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Sun House, 1941, 1980-1981, 2006-2013

Wright Garden, formerly known as
Landscape architect:
Slaughter, Allison
Former owner:
Ryder, John
Ryder, Harriet
Wright, Richardson
Provenance:
New Canaan Garden Club
Physical description:
2 folders+ 23 digital images + 3 photographic prints
Type:
Mixed archival materials
Place:
United States of America, Connecticut, Fairfield, New Canaan
Connecticut
New Canaan
Sun House (New Canaan, Connecticut)
Date:
1941
1941-2013
1941, 1980-1981, 2006-2013
Notes:
Located on 1.7 acres, this historic property with its Greek Revival style house was built for John and Harriet Ryder in 1842-1845. The Deering family, local farmers added a barn and several outbuildings. In 1919, Richardson Wright, founder and editor of 'House and Garden' magazine began to chronicle the house and garden. In Wright's time, the property included 7 acres. Wright wrote extensively about the garden which was comprised at that time of an orchard, arbor with concord grapes, specimen magnolias, elms and tree lilacs, rock gardens as well as a large peony and iris garden. Among other plantings included roses, astilbe, clematis, columbine, delphinium, aster, poppies, marigolds, salvia, hyacinth, narcissus and tulips for color.
The gardens were revitalized by the current owner who renovated the hardscape and restored some of the older gardens. A small gardener's cottage with a bank of daylilies is located at the entrance of the property including the original hitching post. Also at the front of the property is a garden designed by the owner in 2005 which is planted with hollies, sedum, lamb's ears, black-eyed susan, lavender, nepeta, siberian iris, perovskia, oregano, chives, artemesia and hydrangea 'Pee Gee.' To the right of the driveway is a a hedge of boxwood.
The rear garden includes a star magnolia, one of the largest specimens in Connecticut, a shade garden planted with sweet woodruff, ajuga, myosotis forget-me-nots, goat's beard, hosta, astilbe, geranium, lady's mantle, primroses, lamium, and narcissus. A long back of Euonymus flank the stone retaining wall. There is a large blue stone patio planted with creeping thyme at the back of the house added in 2003. The patio is bordered on one side by sweeps of miscanthus, butterfly bush, sedum, caryopteris and echinacea. The other side of the patio is a rock wall garden with English ivy and clematis paniculata that cascades over the walls. A stand of bamboo dates to the time of Richardson Wright who brought it back from China and hardened it in his greenhouse for five years before planting. It was not invasive until recently with the warmer climate.
Other garden features include a stone stairway dating from Wright's ownership, a swimming pool, radiating brick walkways, a walled garden, a pool side gazebo, a cedar greenhouse and pergola with climbing clematis paniculata and morning glory.
Persons associated with the garden include John and Harriet Ryder (former owner, 1842-1845); Richardson and Agnes Wright (former owner, 1919-1950); Allison Slaughter (landscape architect, 2013); "The Swede" (gardener, 1919-1950).
Summary:
The folder includes worksheets, site plans, detailed information about the garden's plants, photocopies of articles about the garden, background details from and about the owners, and additional information.
Publications:
Garden has been featured in "Adventures in Getting Back to Earth," by Richardson Wright (Boston: Houghton & Company, 1922)
Garden has been featured in "Flowers for Cutting and Decoration," by Richardson Wright (Boston: The Riverside Press, 1924)
Garden has been featured in "A Small House and Large Garden, Being a Journal of the Same with Notes," by Richardson Wright (Boston: The Riverside Press, 1924)
Garden has been featured in "The Gardener's Bed Book, Short and Long Pieces to be Read in Bed by Those Who Love Husbandry and the Green Growing Things of the Earth," (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippencott Compnay, 1929)
Topic:
Gardens
Local number:
CT081000
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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