United States of America, Illinois, Cook County, Evanston
Bent Oaks (Evanston, Illinois)
Although the house on this 1.5-acre site, designed by English-born architect Ernest Mayo, was built in 1909, the current garden has been under development only since 1977. Removal and extensive renovation of existing exterior features preceded a new design highlighted by brick and stone paths, rose and herb gardens, new trees, and extensive plantings of azaleas and rhododendrons. The Ernest Mayo-designed gazebo, which had formerly been a cupola atop the Evanston City Hall, was acquired in 1979. Over the years additional improvements and plantings have been undertaken, with major work occuring in 1992-93 in conjunction with construction of an addition to the house. Additional redesign took place in 1995 and 1999. The garden was featured in the Open Days Program for the Garden Conservancy of America in 1999. From spruce trees to flowering perennials, from oak leaf hydrangea to miniature roses, this garden is characterized by its variety of plantings and its continuous evolution over the years.
Persons and firms associated with the garden include: Edward K. Hardy, Jr., (former owner, 1909-1924); Dr. D. B. Peck (former owner, 1924-1955); Mr. and Mrs. E. I. Hesbol (former owners, 1955-1977); Ernest Mayo (architect, 1909); Lajos Horvath (gardener, 1978-1984); Hennon Carson (gardener, 1984 to date); Bonny Ford (landscape designer, 1999 to date); Intrinsic Design (landscape designers and gardeners, 1978 to date); and ILT Vignocchi (landscape architects and contractors, 1993 to date).
The folder includes a worksheet, a detailed history of the garden, a site plan, and plant lists.