United States of America, New Hampshire, Grafton County, Orford
Willard House (Orford, New Hampshire)
Located on nine acres, the Willard House garden is anexample of an early New Hampshire garden. It was designed in 1938 for the last of the seven historic houses known as "The Ridge." These seven houses are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and were built between 1767 and 1838.
The main garden is laid out axially from the house, and formal in design. The horseshoe shaped bed between the driveway and the house is overflowing in flowering abandon of color and texture. In the spring, the gardens are filled with blue and yellow Mertensia and Jonquils. Summer offers a tapestry of shades of pink, dominated by Phlox. Autumn beds return to blue and yellow with perennial Asters, Chrysanthemums and Marigolds. Boxwood does not normally like New Hampshire winters but has been nurtured to grow along the south side of the house and until recently a boxwood chicken topiary greeted people at the door. Dear to the owner's heart, are three unusual shrubs, Tsuga Canadensis pendula 'Sargentii' (weeping hemlocks) planted below a window and judiciously pruned.
Behind the house and barn an eight foot wall drops down to neatly cut grass paths leading to an asparagus patch, a vegetable garden and a very formally designed fenced in herb garden. At the center of the herb garden is a sundial quarried from local New Hampshire granite.
These gardens have added beauty and interest and been appreciated by neighbors for many decades.
Persons associated with the garden include: Mrs. Edward Warren (gardener, 1936-1961), Mrs. Clifford Fifield (gardener, 1961-present).
The folder includes worksheets, site plans, and other information.
"The Ridge Houses", Antiques Magazine; "Places to Visit in New Hampshire", Reader's Digest; Alice Doan Hodgeson,"Thanks to the Past, Orford, N.H", Historical Fact Publication, (1965); Shelby Grantham,"A New England Tapestry", Gardens: Early American Life, (1988): p. 14; Shepherd Ogden, "Rhapsody in Green", New Hampshire Profiles 38, no. 4 (April 1989)