United States of America, New Jersey, Somerset County, Somerville
Four Oaks Farm (Somerville, New Jersey)
Four Oaks Farm was the home of noted bibliophile Mary Morley Crapo Hyde, Viscountess Eccles. Gardener George Knapp was responsible for much of the five-acre site's design, although Nelva M. Weber and Alfred Geiffert also contributed their expertise. Surrounding an 18th-century farmhouse with an added Greek Revival portico, the garden was started in 1946. Existing brick and cobblestone terraces provided a basis for the overall design, which involved the development of individual garden areas adjacent to the terraces, among other features. Water was highlighted in several locations, including a small pool overlooked by a statue of Shakespeare, a pond made by damming an old creek, and another creek whose banks were planted with Japanese iris, hemlock, and other shrubs. Individual garden areas included a walled garden, a crabapple garden, a vegetable and cutting garden, and the Bear Garden, named for a bear fountain set against the brick wall of this space. Shade trees and views of surrounding sheep and cow pastures and the Raritan River enhanced the rural setting of the site.
The folders include worksheets, correspondence, a photocopy of a book section about the garden, and other information.
Garden has been featured in Caroline Seebohm and Christopher Simon Sykes, Private Landscapes: Creating Form, Vistas, and Mystery in the Garden (New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., 1989), pp. 134-145