United States of America, Maine, Hancock County, Bar Harbor
The Farm House (Bar Harbor, Maine)
ca 1930, ca 1983, 1988
One of the earliest Mount Desert Island dwellings, The Farm House was built in 1800 and extensively remodeled circa 1925. The garden designed by Beatrix Farrand (1872 - 1959) for the eight-acre Bar Harbor property was installed in 1923 and amended over the next five years. Farrand moved the main entrance of the shingled cottage to the opposite side of the house and added a small stone terrace. The main garden areas were now behind the house and featured two 80-foot long borders along a gravel path planted with massed drifts of summer annuals in a style developed by the English garden designer Gertrude Jekyll (1843 - 1932) for her own pastel border. That style has been described as impressionistic, with blooms of blended colors cascading over the walk, generously massed with attention paid to texture and foliage. Each of the three garden rooms - the borders, the orchard and the vegetable garden -was enclosed by hedges of arborvitae. Gates designed by Farrand divided the rooms and each area had benches she designed as well.
When The Farmhouse changed hands within the McCormick family in the 1980's the carefully designed flower borders were in decline but the structure of the garden remained. The current owners have undertaken the restoration of the long borders more in keeping with Farrand's original plans but with plant substitutions that simplify upkeep and reduce the expense. Changes include planting more perennials, especially astilbe, and replacing hollyhocks with sunflowers. The peak blooming season has been shortened to the two months the family is in residence rather than the six month flowering season envisioned by Farrand.
Persons associated with the garden include: Mildred Day McCormick (former owner, circa 1920 to circa 1980); Arthur McFarland (architect); Beatrix Farrand (1872 - 1959) (landscape architect, 1923-1928) and Ann Leighton Smith (restoration landscape architect, ca. 1982).
The folders include worksheets, photocopies of articles, and photocopies of Farrand's designs.
This property is featured in: the Bulletin of the Garden Club of America, 1934, p. 36, and in the winter 1983 edition; the August 1932 issue of House Beautiful; "All in the Family: Restoring a Design Legacy in Maine" by Anne Kozak, published in "Garden Design" January/February 1991, pp. 50 - 56; "In Bloom Again" by Peter Lemos, published in "House Beautiful" April 1992, pp. 34 - 38; Beatrix Farrand: Private Gardens, Public Landscapes by Judith B. Tankard, published by The Monacelli Press, 2009, pp. 111 - 114