United States of America, Virginia, Loudoun, Leesburg
Little Oatlands (Leesburg, Virginia)
Little Oatlands has a two-acre formal garden originally designed in the mid-1930's by the owners David and Margaret Finley, and the garden rooms, allées, stone walls, gazebo, statues and sculptures have been maintained with few changes for 80 years. The first garden room inside the main gate was installed in 1935 and has four parterres bordered with boxwood around a central fountain, originally a sundial. The original English boxwood borders have been replaced with Korean and American box cultivars in this and the other three rooms. Three more garden rooms were developed in 1937: two bisecting cedar allées that lead to a gazebo set over the stone wall, a flowering cherry allée that leads to a wall fountain, and another room with a large planted urn, a statue of St. Francis Assisi and a swath formerly used as a bowling green bordered by statues of the four seasons. A swimming pool was added in 1952. Boxwood hedges define the rooms within the perimeter of stone walls and ornamental iron gates provide entry to the different rooms. Some of the statues and fountains were copied from classical Italian pieces, and the gazebo was copied from one in England. Original sculptures include "Suzanna at the Bath" by Paul Manship and "The Little Shepherd Boy" by Walter Hancock. In addition to the main house there is a guest cottage on the property. Recent work in the gardens includes replanting long borders of ephemeral spring bulbs under the flowering cherry allée.
In the early 18th century this country house was a tenant farmer's stone cottage on the 63,093 acre estate known as Oatlands Plantation. In 1887 the Carter family was forced to sell the large property but continued to own a few cottages and 180 acres, and called it Little Oatlands. Members of the Eustis family have owned this property since 1927 and have enlarged this house and converted the Carter's vegetable garden into the existing formal garden. In 1965 Oatlands mansion, garden and more than 250 surrounding acres were deeded to the National Trust for Historic Preservation with easements for the family.
Persons associated with the garden include George Carter (former owner, 1798-1847); Mrs. George Carter (former owner, 1847-1897); George Carter II (former owner, 1897-1926); Mr. and Mrs. William Corcoran Eustis (former owner, 1927-1932); David E. Finley, Jr. (1890-1977) and Margaret Morton Eustis Finley (1903-1977) (former owners, 1932-1977); Dick and Joan Williams (former owners, 1977-2014); Paul Manship (sculptor, 1947); Francesco Righetti (sculptor); Walter Hancock (sculptor, c. 1960); Margaret Eustis Finley (sculptor, c. 1930)
The folder includes worksheets, photocopies of articles and biographical information.
Garden has been featured in "Oatlands: Stately Shrine to the Good and Sporting Life" by Marian March Sale, published in Commonwealth, The Magazine of Virginia", April 1970