John and Helene Bentley Garden - Arrowhead Hill, 1948, 2010-2014
Ayres, Wylie Dr.
Ayres, Wylie Mrs.
William Mooney Family
Thomas Corcoran Family
John Bentley Family
Kenny, Henry Fletcher
Bentley, John A.
Ross, David Scott
Garden Club of Cincinnati
1 folder+ 10 digital images
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Ohio, Hamilton, Cincinnati
John and Helene Bentley Garden - Arrowhead Hill (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Originally located on sixty+ acres and subdivided into three acre lots in the 1990s, this garden was established in the 1930s or 1940s. It was re-established in the 1990s after a period of neglect between the 1960s and 1990s. During the 1930s, landscape architect Henry Fletcher Kenney was hired by Dr. and Mrs. Wylie Ayers to design the grounds, formal garden, greenhouse, stone and brick terraces and lengthy meandering driveway. Dr. Ayers was an award winning iris hybridizer and planted masses of several varieties of iris in the garden. Between 1948 and 1964, the William Mooney Family owned the property and maintained staff of gardeners. Mrs. Ann Mooney served as President of the Indian Hill Garden Club. During this time peonies were planted in the garden.
The current owners, John and Helene Bentley, purchased the house along with 5.8 acres in 1995. John Bentley, a landscape architect, reestablished the formal gardens and the informal perennial gardens containing the peony collection established during the Mooney family tenure. The 60 year old plant collection contained many single, open varieties in whites and pastel pinks. The peony collection from the late 1940s, together with hundreds of surprise lilies and narcissus have survived the years of neglect and deer browsing, whereas the massive iris collection of Dr. Ayres did not survive. This peony collection, along with a new installation of Siberian iris and German bearded iris, is the main feature of the gardens during the springtime. The Bentley's have planted additional trees on the property, alongside the surviving mature trees and out-plantings on the property, most of which were planted in the 1930s and 1940s. One original native tree is a 65 inch caliper "old growth" white oak with a 120 foot spread, which some experts believe may be more than 200 years old.
The house and grounds were selected and toured by the Garden Conservancy in 2011.
Persons associated with the garden include: Dr. & Mrs. Wylie Ayres (former owners, 1904-1948); William Mooney Family (former owners, 1948-1964); Thomas Corcoran Family (former owners, 1964-1995); John Bentley Family (present owners, 1995- ); Karen Heyl (sculptor, 1999); Full time staff of gardeners, names unknown (gardeners, 1940- early 1960s); Henry Fletcher Kenney, L.A. (landscape architect, 1940s-1950s); John Alden Bentley,. FASLA (landscape architect, 1995-); David Scott Ross (architect, 1998).