Bonny and David Martin Garden, 1972, 1980-1981, 2008-2009
Untitled Garden in Memphis, Tennessee, formerly known as
Hager, William P
Memphis Garden Club
3 folders+ 38 35 mm. slides (photographs)
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Tennessee, Shelby County, Memphis
Bonny and David Martin Garden (Memphis, Tennessee)
1972, 1980-1981, 2008-2009
A Japanese-style house and garden were built on this one and one-half acre property by a previous owner circa 1960, with the assistance of landscape architect William P. Hager, who unified three adjoining lots. The current owners added an extensive collection of bonsai and a bonsai house for winter storage, a rose garden in raised brick beds, and numerous decorative features from Japan, including a sake table and stools. Bonsai master and landscape designer Ben Oki designed a rock garden at the entrance to the house, placed enormous boulders moved from the owners' previous property, and also pruned and reshaped full-sized trees to complement the Japanese design. Noting that traditional Japanese gardens are comprised of water, greenery and rocks, the owner built her rose garden in a separate area beyond the swimming pool.
The property also has a hexagonal-shaped teahouse with a pagoda roof, a water garden and koi pond, a terraced garden with a reflecting pool, a moss garden, a swimming pool and pool house, and greenhouses for raising orchids and tropical ornamental plants. The bonsai house maintains the collection of at least 200 plants during the winter at 40 degrees. All the structures, including the house, pool house and carport, have Japanese design elements, such as shoji screens.
Following Japanese tradition hard surfaces, such as the stone shrine and paved walkways, are softened by surrounding plantings of ferns and trees, including Japanese maple and weeping varieties. Bonsai trees and shrubs are placed around the property and on tall stumps left from trees that were removed. Garden sculpture from Japan and a stone shrine are other features.
Materials documenting this garden in 1972 were submitted to the Archives of American Gardens as part of the Hollerith Family slide collection, at that time it was listed as Untitled Garden in Memphis, Tennessee. It was also documented in 1987 and included as part of a 1992 donation to the Archives of American Gardens from the Garden Club of America. An additional submission of garden documentation was provided in 2009, as the Bonny and David Martin Garden.
Persons associated with the garden include William P. Hager (landscape architect, 1960s?); Duke Moody (landscape architect); EAML Architects? (greenhouse architect); David McGehee (architect, 1968-1969); Ben Oki (Bonsai master and garden designer, 2003-2009) and Dabney Turley (former owner, 1998-2003).
The folder includes worksheets, site plans, detailed information about the garden's plants, photocopies of articles about the garden, background details from and about the owners, and additional information.