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Grey Gardens, 2007

Former owner:
Mooney, Ethel
Richard, William
Nantucket Garden Club
Physical description:
1 folder + 18 35mm slides (photographs)
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Massachusetts, Nantucket County, Nantucket
Grey Gardens (Nantucket, Massachusetts)
Located on two acres, this woodland garden on Nantucket island was once part of "Mooney Farm." When the land was divided for residential use, the farm's top soil was removed and sold. Over fifteen years, the owners have added a few shrubs to the landscape improving the soil as needed. Container gardening was relied on for summer color. The first garden room created by the owner, was a winding path down a slope of the property. Now Grey Gardens is comprised of many rooms including a pond garden with a sandy shoreline, an evergreen garden, a decorative grass garden, terraces and decks for entertaining, woodland paths dotted with benches and small plantings, fences made by hand from tree limbs, many birdhouses, statues, stone steps, shaped privet hedges, and container gardens. There are large painted frames suspended from trees that are called follies and help focus attention on particular garden elements.
The property includes woodlands and a meadow growing native trees, shrubs, grasses and wildflowers. The plants and decorative elements that have been introduced are intended to embellish and highlight the natural settings. Many of the garden ornaments are repurposed including sculpted, tiled or painted fragments that have been installed in birdbaths or on the walls of the tool shed. A pair of salvaged doors is hung in season at the entrance to the garden with a plaque reading Secret Garden. The owner and garden designer is more interested in the textures of trees, shrubs, and hardscape than he is in flowers although the garden beds and containers introduce spots of color during the spring and summer.
Persons associated with the garden include: Ethel Mooney (former owner, 1965); and William Richard (former owner (1965-1979).
The folder includes worksheets.
This property is featured in "Their Own Private Eden" by Susan Simon, published in "Nantucket Today" June 2004; and "Woodland Wonder" by Terry Pommett, published in "Cape Cod Gardens"
Local number:
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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