United States of America, New Jersey, Mercer, Princeton
Garden of James M. and Janet R. Hester (Princeton, New Jersey)
The gardens behind the Tudor Revival style half-timbered house included unexpected features: Japanese dry landscape or stone gardens designed in the 1980's by bonsai master Yuji Yoshimara, a black pool that perfectly reflected its surroundings designed by Lynden Miller, and a multi-story playhouse called Kinderschloss that was decorated with English horse brasses. The entrance garden room on the one-acre property, known as the lattice garden, was densely planted with holly, cypress, spirea, clematis, Dutchman's pipe vine, and New Dawn rose with hosta, lilies, astilbe, valerian, primroses and other perennials in the understory. There were six different beds in the Japanese gardens planted with junipers, dwarf mugo pines, kerria, kousa dogwood, spirea, ginkgo biloba, rhododendron, star magnolia and Japanese maples as well as liriope, cotoneaster and ground cover plants bordering arranged beds of stone. Nursery propagated wild flowers and ground cover plants lined the path to the gazebo along with dozens of varieties of ferns. There was a bed of mixed hostas leading to the pool, two perennial mixed borders, and a bulb and perennial bed along one of the three decks. A small circle garden was planted in the 1980's with chrysanthemums, violas, peonies and alliums; there was another enclosed perennial garden room with a statue.
The owner, Dr. James McNaughton Hester (1924-2014), headed the New York Botanical Garden in the 1980's and engaged the services of prominent landscape designers for his New Jersey home.
Persons associated with the garden include Parker Mann (former owner, 1900-1914); Charles R. Williams (former owner, 1914-1927); George Bright (former owner, 1927-1964); Robert Lewis Zion (1921-2000) (landscape architect, 1980's); Yuji Yoshimara (1921-1997) (Japanese garden designer, 1980's); Lynden B. Miller (garden designer); Frank Okamura (pruner of Japanese garden).
The folder includes worksheets and other information.
This property is featured in Private Landscapes: creating form, vistas and mystery in the garden by Caroline Seebohm and Christopher Simon Sykes, published by C.N. Potter, 1989; American Gardens: a tour of the nation's finest private gardens by H. Peter Loewer, published by Random House Value Publishing, July 18, 1995