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Meadowburn 1905-2000

Ely, Helena Rutherfurd d. 1920
Physical description:
3 folders+ 26 35 mm. slides
Projected media
United States of America, New York, Orange County, Warwick
New York
New Jersey
Meadowburn (Warwick, New York)
Meadowburn (Vernon, New Jersey)
Meadowburn was the summer home of Helena Rutherfurd Ely, a prominent gardening author who wrote three books at the beginning of the 20th century. Her first book, A Woman's Hardy Garden, is reflected throughout the five acres of gardens she designed at Meadowburn. She has been called the American Gertrude Jekyll, as they both advocated a casually abundant, hardy, no-fuss gardening style. Towards the end of her career as a designer/gardner, Mrs. Ely was more and more drawn to the use of evergreens.
Vernon, New Jersey, Warwick, New York's "sister town" across the state line, is also shown as Meadowburn's location. Meadowburn straddles the border between the two states. According to Helena Ely Rutherfurd Meade's biography of her mother written in 1951, "Meadowburn Farm is mainly in New Jersey, but there is still a good bit of it in the State of New York." Though it is listed in a registration form (1992) for the National Register of Historic Places as being located in Vernon Township, New Jersey, this designation only covered the "significant features of the house and gardens at Meadowburn Farm; five acres, more or less."
Persons and organizations associated with this garden include: Louisa and Mary Rutherfurd (former owners, 1853-1860); John and Charlotte Rutherfurd (former owners, 1860-1881); Helena Rutherfurd Ely (former owner, 1881-1920); Alfred Ely, Jr. (former owner); Charles H. Coster (former owner, 1930-1977); Albert Furman, Sr. (gardener, 1893-1948); Albert Furman, Jr. (gardener (1948-2004); and Kurt Seligman (frog sculpture and fountain pool).
The folder includes worksheets; landscape plans; copies of photographs; copy of biography of Helena Rutherfurd Ely(October 1951); compilation of notes from oral history by Albert Furman, Jr. (1998-2000); and copies of articles and programs.
Garden featured in Helena Rutherfurd Ely, A Woman's Hardy Garden (New York: The MacMillan Company, 1903)
Garden featured in Helena Rutherfurd Ely, "Color Arrangements of Flowers," in Scribner's Magazine, Vol. 47 No. 3, March 1910, pp. 292-301
Garden featured in Ronald J. Dupont, Jr., "Meadowburn Farm: A Flower of American Gardening History," in The North Jersey Highlander Vol. 30 No. 84 (1994), pp. 23-33
Local number:
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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