United States of America, Connecticut, Fairfield, Fairfield
Farmwood (Fairfield, Connecticut)
Farmwood is a seven acre country estate with a Colonial Revival house originally built in 1871 and a formal garden comprised of two perpendicular rectangles installed in the 1920s. The original landscape architect is unknown, although Agnes Selkirk Clark, Ellen Biddle Shipman and the Olmsted Brothers all were working in the area at that time. The current owners restored original 6-foot stone walls, added gates and other architectural features, and replanted the formal deep borders and parterres in the garden rooms. Lattice fencing painted dark green was added to keep deer out of the planted areas and also to maintain the view of the garden from the house as was intended in the original design. The larger walled garden room has a deep border on the shorter side facing the house that is planted with daylilies, asters, dwarf standard lilacs, peonies, phlox and rudbeckia. There are similar borders on the long sides of the rectangle that are not as deep, punctuated by large antique urns set off by boxwoods. Within this garden room there are four matching parterres of boxwood, perennials, roses and red flowering buckeye trees with a shallow round reflecting pool with a fountain in the center, bordered by stonework and a low boxwood hedge. At the far side of the room there is a stone path with a stone bench at one end, a moon gate at the other end, and a wooden gate to the swimming pool garden room. Outside the walled garden there is a small stone chapel and shrine to the Virgin Mary (built in the 1970s) with meandering stone paths to another gate to the road set in the perimeter high stone wall as well as a path to the moon gate to the formal garden.
The smaller rectangle, originally a rose garden, was converted to a swimming pool room by a previous owner and was featured in the 1968 movie "The Swimmer." This walled garden room has borders of day lilies, astilbes, ferns and flowering shrubs including viburnum and hydrangea, an original wall fountain, spa, patio and pool house. The bird watching is excellent since the neighboring property includes the 155-acre Roy and Margot Larson Wildlife Sanctuary, donated by previous owners of Farmwood. Originally much larger the country estate had dairy cows and poultry, vegetable gardens, and kennels for breeding pointer and setter hunting dogs. Remaining outbuildings include a two-story barn, sheds, fences and historic trees.
Persons associated with the garden include: Samuel Banks (former owner until 1871); Zalmon Bradley (former owner, 1871-1906); Edward Sanford (former owner, 1806-1922); Mr. and Mrs. Udo Fleischmann (former owners, 1922-1939); Mr. and Mrs. Roy Larsen (former owners, 1939-1973); Mr. and Mrs. Harry Seggerman (former owners, 1973-2001); Oliver's Nursery (landscape design, 2003-2005); Cameron Clark (architect).
The folder includes worksheets, a photocopy of an historical article, and artwork.
Garden has been featured in the article "Sales Bloom for Properties with Well-Tended Gardens" by Meg Barone in the Fairfield Citizen, May 22, 2015, pp. B1-B2