Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
1 documents - page 1 of 1

Sears Garden, ca.1910-1940s

Former owner and landscape architect:
Sears, Thomas Warren 1880-1966
Physical description:
1 folder+ 43 glass plate negatives and photographic prints
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Pennsylvania, Montgomery County, Ardmore
Sears Garden (Ardmore, Pennsylvania)
Thomas Warren Sears (b.1880-1966) was a landscape architect who said his own garden in Ardmore, Pennsylvania was his favorite, and the formal style of his garden became his trademark design for private residences. The garden center was a sunken rectangular lawn, surrounded by low stone walls, terraces and flagstone walkways that were planted with a mixture of shrubs, perennial flowers, and ground covers, and separated from the stone house by a screen of trees. A tall stone wall at the end of the garden had a fountain inset.
Thomas Sears' formal garden was planted with more than fifty varieties of French lilacs, peonies and irises.
Sears was among the first landscape architects with a formal education, receiving the BS degree from the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard University in 1906. During his professional career as a landscape architect Sears worked primarily in Maryland, North Carolina, New York, and Pennsylvania. He designed private gardens in the style of his own: sunken rectangular lawns with perennial and shrub borders that surmounted low walls and steps. Among his prominent commissions were Reynolda, home of tobacco magnate R. J. Reynolds, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where the formal gardens Sears laid out in 1916 were later added to the campus of Wake Forest University; the amphitheater at Swarthmore College in 1942; Balmuckety in Pikesville, Maryland, placed on the Baltimore County Historic register in 1988; and the restoration of the Colonial Revival gardens at Pennsbury in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Sears was also known for his published photographs of gardens and natural settings in the US and other countries.
Persons associated with the garden include Thomas Warren Sears (former owner and landscape architect, ca.1930?-1960s) and Ella D. Finney (former owner, ca. 1930s?-1960s?).
The folder includes worksheets and photocopies of articles.
Local number:
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens:
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

Modify Your Search


Narrow By
  • Archival materials
  • Gardens
  • Sears, Thomas Warren
  • Ardmore
  • Montgomery County
  • Pennsylvania
  • Sears Garden (Ardmore, Pennsylvania)
  • United States of America
  • Ardmore
  • Montgomery County
  • Pennsylvania
  • Sears Garden (Ardmore, Pennsylvania)
  • United States of America
Filter results to a specific time period.
  • 1910s
  • 1920s
  • 1930s
  • 1940s
  • Archives of American Gardens