United States of America, Massachusetts, Essex, Beverly
The Grace Edwards Garden (Beverly, Massachusetts)
circa late 1950s and 2012
The original Massachusetts farmhouse expanded and glorified by architect Henry Davis Sleeper (1878-1934) was demolished but the bones of the late 1920s- early 1930s gardens designed by Arthur Asahel Shurcliff (originally Shurtleff, b.1870-1957) and Sidney Nichols Shurcliff (b. 1906-1981) remain, including the octagon garden, the lily pond and Chinese Chippendale style summer house, the octagonal Williamsburg style tool house, and the painted trompe l'oeil garden alcove. The original vegetable garden is much smaller, now fenced and planted in raised beds, with the rest of that garden room replaced by a swimming pool and pool house after 1980. The latticework fencing and treillage garden house in the octagon garden have been restored and left bare; once they were draped with vines and blue morning glories. Mature shaped yews and hydrangea borders are featured now in place of the old-fashioned flower gardens planted in the 1930s.
In the original design garden rooms surrounded the centrally-located house with paths radiating from that house; the current house is on the site of the carriage house in one corner of the 2.3-acre property, alongside the circular drive designed by the Shurcliffs. A summer porch on the current house overlooks the 75-foot long lily pond and a crabapple orchard that was planted on the site of the Sleeper house. The original pink marble fountain from the old-fashioned garden has new plumbing, the opening to the large lawn has been expanded to admit a riding mower, and the trompe l'oeil garden alcove has been restored.
Persons associated with the garden include: Grace M. Edwards and Hannah M. Edwards (former owners, 1917-1946); Russell and Katharine Burrage (former owners, 1946-1949); John and Florence Lindsay (former owners, 1949-1981); Leslie Huntoon (former owner, 1981-2001); Arthur Asahel Shurcliff (changed from Shurtleff), ASLA (landscape architect, 1928-1932); Sidney Nichols Shurcliff, ASLA (landscape architect, 1929-1932); Henry Davis Sleeper (architect of original house,1928-1932); Alton Bynum (gardener, 1981-2003).