United States of America, Connecticut, Hartford, Hartford
Easter House (Hartford, Connecticut)
The original landscape was designed by landscape architect Thomas M. Desmond in the 1920's when the Federal-style brick house was built on a two-thirds acre lot in a newly developed neighborhood. Remaining features from the early gardens include a sugar maple tree in front of the house, a weeping beech at the side near the sun porch, curving beds along the back and side perimeters with mixed conifers, and winding paths of stepping stones. A venerable Japanese maple next to the original bluestone patio was pruned to reveal its branching structure, wisteria was removed from the house, and there are plans to remove rhododendron that have grown unattractive. Desmond's original planting plan had five fruit trees placed around the back lawn, a cutting salad garden, and a service area outside the laundry room, now converted to a breakfast room that opens to a new second patio. A curved drive in front of the house that connects to the original driveway leading to the garage was built in the 1980's.
From the driveway the garden is entered through an archway. The expanse of back lawn is used for games and entertaining and to display a stainless steel sculpture "Monogenesis #1" by Peter Diepenbrock. A curving stone wall in one corner is the backdrop to a planted bed and containers. The western bed of evergreens also has flowers planted on either side of the path of stepping stones.
In 1929 the architect Clifton C. West wrote articles for the Hartford Courant newspaper called "Your Prospective Home" with recommendations for designing houses and gardens that match the design of this house.
Persons associated with the garden include Samuel Gross (former owner, 1923-1938); Elbridge M. Beecher (former owner, 1938- ); James A. and Karen P. Grigsby (former owners, dates unknown); Clifton C. West (architect, 1923); Thomas M. Desmond (1884-1950) (landscape architect, 1924); Edward Cape/Wilhelm Associates (architectural renovations drawings, 1985); Peter Diepenbrock (sculptor, 2002).
The folder includes worksheets and photocopies of plans.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org