United States of America, Massachusetts, Essex, Manchester
The Garden at Plum Hill (Manchester, Massachusetts)
Located on 4 acres this flower garden was originally a pig farm. Sometime after 1981, a devastating fire destroyed the house and killed surrounding vegetation. All that remained was the barn. The current owners purchased the property in 1984 and a year later eight trailer loads of loam were brought in and hand-sifted for garden beds and borders that wrap around the property and its natural granite elements. The garden includes a full sun perennial garden, a shade garden, a antique-rose garden, a meadow garden, and a small orchard of miniature fruit trees. The gardens feature flowering shrubs, perennials, bulbs and self-sowing biennials that are harvested regularly during eight months of the year to provide distinctive materials for the owner's floral design business located in the barn. Second generation woodlands lay beyond the developed spaces.
Roses, hydrangeas, peonies, astilbes, lady's mantle, Solomon's seal, catmint, tulips and hosta leaves may be grown for commercial floral arrangements but the gardens are designed to enhance the setting rather than traditional cutting gardens planted in rows. Inside the farmer's stone wall along the road there is a deep border of perennials and flowering shrubs. A curving pea stone driveway is bordered by birches, pines and dogwoods under planted with shade loving perennials. A formal oval rose garden with antique varieties as well as David Austin and other hybrids is protected by a lilac hedge, with boxwood globes and an antique gate at three entrances. More flower borders line the driveway up to the house culminating in a rose covered trellis. There is an herb garden with lavender that is nearly 30 years old, and thorn less blackberries and a fruit orchard nearby that contains apple, plum, peach and pear trees planted in 1986. Another shade garden with hydrangea edging the path leads to the woodlands and a dining terrace.
A sculpture of a goat and birdbaths by Roger DiTarando are placed in the gardens. Another feature is a sculpture of Beatrice by Brizzolesi.
Persons associated with the garden include Nathaniel Hildreth (former owner, before 1854); Albert J. Lucas and Grace A. Lucas (former owners until 1947); Carl and Florence Wentworth Wilson (former owners, 1947-1983); Judson Wilson (former owner, 1982-1983); Architects Development Corporation (former owner, 1983-1984); Brizzolesi (sculptor, circa 1929); Jim Velleco (architect, 1984-1985); Priscilla Randall (landscape architect, designed trellis); Roger DiTarando (sculptor).
The folder includes worksheets, additional photographs and photocopies of articles.
This property is featured in "The Fine Art of Flower Arranging" by Nancy D'Oench, A Garden Club of American Book published by Harry A. Abrams, 2002, pp. 52-55
This property is featured in "A Garden for Cutting" by Margaret Parke, published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1993, pp. 64-65, 139
This property is featured in "Gardens Private & Personal" by Nancy D'Oench, A Garden Club of America Book published by Harry A. Abrams, 2008, pp. 68-69, 120
This property is featured in "A Cutting Garden Melody" by Kate Carter Frederick, published in Better Homes and Gardens Garden, Deck & Landscape Planner, Spring 1994, pp. 17-26
This property is featured in "Cutting Edge: A Designer Boldly Arranges a Floral Symphony" by Marilyn Myers Slade, published in Boston Globe Your Home
This property is featured in "The Florists Secret" by Carol Stocker, published in Boston Globe Magazine, August 1999
This property is featured in "Planted for Celebrations" by Tovah Martin, published in Victoria, April 1996, pp. 84-88