United States of America, Rhode Island, Newport County, Newport
The Whim (Newport, Rhode Island)
The Whim is a seaside New England garden comprised of flower and shrub borders and a sunken quadrangle planted along the foundation walls of demolished greenhouses, with follies, sculptures, steps to the ocean planted with lavender, and swaths of lawn. The walls and privet hedges trimmed to calibrated heights protect the flowers from the salt spray and winds off the ocean while not blocking the view. The 3.4 acre property has other garden areas surrounding the lawns, including a border of bright blue Nikko hydrangeas that are fed aluminum sulfate, a crabapple border, a shed draped with a climbing rose, a secret garden with kousa dogwood and viburnum, and a shady garden walk alongside the house. Garden areas are named for the animal and other sculptures that are featured, including a heron by Walter Matia in the heron quadrangle, eagles at the head of the eagle borders, and rabbits copied from the ones that were at Chateau-sur-Mer, a Newport mansion.
This property was once part of a larger property that had gardens designed by Beatrix Farrand for her aunt, the author Edith Wharton. The Evangeline climbing rose that covers the tool shed was transplanted from the Wharton garden many years ago, and renamed the Miss Newport rose by the owner. Friends and associates have contributed design ideas and artifacts to this garden: the mushroom shaped garden furniture once belonged to a friend, the gazebo was purchased and installed by one of the gardeners, and the steps were fabricated from discarded Newport curbing.
Persons associated with the garden include Raymond Thayer, (landscape architect, 1968-present); T. J. Brown and Timothy Brown, (gardeners, 1952-present); Anne Baptista (property manager, 1989-present); and Jerica Ford (gardener, 2007-present).
The folder includes worksheets and photocopies of articles, historic photographs, and landscape architect's plans, transcripts of interviews, and other information.
This property is featured in Private Newport: At Home and in the Garden by Bettie Bearden Pardee, Bullfinch Press, 2004, pp. 134-145; "Secret Gardens of Newport" published in "House Beautiful", June 1991; "The Newport Daily News", September 14, 2009; "Growing in the Wind" by Susan Stiles Dowell published in "Coastal Living" May 2006; the Garden Conservancy "News of the Society of Fellows" Fall 2008; "Beauty by the Yard" by Megan Fulweiler published in "Rhode Island Monthly" March 1992; "One Regal Rose" by Stephanie Turaj published in "Newport Life Magazine Home" 2011