2 folders+ 25 35 mm slides (photographs); 22 digital images
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Connecticut, Hartford County, West Hartford
Hyland-Schutz Garden (West Hartford, Connecticut)
The Hyland-Schutz Garden was originally designed by architect Charles Adams Platt in 1908 to complement the home he designed in 1907 for the Hartford, Connecticut businessman, Robert H. Schutz. Designed with a focus upon geometry and proportion, the Georgian brick house is reminiscent of colonial Tidewater mansions in Virginia. Reflecting Platt's belief that a building should be well connected to its site, the geometry of the home is mirrored in the formal rectilinear beds of the corresponding garden design.
The garden design offers a contrast between the natural area to the south with undulating borders, and the formal hedged garden to the west with a stately columned loggia overlooking it. The original formal garden was a square split into four quadrants, each bordered in Japanese barberry hedges. The formal quadrants were replaced during a 1964 renovation which included the construction of a garage that now serves as the northern border of the west garden. At that time the property was owned by the son of the original owner, architect Robert H. Schutz Jr., who designed the garage and garden renovations. In 2009 a brick-walled garden room was added to the east of the house, built by the current owner to commemorate of his 60th birthday.
Many of the plants listed in the original design still exist, though the current owners have also added numerous plants in every section of the property since its purchase in 2003. The west garden, as designed by Robert Schutz Jr., now features a lawn enclosed by flowerbeds and boxwood hedges. The east walled garden, built of salvaged bricks from various historic sites, includes Alyce boxwood which surrounds a pair of flowering callery pear trees, and four dwarf Albert spruce that anchor the corners.
The Notable Trees Committee of the Connecticut Botanical Society has identified several trees worthy of note at the Hyland-Schutz property, though many of the trees were badly damaged during a severe snowstorm in October 2011. Other special specimens include a stand of heirloom lilacs transplanted in the early 1900's from the home of the original owners' parents. Climbing hydrangeas on the south façade flank the loggia and embellish the north brick wall at the east end of the house. Purple wisteria planted in 1908 festoons the west loggia and white wisteria adorns the garage.
As a setting for social occasions, a Garden Club of Hartford member and president was married in the formal garden in 1968 and the property has been included consistently in the annual House and Garden Tour sponsored by the Hartford Art School Auxiliary. The current owners have used the garden as a setting to entertain numerous museum trustees, artists and collectors; and the house has been owned by two museum directors, including a former director of the Wadsworth Athenaeum and a director of the New Britain Museum of American Art.
This garden was originally documented as part of a 1992 donation to the Archives of American Gardens. At that time it was listed as the Schutz Garden, included in the Garden Club of America's Slide Library of Notable American Parks and Gardens. An update of the garden documentation was provided in 2012.
Persons associated with the property include: Robert H. Schutz (former owner, 1907-1948); Robert H. Schutz, Jr. (former owner, 1948-1991, architect, ca. 1949); University of Hartford (former owner, 1992-1994); Wilson W. Jr. & Jacqueline A. Wyatt (former owners, 1994-1995); Michael T. & Mary M. Dorsey (former owners, 1995-1997); Peter C. & Mary Lynn Sutton (former owners, 1997-2003); Charles Adams Platt (architect, 1907-1908); Katharine M. Stevenson (landscape designer, 1949); Jacqueline Canning-Malley (landscape designer, dates unknown);
The folders include worksheets, site plans, planting lists, a detailed history of the property, and extensive documentation of garden ornamentation and furniture.
The property has been featured in: The Hartford Courant, Real Estate section, July 26, 1992; and in Country Houses, by Aymar Embury, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1914, pp 104-106