1 folder+ 3 35mm slides (photographs); 15 digital images
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Massachusetts, Essex, Wenham
Old Farm (Wenham, Massachusetts)
Old Farm has a sunken and enclosed garden designed in 1912-1913 by Ellen Biddle Shipman in the Colonial Revival style to complement the 17th century farm house, described as a cloistered space within the more than one hundred acres of fields and woodlands that comprise this property. The garden was one of Shipman's earliest documented professional commissions, a rectangular plot sub-divided by stone and gravel walks into smaller rectangular beds surrounded by a low dry stone wall. At the far end there is a stone apse or excedrae with room for outdoor seating and a lily pond, now dry. Shipman's original stone terrace directly behind the house, stone walkway down the middle of the garden, and stone steps that lead up to the excedrae have grown over with grass and the American elm trees that shaded the enclosed garden have been replaced by other mature trees. The flower beds have been retained in their original shapes and siting, and have three distinct seasons of blooms: first daffodils, followed by irises, phlox and peonies, then fall asters.
The original 17th century house had rooms on either side of the chimney in front with a lean-to rear section. In the late 19th century the rear section was raised to two stories, and in the early 20th century the house was restored by preservation specialist Joseph Everett Chandler. Ellen Biddle Shipman added trellises for vines and a garden in front of the house planted with boxwood, roses and oleander.
Persons associated with the garden include: John H. B. Kent (former owner, 1836-1910); Benjamin F. and Adelaine L. Peach (former owners, 1899-1910); Alanson L. and Frances Pomeroy Daniels (former owners, 1910-1933); John S. and Mary B. Amory (former owners, 1933-1961); Ellen Biddle Shipman (landscape architect, 1912-1913); Joseph Everett Chandler (preservation architect, 1915); Lawrence Tennis (gardener, 2004- ); Beverly Benson Seamans (1928-2012) (sculptor).
The folder includes worksheets, photocopies of articles, historical images, and biographical and other information.
Garden has been featured in "Ellen Biddle Shipman's New England Gardens" by Judith B. Tankard published in Arnoldia: The Magazine of the Arnold Arboretum, Spring 1997, pp. 2-11; The Gardens of Ellen Biddle Shipman by Judith B. Tankard published by Sagapress, Inc., 1996, pp. 50-53