2 folders+ 14 35 mm. slides; 3 glass lantern slides
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Illinois, Lake County, Lake Forest
Pirie Garden (Lake Forest, Illinois)
The Pirie Garden was designed by Rose Standish Nichols in the 1920s, although the estate's house had been built in 1904. It is comprised of garden rooms partitioned by pines, yews, and boxwood hedges. Today, a sweeping lawn and container plantings at the front steps hint at what lies beyond: a box-edged parterre, a thyme garden, an urn brimming with roses, and perennials and annuals set against an ancient yew hedge affectionately called "the couch." Other areas include a chapel-like white garden with two reflecting pools and a vine and rose-entwined pergola garden with three exuberant borders surrounding a small pool. In 1998 work began on a walled garden, which now graces the area surrounding the pool house. Wide grass steps, paired rose borders, a linden allée, intricately patterned knot gardens, and four perennial borders are all key elements of this new landscape. In contrast to the softer colors of the perennial beds near the pergola, these borders reflect a stronger palette of red, orange, violet, and blue. Burgundy and silver foliage plants complement the whole scheme. Beyond the walled garden is a wooded ravine. A meandering path traces the ravine's edge beginning at the grass labyrinth and ending in a small glade overlooking the ravine. From this vantage point, a statue of Diana, the huntress, watches over the whole garden.
Persons associated with the property and garden include: John T. Pirie (former owner, 1904-1949); James A. Cathcart (former owner, 1949-1951); Robert E. Wood (former owner, 1951); Lawrence H. Armour, Jr. (former owner, 1952-1988); Benjamin H. Marshall (architect, 1904); Rose Standish Nichols (landscape architect, 1920s); Craig K. Bergmann, landscape designer, 1989); Thomas Bebbe (architect, 1995); Rosemary Verey (garden designer, 1995); Debra Nevins (landscape designer, 1995); and Cliff Miller (naturalist, 2000).
The folders include worksheets, garden plans, and photocopies of an article and other information about the garden.
Garden has been featured in Deborah A. Starr, "Inspirations Past and Present," Horticulture, February 1996, pp. 42-47