United States of America, Illinois, Cook County, New Trier, Wilmette
James Garden (Wilmette, Illinois)
Under development since 1980, this garden surrounds a Greek Revival-style home, once a simple farmhouse built in 1876. The property features very mature deciduous trees (oak, elm, beech) and evergreens, to which in 2000 were added ginkgo, maple, beech, and hemlock. Under the cool canopy shade-loving shrubs and perennials are planted in large, curving borders. Where sun prevails, shrub roses bloom at the end of June and are mixed with sun-loving perennials. A small herb garden, enclosed by a boxwood hedge, is nestled against the old barn. Boxwood is featured elsewhere in the garden as hedges or large specimens. All of these elements give the garden a pleasant feeling of privacy and a cooling effect during hot summer days. In 2004 some old junipers and yews were cut down, while a small vegetable garden was created as well as a wide perennial garden featuring daylilies, phlox, sedum, Joe-Pye weed, rudbeckia, grasses, Solidago, hosta, and Helenium. Two Chinese stone "lion-dogs" guard the entrance to the vegetable garden, hedged by boxwood and a crabapple tree and a cornelian cherry. Plantings are completed by several pyramidal-type arborvitae placed a strategic locations.
Persons and firms associated with the garden include Hélène N. James (landscape designer) and the Schmechtig Landscape Company (landscape designers and plantsmen, 1980 to date).
The folder includes worksheets, site plans, historical information about the house and garden, photocopies of articles about the property and garden, reference images, and other information.
Garden has been featured in Pamela Wolfe, Midwest Gardens (Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 1991), pp. 28-35