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Breeze Hill, ca.1910-1940s

Former owner:
McFarland, J. Horace (John Horace) 1859-1948
Landscape architect:
Manning, Warren H
Physical description:
1 folder+ 17 glass lantern slides and approximately 381 photographic prints
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Pennsylvania, Dauphin County, Harrisburg
Breeze Hill (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)
Breeze Hill was a Victorian clapboard house and gardens on two adn a half acres in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Planting began in 1909 by J. Horace McFarland (b.1859-1948). The informal garden rooms were made up of contoured beds. Over many years of planting, re-planting, testing new cultivars and replacing unsuccessful specimens it is estimated that more than 5,000 rose plants comprising 800 varieties were grown by McFarland. Although best known for roses, the garden at Breeze Hill also grew native plants, beds of spring bulbs, peonies, lilac and mock orange borders, and a lily pond.
Known as 'Doctor Rose,' J. (John) Horace McFarland was president of the American Rose Society (1930-1932) and helped to transform it from a growers' trade association to a public institution, with the slogan "A rose for every home, a bush for every garden." He was editor and publisher of American Rose Annual and American Rose Magazine (1916-1943), and established the generally accepted rose identification and registration method. Breeze Hill's gardens were used as trial sites for new rose cultivars. The Peace Rose, a French cultivar hybridized by Francis Meilland that was sent out of that country for safekeeping during World War II, was planted at Breeze Hill, and popularized by the American Rose Society. Three new roses were named for J. Horace McFarland: Editor McFarland, Horace McFarland, and The Doctor. He received the Dean Hole Memorial Medal in 1942 from The National Rose Society of England, the Jane Righter Medal of the Garden Club of America in 1942, the Pugsley Gold Medal of the American Scenic and Historical Preservation Society in 1937, and many other awards related to horticulture.
His professional life, as owner of Mt. Pleasant Press, was recognized with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Dickinson College in 1924, and occasional lectures at Harvard University. McFarland was an innovator in producing and printing color photography, and his company was pre-eminent in printing flower and seed catalogs, and other horticultural work. He produced about 50,000 photographs of specimen blooms or displays from his own garden and elsewhere that were made available for reproduction.
Persons associated with the garden include: J. Horace McFarland (former owner, 1909-1948) and Warren H. Manning (landscape architect, 1860-1938).
The folder includes worksheets and photocopies of articles.
This property is featured in Harrisburg Sunday Patriot-News, February 25, 1996, "He Set the Scene for Beauty"; Apprise magazine, June 1989; The American Rose Annual of the American Rose Society, 1949
Local number:
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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