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Stoneybroke Acres, 2004-2013

Former owner:
Dennis, Mildred
Dennis, Edward
Kearns, John
Kearns, Ruth
Carrie T. Watson Garden Club
Physical description:
1 folder+ 17 digital images; 14 photographic prints
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Pennsylvania, Erie, Erie
Stoneybroke Acres (Erie, Pennsylvania)
The two and one-half acre property had an unfinished ranch style house, four trees and three arborvitae planted at the foundation in 1971, providing the current owners with a nearly blank landscape to develop into gardens. Once the house and brick porch were finished rhododendrons, azaleas and climbing hydrangea were planted at the foundation of the porch. Flower beds, trees and shrubs followed, with fast-growing Christmas trees and poplars among the shade trees and conifers, now numbering about 40. Also there are 25 island flower beds including naturalized swathes of daffodils intended to reduce the use of fertilizers on the land and a bed of ornamental grasses. There is a shade garden under five poplars planted in the 1970's that has many varieties of hostas, ferns, astilbes, wood poppies, ginger and Joe Pye weed, and does not require much maintenance. Along a dry stone wall are planted beds of bearded iris and day lilies. There is an enclosed garden for vegetables; recent crops include heirloom tomatoes and fingerling potatoes.
At one end of the property a field of native grasses and wildflowers, milkweed and a brush pile under towering conifers planted for Christmases past is an accredited national wildlife habitat. The three arborvitae at the foundation were transplanted many years ago and have grown into a 75 by 75 foot hedge. Two curving perennial flower gardens are connected by a wrought iron trellis that supports a climbing rose. Other decorative iron pieces are placed in flower beds; other features include a staddle stone, an antique statue of a girl holding a sheaf of wheat, an umbrella pine, a 60-foot tall copper beech, and a rock garden with a fountain. After 43 years the owners are still planting trees and an annual flower bed that is different every year.
In 1868 the property was part of the 45-acre Wilkens farm along the south shore of Lake Erie, growing wheat, oats and livestock. At the beginning of the 20th century nine commercial greenhouses were built to grow vegetables, but after five of them blew down in a 1944 snow storm the family's descendant sold the farm for subdivision development.
Persons associated with the garden include Mildred and Edward Dennis (former owners, 1959-); John and Ruth Kearns (former owners, 1965-).
The folder includes worksheets, site plans, and additional information.
Local number:
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens:
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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