United States of America, New Jersey, Somerset County, Peapack-Gladstone, Gladstone
Bamboo Brook (Gladstone, New Jersey)
Formerly known as Merchiston Farm, this property was purchased in 1911 by William and Martha Brookes Hutcheson. Martha Brookes Hutcheson, a landscape architect who was educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was made a fellow of the American Association of Landscape Architects in 1935, designed and planted the ca. five-acre gardens adjacent to the house. A natural pond enclosed by native plants, a vegetable garden, flower borders, orchards, allees, and a quadrangle of farm buildings, were sited to emphasize vistas and axes, all intimately related to the house. The overall design was influenced by classical Italian gardens, but incorporated American plant material and detail. In addition, Hutcheson valued gardens not only as a repository for plants, but as a place where birdsong, the hum of insects, and the sound of water could provide inspiration and tranquility. The Morris County Park Commission acquired the property in 1972 and renamed it Bamboo Brook. It is now an outdoor education center, but its greater significance lies in its being the only personal garden of an early woman landscape architect that remains intact.
Persons associated with the property include: Frederick Hunnel and heirs (former owners, mid-1700s-1854); William Hutcheson (former owner, 1911-1959); Martha Brookes Hutcheson (former owner and landscape architect, 1911-1959); Mr. and Mrs. C. McKim Norton (former owners, 1959-1972); David Hendershot (contractor, ca. 1914); George Temple (farmer); and Herbert Hannah (gardener and preservationist, 1947-1970s).
The folders include worksheets, garden plans, photocopies of photographs of the garden, photocopies of articles about the garden, and a brochure describing the outdoor education center, including a site plan and plant descriptions.
Garden has been featured in The Newsletter of The Garden Conservancy, Vol. 12, No. 1 (Winter 2001), pp. 1+