1991); Billie Haas (garden designer, 1953); Steve Solley (historical advisor, 1993); Charles Boucher (contractor, 1993); Jim Kriker (millwright, 1993); Emilio Sinapoli (stonemason, 1993 to date); and Christine (Tina) Burlingham Dodge (landscape designer and horticulturist, 1993 to date).
The folder includes a worksheet with site plan, two summaries of interviews and one narrative reminiscence about the site and its history, a chronology of the history of the sawmill located on the site, photocopied narratives of the sawmill's history, copies of photographs of the site in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, and photocopies of related correspondence.