United States of America, Pennsylvania, Montgomery County, Gladwyne
Phyllis Williams' Garden (Gladwyne, Pennsylvania)
This two-acre garden, no longer extant, began its development in 1946 on a site with a striking Bauhaus modern house and many good trees: dogwoods, large beeches (one 150 years old), and oaks, including a 300-year-old white oak. Then-owner Phyllis Williams enrolled in courses to learn how best to garden on the site and she and her husband John hired landscape architect Frederick W. G. Peck to design a flagstone terrace with widely sweeping steps on the back side of the house. A 60 x 11 foot perennial border was laid out, thousands of bulbs were planted under a magnificent old beech tree, and the Williams's developed beds, drifts and masses of unusual trees, shrubs, and perennials in various combinations all over the property. Architect Henry Myrick was hired to design the ultimate tool shed on the site of a former chicken house. A hands-on gardener who won many horticultural awards, Phyllis Williams espoused double-digging and amending soil with compost and kept a microscope on her kitchen counter to examine bugs and leaves. Among the garden's features were a lacebark pine (Pinus bungeana) propagated from seed and a greenhouse full of prize-winning orchids. The property was sold around 2002, most of the plant material was removed, and the house and tool shed destroyed.
Persons associated with the garden include Phyllis and John Williams (former owners, 1946-2002); Robert Brown (architect, 1938); Frederick W. G. Peck (landscape architect, 1955); and Henry Myrick (architect, 1963).
The folder includes worksheets, site plans with plant names, a detailed description of the garden, a plant list with garden locations, photocopied images and photocopies of articles by Phyllis Williams, and other information.