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Chapman Garden, 2011-2013

Former owner:
Cronin, Thomas Dr
Nunn, Stayton
Sasser, Shannon
Landscape architect:
Henry, Steve
Landscape designer:
Baldridge, Cedar
Physical description:
1 folder+ 17 digital images
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Texas, Houston, Houston
Chapman Garden (Houston, Texas)
The Chapman Garden is located on the approximately one half acre site of the Griswald House, which was designed by architect Stayton Nunn in 1929. The present garden was started in 2002 when the current owners moved in and removed the original plant material.
The front garden is an expanse of St. Augustine grass with linear shrubbery borders aligning the house. The beds consist of Asiatic jasmine ground covers, azaleas, and Japanese boxwood. The back garden, accessible through the house or through one of two white garden gates on the east and west sides of the house, includes a fountain flanked with foxtail ferns, monkey grass, alyssum, kale, and variegated liriope. The fountain serves as the focal point and sets apart the small garden from the larger back garden. This entire area is hedged with cherry laurel to create a wall of privacy. The main garden is separated by ligustrum, Japanese viburnum, and Japanese boxwood. The larger back garden is accessible through an iron gate flanked by brick columns capped with antique white urns of foxtail ferns. The basket weave patio is aligned with a bed of Dwarf gardenia, flax lily, white salvia, and lantana. To the south of this bed is a rectangle of St. Augustine grass that is bordered by a two foot high brick wall with plantings of azaleas, Japanese boxwood, Dwarf gardenia, flax lily, boxwood topiaries, Japanese ewe topiaries, night blooming jasmine, and spiraea. Seasonal white annuals are introduced at the forefront of the brick wall. Petunias, kale, alyssum, and geraniums are often planted. The grassy area was named the badminton court by architect Shannon Sasser in 2001 when he worked on the remodeling of the house with the owners because it is the perfect regulation size for a badminton court. Two circular brick patios flank the grassy area with curved iron benches outlining the space, both which are original to the garden, along with two limestone based tables centered on each. The limestone table bases are actually birdbaths. Underneath the arbor of roses is a shaded patio with planters of topiaries of English ivy flanking French doors into the game room.
The current owners bought the house in 2001 and sought to rehabilitate both the house and the garden. Many people have thought the garden was designed by Pat Fleming, but there is no documentation to prove this. The original plans for the show the brickwork for the garden. The patio between the house and the "badminton court" was added at some point. The entire back of the house is open to the garden.
Persons associated with the garden include: Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Cronin (former owners, 1962-2001); Stayton Nunn (architect 1929, 1933-additions); Shannon Sasser (architect-renovations, 2001/2002); Steve Henry (landscape architect, 2001/2002); Cedar Baldridge (landscape designer, 2006).
The folder includes worksheets.
Local number:
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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