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The Merrill House 1928-1980

Platt, Charles A (Charles Adams) 1861-1933
Landscape architect:
Church, Thomas Dolliver
Shipman, Ellen
Physical description:
1 folder+ 12 35 mm. slides and 4 photoprints
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Washington, King County, Seattle
Washington (State)
The Merrill House (Seattle, Washington)
According to Mrs. Corydon (Eulalie) Wagner, the one acre, European-style garden, was seen at its best when seen from above. A city garden enclosed by high cement walls, it consisted of formal pathways of white pebbles; eight flower beds outlined with dwarf box; and a round pool surrounded by a square qrass bed and parterres. The beds displayed various color schemes of tulips, followed by a "Mille Fleur" perennial garden in the summer. Tea roses were added during the 1920s. After the death of Mrs. Merrill in the 1930s, the family opened the house for charitable organizations, particularly those in which she took an active part. During World War II, Victory Garden vegetables filled in where lilies and holly-hocks grew. The perennial borders were slightly transformed by using annuals, and after the bay trees died in the wooden boxes, they were replaced with tree-tiered topiaries of Ficus. During the 1960s, the Merrill family visited Versailles and its box borders. In order to eliminate the upkeep of the "Mille Fleur" summer garden, Thomas Church designed a box parterre, a miniature version of those at Villandry--eliminating much of Shipman's perennial borders. Kevin Harvey currently plants strongly-shaped and colored perennials into the gravel beds to add year-round interest.
Persons associated with the garden include: Richard Dwight Merrill (former owner, 1910-1964); Eulalie Wagner (former owner, ?-1991); The Merrill Foundation (owners of 1/2 the original property); Charles A. Platt (architect, landscape designer, 1910); Ellen Biddle Shipman (landscape architect, 1915); Thomas Dolliver Church (landscape architect, 1960s); and Kevin Harvey (gardener and designer, 2004).
Two slides copied from Washington State Historical Society collections, Tacoma, Washington; four from Mrs. Corydon Wagner collection; two from Treasury of American Gardens; one from The American Woman's Garden; and three from unknown sources. One photoprint is copy of original 1928 photoprint.
For information or study purposes only. Use and/or copyright restrictions exist. Researcher is responsible for finding copyright ownership for WA012000.
The folders include work sheets, narrative history by Mrs. Corydon (Eulalie) Wagner and copies of articles.
Garden featured in Louise shelton, Beautiful Gardens in America (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1915)
Garden featured in James M. Fitch and F. F. Rockwell, Treasury of American Gardens (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1956), pp. 100-101
Garden featured in Rosemary Verey and Ellen Samuels, The American Woman's Garden (Boston: Little, Brown & Company), pp. 15-16
Garden featured in Valerie Easton, "Designer Original," in Pacific Northwest, The Seattle Times Magazine, 11 July 2004, pp. 34
Repository Loc.:
Smithsonian Gardens, PO Box 37012, Capital Gallery, Suite 3300, MRC 506, Washington, DC 20013-7012
Local number:
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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