The Garden of Thomas F. and Elinor R. Oakes, 1946-1989
Oakes, Thomas F.
Oakes, Elinor R.
Garden Club of Hartford
1 folder+ 52 digital images; 2 photographic prints
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Connecticut, Hartford, Avon
The Garden of Thomas F. and Elinor R. Oakes (Avon, Connecticut)
The Oakes property in Connecticut had gardens designed to be viewed in spring and fall from the many windows of the 1949 modernist house they built on the 24-acre property. Dogwood trees near the house were featured in spring along with naturalized daffodil plantings on a hillside along the driveway. Shrubs planted near the house included lilacs, purple and white clematis, pyracantha, holly, and roses, with tall hedges, flowering trees and more daffodils, tulips and a large patch of bluebells. A large flat swath of lawn west of the house had a greenhouse with a small pea stone patio, and a swimming pool. There was a fenced 20 by 40 foot vegetable garden with blueberry bushes nearby, and a U-shaped cutting and perennial garden. Further from the house the property descended into woods and included a stand of white pine trees and there were two streams in ravines at the borders. The garden style was natural but well-tended in a setting that provided variety and long views over the hills.
In the 1980s a pond was dug in a wetlands area that became a refuge for mallard ducks, blue herons, Canada geese, red-tailed hawks, and wood frogs. The area around the pond and the path into the woods were filled with native and transplanted wildflowers. Other wildlife has been seen on the property in recent years including deer, bobcats, bears and coyotes. About nine acres near the south ravine were given as an easement to the Avon Land Trust in 1990.
Thomas F. Oakes and Elinor R. Oakes (former owners,1947); John Huntington (architect, 1948-1949; 1954; 1964); Holly W. Stevenson (landscape architect, 1957).
The folder includes worksheets, personal recollections and a photocopy of an article.
"Contemporary Homes Capitalize on Connecticut Sun and Scenery", Hartford Times, November 26, 1949