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Bittersweet Hill, ca. 1958-1975

Former owner:
Gaerste, Martha Virginia McEwan 1898-1982
Gaerste, John J. 1897-1981
Physical description:
1 folder+ 56 safety film negatives; 17 photographic prints; 4 film transparencies
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, New Jersey, Somerset County, Far Hills
New Jersey
Far Hills
Bittersweet Hill (Far Hills, New Jersey)
ca 1958-1975
The home of John J. and Martha Virginia McEwan Gaerste, Bittersweet Hill was a country estate that afforded Virginia Gaerste ample opportunity to develop her two-acre garden with plantings for year-round interest. Pear and apple trees from an old orchard added a picturesque note to rolling lawns, while close to the house a brick terrace enclosed by yews served as an entrance court and outdoor dining area. Garden borders and beds featured a variety of perennials including lilies, delphiniums, roses, clematis, and peonies. Hedges defined space while not preventing the eye from gazing on views of adjacent woodlands and hills. Spring flowering bulbs were planted throughout, under trees and against walls to heighten their artistic appeal. Other garden features included a small herb garden near the kitchen, a cutting garden, and a vegetable garden. Because of the large number of images and their comparatively early date this was probably one of Molly Adams first major garden shoots; she is also credited with bringing the garden to the attention of Popular Gardening's editors.
Persons associated with the garden include John J. Gaerste and Martha Virginia McEwan Gaerste (former owners, ca. 1955-1975).
The folder includes worksheets, a copy of an article by Virginia Gaerste about the garden, and other information.
Garden has been featured in Virginia Gaerste, "A Friendly Garden," Popular Gardening (March 1959), pp. 39-41+
Garden has been featured in Nelva M. Weber, How to Plan Your Own Home Landscape (Indianapolis/New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1976), pp. 39, 81-82
Local number:
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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