2 folders + 20 digital images; 5 35 mm slides (photographs)
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Connecticut, Litchfield County, Litchfield
Breeze Hill Farm (Litchfield, Connecticut)
circa 1930, 2010-2012
Known as the South Garden, the formal garden at Breeze Hill Farm covers about two-thirds of an acre of the four and one half acres estate that also includes forty acres of agricultural land. The house was built in the 1800s, and the formal garden next to it was conceived after the owners found the remains of an old pergola that had blown down in a hurricane. The pergola was rebuilt and planted with wisteria, clematis and lilac. The formal garden is rectangular with a large fountain set within a sixty-foot circular perimeter of Belgian block. One axis goes from the house through the fountain directly to the pergola and is bisected by another axis that leads to the bordering hedges of privet and rugosa rose with an herb garden and propagating greenhouse beyond; past the greenhouse is an old low stone wall shaded by mature trees. A wildflower meadow is being developed, supplemented with seedlings grown in the greenhouse.
The four quadrants within the fountain ring each contain a weeping cherry tree and egg-shaped boxwood along the walkways. The foundation planting at the house includes spring bulbs, hosta, peony and phlox. The greenhouse is the winter home for olive trees planted in containers and an heirloom geranium from the region that is propagated through cuttings. Vegetables and herbs are grown from seed and raised organically on the property for the owners and their dogs.
This property was originally documented as part of a 1992 donation to the Archives of American Gardens. At that time it was listed as the Wood Garden. An update of the garden documentation was provided in 2012.
Images CT039004 and CT039025 are variations of the same photographic image, created circa 1930; image CT039024 is of the same vantage point in 2011.
Persons associated with the garden include: Laura Cass Canfield Wood and William Lawrence Wood (former owners, date unknown); H. Beresford Smith (former owner, until 1951); Edmund Mabry (former owner, 1951-1989); Sarah Shepard (former owner, 1989-1996); Dale and Quentin Ryan (garden designers, 1996-present); John Bolus (landscaping, 2004); Peter Dalton-Morris (architect, date unknown); and Jameson Secco (landscape architect, garden designer and caretaker, 2010 - 2012).
The folder includes worksheets, additional photographs, and photocopies of articles and a book excerpt.
This property is featured in "Period Peace" by Joseph Montebello, published in Litchfield Magazine, July/August 2011, pp. 37 - 44; and in Sleeping with the Beast by Dale Ryan, published by Breeze Hill Books, 2012