Named after a slave who planted a flower garden on this rock ledge long before the town formerly known as Prides Crossing became popular for vacation homes for Bostonians, this property with its shingle style house was built in the 1880's with large windows facing the ocean view. However, the first owner did not install a garden. The second owner built a 3,400 square foot formal garden away from the house, walled with native stone and hidden from view on the four acre property. Comprised of a rectangle and a circle, the geometrically organized space was on two levels connected by stairs. In the 20th century the lower circular garden was shaded by a hemlock grove and featured a central pond with Henri Crenier's boy and turtle fountain sculpture. A flower border with anemones, foxgloves, lupines, gas plants, bugbane, iris and heliotrope was planted between the rough stone walls and patterned path of Majorcan pebbles that was installed, circa 1920. The rectangular upper garden had a wall fountain and tea house at one end with boxwood edged beds of roses, phlox, peonies and foxgloves with a heliotrope standard in the center. English ivy and climbing hydrangeas grew over the walls.
By 2012 when the most recent restoration of the garden was begun the rose and perennial beds were long gone, having been shaded out and replaced by lawn by an intervening owner. Shade loving perennials including astilbe, foxglove, lupine, and heliotrope were planted around the perimeter of that lawn. The lawn in the lower circular garden, now in full sun, was edged with pink dianthus and catmint. Korean dogwood and boxwood were planted on the rise between the two gardens, climbing roses were planted to climb the walls, and clematis was planted to climb the new arches over the gates. This restoration kept the hardscape walls, wall fountain, built-in bench and belvedere (tea house) and was completed in 2014.
Persons associated with the garden are General Charles Greeley Loring, Jr. (1828-1902) (former owner 1881-1902); Quincy Adams Shaw (former owner, 1902-1960); Sarah Pemberton Shaw (former owner, 1902-1945); Lydia Eliot Codman Shaw (former owner, 1947-1966); Samuel Eliot Codman (former owner, 1966-2008); William Ralph Emerson (1833-1917) (architect, 1881-1883); Arthur Little (1852-1925) & Herbert W.C. Browne (1860-1949) (architects of additions, 1903-1905); Henri Crenier (1873-1948) (sculptor, 1910); Laura Gibson (landscape architect, 2012- ).
The folder includes worksheets, photocopies of articles, and historic information.
This property is featured in "Pompey's Garden" by Mary Harrod Northend, published in The Garden Magazine, October 1919, p. 97-99; Beautiful Gardens in America, Revised Edition, by Louise Shelton, published by Charles Scribner's Sons, 1924, plates 37-39; North Shore Boston, Houses of Essex County 1865-1930 by Pamela W. Fox, Acanthus Press, 2005, p. 66-71