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Mary's Garden, 1984-2013

Former owner:
Pease, Phineas
Lincoln, T.H.
Borie, Peter
Sculptor:
Lakin, Helen Beaman
Garden designer:
Borie, Mary Lakin Hoffman
Parson, Cynthia
Provenance:
Lenox Garden Club
Physical description:
2 folders+ 11 35mm slides (photographs); 25 digital images
Type:
Mixed archival materials
Place:
United States of America, Massachusetts, Berkshire County, Stockbridge
Massachusetts
Stockbridge
Mary's Garden (Stockbridge, Massachusetts)
Date:
1984
1984-2013
Notes:
The New England Colonial style cottage built in 1789 by Phineas Pease, one of the original barns, and the channeled Konkapot brook from the old saw mill next door comprise the setting for Mary's Garden. Mary Hoffman Borie was a professional illustrator of plants, gardens and houses and the principle designer of this garden. When she moved to the one-acre property in the 1960s there was a perimeter planting of hemlocks with a woodlands garden. Now there are four distinct areas containing 45 flower beds with color choices that harmonize with nearby trees and shrubs: the woodland garden, the stonewall garden, the kitchen garden and the quarter moon garden. The hemlock screen around the property has smaller trees, native and cultivated shrubs, groundcovers, ferns and flowers in the understory. Other trees include apple, locust, birch and copper beech trees, and there are 107 shrubs throughout the property. Wildflowers were foraged and added to the mix years ago; now perennials are favored over annual flowers. The style of Mary's garden has become less formal, with self-sown and native plants allowed into the carefully designed flower beds.
The woodland garden was designed by the previous owner in a crescent shape that has evolved into a horseshoe shape for more sun exposure. In it there are natives including Jack-in-the-pulpit, wild cranesbill geranium, May apple and ostrich ferns, anchored by azaleas, hollies and mountain laurels and a Japanese maple. In spring the blooming season begins with ephemeral bulbs and flowering shrubs while ferns emerge, followed by peonies and perennials flowers. Annual flowers are dug in to add color and structure to this garden. The stone wall garden, sited between the house and barn features silver and blue tones with contrasting orange and yellow flowers. The quarter moon garden is an island bed featuring light green sedum, the dark purple foliage of ajuga, heuchera and hellebores. The kitchen garden beside the house has tall, scented old-fashioned flowers including phlox, iris, digitalis, nicotiana, narcissus and allium in the spring, and two trellises for clematis followed by morning glories later in the season. Also, there is a rock garden tucked under a mature grape arbor and espaliered trees against the house.
The Massachusetts Forest Health Program has recorded one of the black locust trees in Mary's Garden as the largest in the state.
Persons associated with the garden include: Phineas Pease (former owner, 1789-1836); Captain T.H. Lincoln (former owner, c. 1850); Helen Beaman Lakin (former owner and sculptor, 1957-1967); Mary Lakin Hoffman Borie (former owner and garden designer, 1967-1994); Peter Borie (former owner, 1994-2002); Cynthia Parson (garden designer, 1995 - present).
Summary:
The folder includes worksheets, garden plans, photocopies of illustrations by Mary Hoffman Borie, and photographs from personal archives.
Publications:
Garden has been featured in Mary Hoffman Borie, "A Woodland Garden," in Aspects of Gardening in Berkshire County, published by the Lenox Garden Club (March 1976)
Topic:
Gardens
Local number:
MA535000
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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