United States of America, Pennsylvania, Erie, Erie
Stout/Bestoso Garden (Erie, Pennsylvania)
This six acre property had been farmland before it was purchased and developed by the Stout family, who built a ranch style house in 1956 and installed trees, shrubs, and foundation plantings. Circa 1962 a formal garden of French style was designed by Wayside Gardens, laid out symmetrically in four quadrants hedged in by privet and viburnum, and anchored by four blue spruce trees at the corners. The French garden remains today but two of the spruce trees and some of the privets were removed to open the formal garden to other parts of the property. Gardens that have been added over time include vegetable and herb gardens with boxwood hedges, a swimming pool and surrounding garden containing rosa rugosa, rhododendron, ornamental grasses and tropical plants, an all-white secret garden behind privet hedges, a 115-foot long perennial border, a vineyard, and a grove of bamboo.
The 1960s plan included an orchard, still existing but replanted with fruit trees, black walnut, chestnut and hazelnut trees, black raspberries, black currants and hundreds of naturalized daffodils. Originally four acres were left as field and brush-hogged twice each year; now there are three acres of field populated by redwing black birds, monarch butterflies, deer, turkeys and pheasants, designated an official Backyard Wildlife Habitat in 1994 by the National Wildlife Federation.
The Stout/Bestoso Garden has participated in the Garden Conservancy's Open Days, and the owner is active in the Carrie T. Watson chapter of the Garden Clubs.
Persons associated with the garden include: John Metcalf (former owner, -1955) and Donald F. Stout (former owner, 1955-1986).
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The Carrie T. Watson Garden Club facilitated the submission of this garden's documentation.
The folder includes worksheets, garden plans, a planting list, historical images, and photocopies of garden tour directories.
Smithsonian Gardens, Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012, Capital Gallery, Suite 3300, MRC 506, Washington, DC 20013-7012