United States of America, Massachusetts, Bristol County, South Dartmouth
Ferry House Garden, The (South Dartmouth, Massachusetts)
The Ferry House and its gardens are situated on an isthmus facing Buzzards Bay on the south, the Slocum's River on the west, and the Little River on the east. The house was built in the 1760s, served as a tavern for (among others) mariners awaiting a favorable tide in the nearby cove, and as a station on the Underground Railroad. As a working farm, the property provided enrichment to the soil in the current garden from the numbers of animals both living there and passing through over time. The first formal Ferry House garden was designed by former owners Mr. and Mrs. St. John Webb, who filled the space with specimen boxwood as well as boxwood parterres. New owners in the 1970s commissioned landscape designers Barbara Watson and Diane Maguire, who redesigned the garden interior, retaining the existing yew hedges, grape arbor, columns and millstone. Two small stone terraces were constructed in the lower garden while the boxwood parterres were replaced with lawn and perennial borders of mixed colors and plant material, while a small bed was dedicated to blue. In 2000 Allen C. Haskell renewed the garden with large drifts of nepeta, gaura, and a border of miniature boxwood, which continues into the upper garden. The palette of the upper garden is lavender, blue, and white, with two espaliered apple trees and ornamental grasses in the corners. A grape arbor features David Austin 'Eden Climber' roses as well as Clematis paniculata. In 1996 a Greek folly was created on a wooded point overlooking Buzzards Bay. The five freestanding columns in a temple-like setting provide a "theater" for plays, picnics, and other festive occasions.
Persons associated with the garden include Diana Maguire (landscape architect, 1977-1978); Barbara Watson (landscape architect, 1977-1978); Allen C. Haskell (landscape designer and horticulturist (2000); Chuck Kiser (gardener, 1990 to date); and Mr. and Mrs. St. John Webb (former owners, 1945-1976).
The folder includes worksheets, site plans, garden designs with plant names, and additional information.