United States of America, Massachusetts, Cambridge
Brattle Street Garden (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
This two-thirds of an acre urban garden encloses an 1876 house with a sunken garden between the house and street, and a back garden comprising lawn, an undulating border, a woodlands garden and a carriage house. The gardens have developed over the last 30 years, during which time the trees and evergreen hedges have matured and soared in height, especially those bordering the driveway that runs the length of the property from the street to the carriage house. Low stones walls enclose the sunken garden in front of the house and the mixed border in back, with a tall wooden fence marking off the sunken garden. The borders are planted densely and for sequential bloom so the garden is filled with color from April to October. Numerous sculptures are placed around the property, including unique sculptural benches. The owner, who is an architect, describes this garden as a place to move and to grow interesting specimen plants rather than as a place for relaxation.
The mature evergreen hedge bordering the driveway has a mix of cedar and cypress that replaced hornbeams destroyed in a fire. The incense cedar is sheared to contrast with the other trees, and in other areas trees have been shaped to their location, such as the weeping copper beech that frames a fountain made from a very large cypress wood barrel and a rusted copper pipe in the back garden. A path of stepping stones leads into the woodland garden where shade-loving perennials are the understory, rhododendrons form the middle story and mature evergreen and deciduous trees complete the design. A camellia shrub grown at the edge of the woodland garden is an unusual survivor in the New England climate.
Brattle Street Garden has been awarded two gold medal prizes for Notable Gardens and Outstanding Plant Material from The Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Also the gardens have been open for garden tours in Cambridge.
Persons associated with the garden include: William Bartlett (former owner, 1876-1906); Horace Bright (former owner, 1906-1984); Joanne Holtje (garden design and maintenance, 2003-present); Senta Barton (garden design and maintenance, 2003-present); Ann Sinclair (garden design and maintenance, 2001-2004); Michael Green (sculptor).
The folder includes garden plans and a planting list.
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: email@example.com