United States of America, Connecticut, Fairfield, Ridgefield
Kincade Garden (Ridgefield, Connecticut)
The 3-acre wooded property was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Edward and Marie Kincade in 1980, where they built the house and started the gardens in 1983. Mrs. Kincade designed the location and selection of fencing, latticework, retaining wall and steps, and all the garden beds, maintaining them until they sold the property and moved in 1992. Mrs. Kincade learned to garden from her mother, an avid gardener, as well as through trial and error in her own previous gardens on Long Island and Southern California. The Ridgefield, CT garden includes cuttings from hibiscus syriacus (rose of Sharon) and syringe (lilac) grown by her mother. Her goal in designing this garden was to have interest and blooms throughout the year. While primarily a perennial garden, Mrs. Kincade also planted annuals, usually marigold, for extra color in the spring and summer, as well as chrysanthemums for autumn color. She wanted a green garden with soft color blooms, primarily pinks, blues and yellows with silver interspersed for interest and definition. Although reds or dark colors, or gladiolus were not favored, Mrs. Kincade had no other restrictions on specific plants, and spent a fair amount of time each year moving and/or replacing plants that did not produce a desired effect.
CT130001 shows part of the garden bed that ran along the entire back of the house, garage, and along the latticework and fence that divided the driveway from the backyard. Mrs. Kincade designed this part of her garden with tall plants at the center, and then plants gently sloping down in size on either side to each end of the garden bed. She tried helianthus (sunflowers) and other tall plants over the years, eventually deciding on alcea (hollyhock).
CT130002 shows part of a large garden bed along the rock retaining wall in the back of the house to the west of CT130001. Mrs. Kincade built the long rock retaining wall to create a flat grassy area above the steps and close to the house, as well as a large flat grassy area below the steps. The rocks are visible in CT130002 below the junipers. The grassy area below the steps was the site of the large tent erected for her daughter's October, 1985 wedding attended by 250 people the day after Hurricane Gloria. Mrs. Kincade created garden beds in the front yard, too, hoeing and removing rocks herself, eventually creating a rock garden as well as other gardens. She also planted a variety of trees and shrubs including acer rubrum (red maple), a flowering cherry, and picea pungens, a slow growing blue spruce. Several of these trees and shrubs are still on the property today. Also Mrs. Kincade did all the work herself with the exception of one person who helped with weeding. That person also provided help with plant selection to achieve Mrs. Kincade's design goal of year round color and interest. Mrs. Kincade continues to maintain a garden in her current home in California.
Persons associated with the garden include Mr. and Mrs. Edward and Marie Kincade (former owners, 1980-1992).
The folder includes worksheets, photocopies of articles, and historic information.
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: email@example.com