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Rowland Garden, 2008

Garden designer:
Petrell, Wally
DeArmond, Ashmead & Bickley
Physical description:
1 folder+ 6 35 mm. slides (photographs)
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Delaware, New Castle County, Wilmington
Rowland Garden (Wilmington, Delaware)
Located adjacent to Olmsted-designed Rockford Park, this garden has been under development by its owners since 1973, although the house was built in 1900-1904. In the early 20th century formal gardens stretched toward the park and many magnificent tall trees remain, although some have been removed due to age and condition. In the 1950s a border of azaleas, rhododendron, mountain laurel, leucothoe, and dogwood, designed by the head gardener at Winterthur, was added against the fence opposite the formal terrace to the southeast of the house. During the 1970s, while clearing overgrown ivy and trees, the owners discovered a rock garden set against a granite retaining wall. Over the years they have sought to echo the original plantings as well as to add rare plants and natives suitable to the conditions of the soil and the various sites within the garden. Containers, troughs, and built-in brick terrace beds are used for a variety of plantings, from vegetables to summering house plants, while a unique propagating bed is filled with worm castings. No chemicals are used in the garden. Future plans include a formal garden, English Tudor in feel (as is the style of the house), with tall conifers at the corners and triangle-shaped parterres reflecting the shapes on the timbered house. The garden continues to be a source of intellectual stimulation, inspiration, delight, and good health.
Persons and firms associated with the garden include Wally Petrell (garden designer, 1950s) and DeArmond, Ashmead & Bickley (architects, 1900-1904).
The folder includes worksheets, site plans, and additional information.
Local number:
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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