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Pitney Farm 1968-1997

Former owner:
Pitney, Jonathan
Pitney, James
Pitney, Desiah Thompson
Pitney, Mahlon
Pitney, Rebecca Chidester
Pitney, Mahlon, II
Pitney, Lucetta Cooper
Pitney, Henry Cooper
Pitney, Sarah Halsted
Pitney, John O. H
Pitney, Roberta Ballantine
Pitney, Robert H
Landscape architect:
Fiske, Howard
Landscape designer:
Stufano, Marco Polo
McNally, John
Physical description:
3 folders+ 19 35 mm. slides; 25 photoprints; 25 negatives
Type:
Mixed archival materials
Place:
United States of America, New Jersey, Morris County, Mendham
New Jersey
Mendham
Pitney Farm (Mendham, New Jersey)
Date:
1977
1977-1997
1968-1997
Notes:
This 12-acre site is what remains of a property that once included as many as 740 acres. Ten generations of the Pitney family have owned or occupied the farm since its acquisition around 1722. An 1854 oil painting of the farm depicts the farmhouse and outbuildings along with a fenced garden. This garden space remains relatively unchanged today and serves as a cutting garden. John O. H. and Roberta Ballantine Pitney, who owned the property from 1911 to 1942, laid much of the groundwork for the current gardens. They restored and enlarged the house and built a gazebo, tennis court, and swimming pool. Many of their early tree and shrub plantings still thrive today. During the 1930s a brick-walled garden was added to the west side of the property. During the 1960s the currrent owners added two gardens directly outside the home. The first was a St. Francis garden, with a small circular fountain pond adorned by a statue of St. Francis and surrounded by plantings such as azaleas and rhododendrons. The second, an enclosed "breakfast room garden" on the east side of the house, features ornamental trees and shrubs, including an espaliered dogwood Cornus kousa and a Rhododendron carolinianum. The current owners have also transformed the walled garden into a rock garden, built raised beds in the vegetable garden, added a wild flower and native plant walk outside the walled garden, and planted more than 5,000 seedlings. With its 250-year-old maple tree alleĢe, three fruit orchards, and numerous specimen tree and shrub plantings, Pitney Farm is an important arboretum property as well as an American-style garden.
Persons associated with the garden include: Jonathan Pitney (former owner, 1720s-1771); James and Desiah Thompson Pitney (former owners, 1771-1802); Mahlon and Rebecca Chidester Pitney (former owners, 1802-1834); Mahlon (2nd) and Lucetta Cooper Pitney (former owners, 1834-1863); Henry Cooper and Sarah Halsted Pitney (former owners, 1863-1911); John O. H. and Roberta Ballantine Pitney (former owners, 1911-1942); Robert H. Pitney (former owner, 1942-1944); Howard Fiske (landscape architect, 1966); Marco Polo Stufano (landscape designer, 1985); and John McNally (landscape designer, 1985).
Summary:
The folders include worksheets, garden plans, a narrative history of the property, photoprints, photocopies of articles about the garden, and additional information.
Publications:
Garden has been featured in "A Portfolio of Seven Pleasure Gardens as Unique as Seven Species of Flowers," House and Garden Garden Guide, 1975, p. 46
Garden has been featured in Fran Wood, "Pitney Farm," New Jersey Monthly, May 1985, pp. 76-84
Topic:
Gardens
Local number:
NJ074000
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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