[Unidentified Sites] [negative]: an unidentified garden in the style of Gertrude Jekyll
Sears, Thomas Warren 1880-1966
1 negative: b&w ; 3.5 x 6 in
[between 1900 and 1920]
Original was a nitrate negative which has been digitized and the nitrate negative destroyed. A duplicate film negative is at Photographic Services, Smithsonian Institution (OIPPS). Negative Number: 94-7272.
United States of America, Maryland, Owings Mills, Baltimore
Brightside (Owings Mills, Maryland)
The five-acre Brightside gardens were built from 1983 to 2014 on a property with a large country house of white-painted bricks and a slate roof, surrounded by woodland shade and poor soil. Described as a dialog between the heart and the head there are 54 discrete garden areas, including Lutyens-style stairways, a potager, a cemetery for family pets with a statue of a beloved pug, gardens named after the neoclassical statues within them or the friends that designed or inspired them, a pool garden. Formal garden rooms are near the house and more rustic woodlands gardens are further from the house. Some of the hardscapes of the formal gardens were designed to echo the neoclassical lines of Baltimore Federal furniture. Each garden has a theme inspired by a quotation from philosophy, religion, literature or poetry that bespeaks the spirit of that area, with plantings that refer to the symbolic Victorian language of flowers. The owners have been inspired by their visits to hundreds of gardens and the Greek and Roman ideals embodied in neoclassicism and the American Federal and empire styles from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Among their favorites are the English garden design collaborations of Gertrude Jekyll and Sir Edwin Lutyens, William Kent's Rousham, Sissinghurst, Hidcote, and the fantasy elven gardens in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
In 1990 woodlands were cleared of understory and hundreds of tons of soil were deposited under the remaining tall trees and dogwood to sculpt a new landscape. Within one week 500 rhododendron, 65,000 fern and 65,000 pachysandra seedlings were planted. There are six levels of woodland gardens descending from a ridgeline, 2,000 specimen trees, and amphitheaters and berms that have altered the contours of the lawns. Since most of the property is shaded native plants and shade tolerant specimen plants are featured. Garden ornaments include pedigreed statues, antique urns, birdbaths, boot scrapers and gates. Formal garden borders near the house in the room named Jessica's garden for its designer contain more colorful and sun-loving plants, including delphinium, peony, phlox, lilac, hydrangea and butterfly bush. For the owners these lyrical gardens are a retreat they liken to medieval gardens where man imposed rationality and beauty in a small part of the chaotic world.
Persons associated with the garden include Mr. and Mrs. S. Bonsal White (former owners, 1950's); Mr. and Mrs. A.B. Krongard (former owners, 1960's); Mr. and Mrs. John Lalley (former owners, 1970's); Charles M. Ness (architect, 1950); James A. Snead (architect, circa 1995-1998).
The folder includes worksheets, photocopies of images and an illustrated history of the family, house and garden.
Westbrook was the home of Arts and Crafts movement architect and china painting artist Hugh Thackeray Turner and his wife Mary Elizabeth Powell Turner. It was designed and built by Thackeray Turner in 1899-1900, who worked with Gertrude Jekyll on the design of its gardens (Turner and Jekyll also collaborated on the design of the Phillips Memorial in Godalming). A sunken garden with a lily tank at its center was a key feature of the site. The original plan also featured woodland paths to a boathouse and footbridge on the River Wey. Thomas W. Sears visited Westbrook on August 2, 1906, where he had tea with Mrs. Turner and took several photographs of the site.
Persons associated with the garden include: Hugh Thackeray Turner and Mary Elizabeth Powell Turner (former owners, 1899-1937) and Gertrude Jekyll (garden designer, ca. 1900).
The folder includes worksheets, photocopies of images of the site, and other information.
Garden has been featured in Lawrence Weaver, "Country Homes, Gardens Old and New, Westbrook, Godalming, The Residence of Mr. Thackeray Turner," Country Life 31 (January 20, 1912), pp. 92-97
Garden has been featured in Gertrude Jekyll and Lawrence Weaver, Gardens for Small Country Houses, 3rd edition (London: Country Life, 1914), pp. 27-35
Garden has been featured in Country Life 38 (July 24, 1915), pp. 119-121
Orchards was the country home of Sir William Chance, 2nd Baronet, and his wife, Lady Julia Chance. Designed and built between 1897 and 1902 by Sir Edwin Lutyens, with gardens by Gertrude Jekyll, it was their first collaboration on an entirely new house and garden and an important milestone for both. Not coincidentally, Jekyll lived just down the road from Orchards at Munstead Wood (also the work of Lutyens), and it was her house that inspired Lady Chance to engage this team for her own home. Orchards' formal gardens were located on the east side of the house and included the so-called "Dutch" garden, an extensive kitchen garden (in reality an expansive flower garden showing Jekyll's horticultural artistry to its best advantage), a vegetable garden (at some distance from the house), and a shrub garden adjacent to the south terrace. There was also a croquet lawn and a loggia terrace that provided not only comfortable seating but an overview of the "Dutch" garden. Several of Thomas Sears's 1906 photographs of Orchards were published in The American Architect in 1909.
Persons associated with the garden include Gertrude Jekyll (garden designer, 1897-1902); Sir Edwin Lutyens (architect, 1897-1902); Sir William Chance (former owner, 1897-1935); and Lady Julia Chance (former owner, 1897-1949).
The folder includes worksheets, a photocopied book excerpt, and additional information about the house and garden.
Garden has been featured in Country Life (August 31, 1901), pp. 272-279 [article by Gertrude Jekyll]
Garden has been featured in The American Architect, XCVI, No. 1758 (September 1, 1909)
Garden has been featured in David Ottewill, The Edwardian Garden (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1989), pp. 69-71+
Garden has been featured in Colin Davies, Key Houses of the Twentieth Century: Plans, Sections and Elevations (New York: W. W. Norton, 2006)
Garden has been featured in Hermann Muthesius, The English House, Volume I: Development (London: Frances Lincoln Ltd., 2007), pp. 193-194
Buckhurst Park, the home on Buckhurst Estate, dates from 1603 and was visited during the Garden Club of America's 1929 tour to England. An addition to the estate was made by the British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens in the early twentieth century. Lutyens designed the gardens with the help of Gertrude Jekyll who assisted with plantings. The Buckhurst Estate served as inspiration for author A. A. Milne in the creation of Winnie the Pooh and the Hundred Acre Wood.
In 1902-1903, Lutyens and Jekyll created a terraced garden consisting of three levels for then-lessors Robert Henry Benson and Evelyn Benson. The top level contained a sunken lily pond. Lutyens also built two stone pergolas on the lowest level of the terrace. Revisiting the historic plantings for this garden, the current owner replanted the terrace in 2011 with lavender, salvia, alchemilla, gorse, digitalis, and various roses.
A complete copy of the GCA tour itinerary was printed in the Bulletin of the Garden Club of America (Fourth Series, No. 5), September 1929, pp. 6-25.
Persons associated with the garden include Robert Henry Benson and Evelyn Benson (former owners, 1920s), Sir Edward Lutyens (architect, 1902-1903) and Gertrude Jekyll (garden designer, 1902-1903).
The folder includes worksheets and an essay.
Garden has been featured in Of Gardens: Selected Essays by Paula Deitz (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011) p. 248-50
At the time of Thomas W. Sears' visit in 1908 Sutton Place was the estate of Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe. Harmsworth leased the property from its owners, the Salvin and Witham families, from about 1900 to 1918. The original manor house was built about 1525, but the gardens have undergone many transformations over the years. It appears that Gertrude Jekyll was involved in much of the design of garden renovations undertaken around 1902. By 1908 the site included extensive lawns and specimen trees, a walled garden, a rose garden, water features, and long borders of perennials with grass walkways. Baroness Northcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Milner Harmsworth, took a keen interest in the gardens, and contemporary sources also cite the work of two gardeners, Donald Watson and Joseph Goatley.
Persons associated with the garden include Gertrude Jekyll (garden designer, circa 1902); Alfred Charles William Harmsworth and Mary Elizabeth Milner Harmsworth (former tenants, circa 1900-1918); Donald Watson (gardener, circa 1900-1918); and Joseph Goatley (gardener, circa 1900-1918).
The folder includes worksheets, a photocopied book excerpt, and additional information about the house and garden.
Garden has been featured in The T Square Club Philadelphia, Year Book and Catalogue of the Fifteenth Annual Architectural Exhibition . . . April Eighteenth to May Sixteenth 1909 (Philadelphia: The T Square Club, 1909), p. 72 [in on-line copy at https://archive.org/stream/catalogueofarchi1909tsqu#page/n71/mode/2up; original image by Thomas W. Sears]
Garden has been featured in Wilhelm Miller, "What England Can Teach Us About Hardy Borders," Country Life in America, Vol. 16 (September 1909), pp. 499-502
Garden has been featured in Tom Turner, English Garden Design: History and Styles Since 1650 (Woodbridge [Eng.] : Antique Collectors' Club; Poughkeepsie, NY : Apollo Book [distributor], 1986), p. 229
United Kingdom, England, Oxfordshire, Sutton Courtenay
Sutton Courtenay Manor House (Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, England)
Although various parts of the Sutton Courtenay Manor House were built between the 13th through 17th centuries, development of its gardens did not occur until the early 20th century. Norah Bourke Lindsay, who became an influential garden designer in England after World War I, lived in the house and created its gardens, which demonstrate the influence of Gertrude Jekyll and William Robinson. The property was visited by the Garden Club of America on June 11, 1929, during its English garden tour. At that time the property was in Berkshire, but in 1974 county boundary changes transferred it to Oxfordshire. Two of the six lantern slides in the Archives of American Gardens collection were produced from images taken during the tour by Mrs. P. H. Williams, while the others may have been made from images taken by other tour participants or may have been produced commercially. A complete copy of the GCA tour itinerary was printed in the Bulletin of the Garden Club of America (Fourth Series, No. 5), September 1929, pp. 6-25.
Persons associated with the garden include Norah Bourke Lindsay (former owner and garden designer, 1895-1948).
2 folders+ 27 images: 11 glass lantern slides; photoprints from postcards; photoprints from glass plate negatives
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Connecticut, Fairfield County, Fairfield
Sunnie-Holme (Fairfield, Connecticut)
Miss Annie Burr Jennings, daughter of a founder of Standard Oil Company, built Sunnie-Holme in 1909-1910. For thirty years, the house was the social center of the town during the summer months. It is unclear who designed the original parterre gardens; Miss Jennings later re-designed the gardens with herbaceous perennials, roses, and flowering shrubs. Her gardens were designed to be at their peak during the summer, when she resided in the house. Over thirty gardeners kept the extensive plantings maintained. Each of the three parallel paths leading from the main house south toward the sound were bordered with perennials in various color schemes or a vine-covered arbor. The designs were influenced by the writings of Gertrude Jekyll, whom whe met a Munstead wood in 1926, and from whom she commissioned the design for a garden at the Old Glebe House in Woodbury, Connecticut.
Located in the center of the garden was a formal rose garden, designed by Herbert Kellaway and rosarian, Mrs. Harriet Risley Foote, which had as its focal point an Italianate pool anchored by surrounding pergolas. Other garden "rooms" included "Irish," evergreen, white, and an herb garden. A wild garden with Indian totem poles and a rustic lodge, was situated at the end of the property. In her will, Miss Jennings forbade that the gardens become a town park. Although she encouraged her heirs to continue the gardens, the property was sold. Sunnie-Holme was dismantled on the eve of World War II.
Persons associated with the property and garden include: Annie Burr jennings (former owner, 1909-1939); Herbert Kellaway (rose garden designer); and Harriett Risley Foote (rosarian).
The folders include worksheets, articles, and copy of 1936 map.
United States of America, New York, Orange County, Warwick
Meadowburn (Warwick, New York)
Meadowburn (Vernon, New Jersey)
Meadowburn was the summer home of Helena Rutherfurd Ely, a prominent gardening author who wrote three books at the beginning of the 20th century. Her first book, A Woman's Hardy Garden, is reflected throughout the five acres of gardens she designed at Meadowburn. She has been called the American Gertrude Jekyll, as they both advocated a casually abundant, hardy, no-fuss gardening style. Towards the end of her career as a designer/gardner, Mrs. Ely was more and more drawn to the use of evergreens.
Vernon, New Jersey, Warwick, New York's "sister town" across the state line, is also shown as Meadowburn's location. Meadowburn straddles the border between the two states. According to Helena Ely Rutherfurd Meade's biography of her mother written in 1951, "Meadowburn Farm is mainly in New Jersey, but there is still a good bit of it in the State of New York." Though it is listed in a registration form (1992) for the National Register of Historic Places as being located in Vernon Township, New Jersey, this designation only covered the "significant features of the house and gardens at Meadowburn Farm; five acres, more or less."
Persons and organizations associated with this garden include: Louisa and Mary Rutherfurd (former owners, 1853-1860); John and Charlotte Rutherfurd (former owners, 1860-1881); Helena Rutherfurd Ely (former owner, 1881-1920); Alfred Ely, Jr. (former owner); Charles H. Coster (former owner, 1930-1977); Albert Furman, Sr. (gardener, 1893-1948); Albert Furman, Jr. (gardener (1948-2004); and Kurt Seligman (frog sculpture and fountain pool).
The folder includes worksheets; landscape plans; copies of photographs; copy of biography of Helena Rutherfurd Ely(October 1951); compilation of notes from oral history by Albert Furman, Jr. (1998-2000); and copies of articles and programs.
Garden featured in Helena Rutherfurd Ely, A Woman's Hardy Garden (New York: The MacMillan Company, 1903)
Garden featured in Helena Rutherfurd Ely, "Color Arrangements of Flowers," in Scribner's Magazine, Vol. 47 No. 3, March 1910, pp. 292-301
Garden featured in Ronald J. Dupont, Jr., "Meadowburn Farm: A Flower of American Gardening History," in The North Jersey Highlander Vol. 30 No. 84 (1994), pp. 23-33
United States of America, Maine, York County, Ogunquit
High Pastures (Ogunquit, Maine)
High Pastures is an informal country house set high on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. In 1926, the family acquired additional acreage, which led to revisions of a 1910 plan by James Dawson of the Olmsted Brothers firm. An elliptical garden, called the Round Garden, has a bird bath as its focal point. Stone steps and a stone terrace were also added. Carl Rust Parker of the Olmsted Brothers firm specified the use of native plants to attract birds. The Earle sisters maintained vegetable and cutting gardens near the original carriage house which was located at a distance from the house; this portion of the property is no longer part of High Pastures. Miss Elinor Earle designed the Long Garden, which runs along the ocean side of the house. She used Gertrude Jekyll's design from Gardens for the Small Country Home for the stone steps. Subsequent family members maintained the designs of the Olmsted Brothers. The property changed hands in 2002. The gardens were later destroyed to make way for development in 2004.
Persons associated with the property and garden include: Mr. and Mrs. Alice and James Earle (former owners, 1906-1915); The Misses Elinor, Mary and Doris Earle (former owners, 1915-1956); Horace Wells Sellors (architect, 1907); James Dawson (landscape architect, 1910); and Carl Rust Parker (stonework consultant, 1926).
The folders include a work sheet, site plan, copy of 1926 plan, copy of article, and narrative description.
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
1 folder + 16 35 mm. reference slides and 22 digital images
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Rhode Island, Newport County, Newport
Parterre (Newport, Rhode Island)
Parterre comprises three acres of the former Belmont estate in Newport, Rhode Island, which had been maintained as parkland since the demolition of By-the-Sea in 1944. Mature trees were left in place, fronting the Normandy manor house designed by architect Frederick L Bissinger, and distinct formal garden rooms were installed by horticulturalist Virginia P. Purviance and landscape architect Julia R. Toland. The garden rooms are described as winter, black and white, potager, woodland and cutting, which provides material for the owner's award-winning floral designs. Specimen trees were planted as understory to the mature trees, and to soften the transitions between the different areas of the estate. The owner took inspiration from the elegant and understated garden designs of Russell Page (1906-1985) and the innovative and rule breaking style of Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932).
The black and white garden was originally conceived as a green and white garden, to be planted in shades of white, green and copper. Darker plant materials were introduced later. An orangerie is used for entertaining small parties, while large parties are held under a tent on the back lawn. The cutting garden beds are situated near the service area on the estate for convenience. The winter garden next to the house has a reflecting pool as well as hedges and Versailles containers and a dovecote in one corner. The shady woodland garden has a fall flame border planted with Japanese maple and a developing moss garden.
Persons associated with the garden include August Belmont (former owner, 1860-1924); Evalyn Walsh McLean (former owner, 1924-1944); Ray Van Clief (former owner, 1944-1947); J. Edgar Monroe (former owner, 1947-1971); Preservation Society of Newport County (former owner, 1971-1986); Ray Gobb (former owner, 1986-1994); George Champlin Mason (architect of "By-the Sea", previous residence on property which was demolished in 1944); Frederick L. Bissinger, Jr. (architect, F. L. Bissinger, Inc., dates unknown); Virginia Pepper Purviance (landscape designer and certified horticulturist, 1999) and Julia Rush Toland of Toland Landscape Design (landscape designer and certified horticulturist, 1998?).
The folder includes worksheets, photocopies of articles, write-ups of the property's history, a write-up of plans and inspiration for the garden, and an invoice for the original installation of the garden.
This property is featured in Private Newport at Home and in the Garden by Bettie Bearden Pardee published in 2004; "A Rare Look" by Marion Laffey Fox published in "Newport Life Magazine" Spring 2004; "Garden Design Awards" published in "Rhode Island Monthly" February 2000; "The Newport Daily News" published June 8, 2001 and June 17, 2009
Garden Club of America collection, circa 1920-[on-going]
Garden Club of America
New York Flower Show
3,479 lantern slides
37,000 35mm slides
33 linear feet (garden files)
The Garden Club of America was established in 1913 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, when the Garden Club of Philadelphia and eleven other garden clubs met to create a national garden club. Its purpose is to foster the knowledge and love of gardening and to restore and protect the quality of the environment through educational programs and gardening and conservation efforts. The GCA was incorporated in Delaware in 1923, with its headquarters established in New York City. Today, local clubs are organized under twelve regional zones. The GCA continues its tradition of hosting flower shows and publishing material related to gardening in the United States.
The GCA's glass lantern slides were used by the GCA for presentations and lectures about notable gardens throughout the United States dating back to colonial times. An effort was made in the late 1980s, in preparation of the 75th anniversary of the Garden Club of America's founding, to collect the disbursed slides. These slides were to eventually form the GCA's Slide Library of Notable American Parks and Gardens. The informational value of this collection is extensive since a number of images of the more than 4,500 gardens represented show garden designs that have changed over time or no longer exist. While the majority of images document a range of designed upper and upper-middle class gardens throughout the U.S., the scope of the collection is expanding as volunteers photograph and document contemporary gardens including community and vernacular gardens.
The gardens illustrate the design work of dozens of landscape architects including Marian Coffin, Beatrix Farrand, Lawrence Halprin, Hare & Hare, Umberto Innocenti, Gertrude Jekyll, Jens Jensen, Warren Manning, the Olmsted Brothers, Charles Platt, Ellen Biddle Shipman, and Fletcher Steele. Because of their proximity to the gardens, works of notable architects and sculptors may also be featured in the images.
This collection contains over 37,000 35mm slides, 3,479 glass lantern slides and a small number of landscape architectural plans and drawings, all of which document the history of American gardens and landscapes. Garden files were compiled by Garden Club of America (GCA) members for most of the gardens included in the collection. These files may include information sheets, photocopied articles (from journals, newspapers, or books), planting lists, correspondence, brochures and other notes. Some gardens have been photographed over the course of several decades; others only have images from a single point in time. In addition to images of American gardens, there are glass lantern slides of the New York Flower Show (1941-1951) and trips that GCA members took to other countries, including Mexico (1937), Italy, Spain, Japan (1935), France (1936), England (1929), and Scotland.
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, Garden Club of America collection
United States of America, Maine, Hancock County, Bar Harbor
Reef Point (Bar Harbor, Maine)
Landscape designer Beatrix Farrand (1872 - 1959) spent her childhood summers at Reef Point on Mount Desert Island in Maine, a six-acre property with distinct garden rooms that featured native plants and panoramas of trees set against the ocean vista. According to landscape historian Judith Tankard the front of the half-timbered house supported flowering vines including clematis, jasmine, wisteria and hydrangea. A stone terrace facing the water had a rose garden complimented by gray foliage plants. In the acid soil banks of azaleas grew on slopes that led to the bay. There was an informal perennial garden sheltered by hemlocks, a vegetable garden, a small rock garden, a bog plantation, a large heather garden, and carpets of ground covers including bunchberry, ferns, trilliums, and ginger. Besides areas for seating and entertaining the grounds resembled an arboretum of spruce and Asian shrubs. Farrand inherited Reef Point after her mother's death and it became her permanent home in 1941.
Circa 1939 Farrand incorporated Reef Point Gardens as a botanical garden and reference library to be used by students of outdoor life and gardening. Her own professional papers and those of English garden designer Gertrude Jekyll were made available for study along with illustrations of European gardens that had influenced Farrand, thousands of books including English herbals, a herbarium of 1,800 plant species found at Reef Point, and the garden slides of garden architect Mary Rutherfurd Jay (1872 - 1953). The center was closed and the garden was dismantled by Farrand in 1955 due to lack of funds and a dearth of visitors to the area, which is near Acadia National Park. Farrand's and Jekyll's documents were sent to the University of California at Berkeley.
Persons associated with the garden include: Mary Cadwalader Rawle Jones (1850 - 1935) (former owner, 1882 until 1935); Beatrix (1872 - 1959) and Max (1869 - 1945) Farrand (former owners, 1941 - 1955); Arthur Rotch (1850 - 1894) & George Thomas Tilden (1845 - 1919) (architects, 1883); Beatrix Farrand (landscape designer).
The folders includes worksheets and photocopies of articles.
This property is featured in: Golden Age of American Gardens, p. 34; "Such, Such Were the Joys" published in Lost Bar Harbor, by G.W. Helfrich and Gladys O'Neil, Down East Books, 1982, pp. 42 - 43; "The Start and The Goal" by Beatrix Farrand, Bulletin of the Garden Club of America, 1947, pp. 13 - 15; Beatrix Farrand: Private Gardens, Public Landscapes by Judith B. Tankard, The Monacelli Press, 2009, pp. 193 - 203
United States of America, Maine, Hancock County, Bar Harbor
The Farm House (Bar Harbor, Maine)
ca 1930, ca 1983, 1988
One of the earliest Mount Desert Island dwellings, The Farm House was built in 1800 and extensively remodeled circa 1925. The garden designed by Beatrix Farrand (1872 - 1959) for the eight-acre Bar Harbor property was installed in 1923 and amended over the next five years. Farrand moved the main entrance of the shingled cottage to the opposite side of the house and added a small stone terrace. The main garden areas were now behind the house and featured two 80-foot long borders along a gravel path planted with massed drifts of summer annuals in a style developed by the English garden designer Gertrude Jekyll (1843 - 1932) for her own pastel border. That style has been described as impressionistic, with blooms of blended colors cascading over the walk, generously massed with attention paid to texture and foliage. Each of the three garden rooms - the borders, the orchard and the vegetable garden -was enclosed by hedges of arborvitae. Gates designed by Farrand divided the rooms and each area had benches she designed as well.
When The Farmhouse changed hands within the McCormick family in the 1980's the carefully designed flower borders were in decline but the structure of the garden remained. The current owners have undertaken the restoration of the long borders more in keeping with Farrand's original plans but with plant substitutions that simplify upkeep and reduce the expense. Changes include planting more perennials, especially astilbe, and replacing hollyhocks with sunflowers. The peak blooming season has been shortened to the two months the family is in residence rather than the six month flowering season envisioned by Farrand.
Persons associated with the garden include: Mildred Day McCormick (former owner, circa 1920 to circa 1980); Arthur McFarland (architect); Beatrix Farrand (1872 - 1959) (landscape architect, 1923-1928) and Ann Leighton Smith (restoration landscape architect, ca. 1982).
The folders include worksheets, photocopies of articles, and photocopies of Farrand's designs.
This property is featured in: the Bulletin of the Garden Club of America, 1934, p. 36, and in the winter 1983 edition; the August 1932 issue of House Beautiful; "All in the Family: Restoring a Design Legacy in Maine" by Anne Kozak, published in "Garden Design" January/February 1991, pp. 50 - 56; "In Bloom Again" by Peter Lemos, published in "House Beautiful" April 1992, pp. 34 - 38; Beatrix Farrand: Private Gardens, Public Landscapes by Judith B. Tankard, published by The Monacelli Press, 2009, pp. 111 - 114
United States of America, Connecticut, Hartford County, Farmington
Hill-Stead Museum Sunken Garden (Farmington, Connecticut)
The Sunken Garden is located adjacent to the 1901 Colonial Revival mansion, Hill-Stead, designed by Theodate Pope (later Riddle), with plans prepared by the architectural firm McKim, Mead, and White, to showcase the Pope family's important collection of French Impressionist paintings. Integral to the original plan of the country house was its landscape, designed to embrace not only a working New England farm, but also rustic woodland walking gardens and the formal Sunken Garden. Laid out in a natural depression with its asymmetrical boundaries defined by eight-to-ten-foot high drystone walls, the Sunken Garden consists of a summer house surrounded by brick paths and geometric flower beds that are enclosed by a hedge, forming an elongated octagon with grass filling the space between the hedge and outer stone wall. The garden is planted with 75 varieties of primarily perennials as well as small flowering trees and evergreens. At the far end is a stone sundial designed by Theodate Pope Riddle. The Sunken Garden was grassed over in the 1940s wartime labor shortage, leaving only the summer house in place. Today's reconstruction, initiated in 1983 by the Connecticut Valley Garden Club and the Garden Club of Hartford, is based on a planting plan by the landscape designer Beatrix Farrand for the "garden of Mrs. J. W. Riddle, Farmington, Conn.," discovered in the former's archives at the University of California, Berkeley. The Farrand design, dating from 1916, with its careful choice of texture, foliage, and color combinations of perennials (limited here to a palette of blues, pinks, whites, pale purple, and greys) echoes the theories of Gertrude Jekyll, the English garden designer whose work Farrand admired.
Persons and organizations associated with the garden include: Alfred Atmore Pope (former owner, 1901-1913); Ada Brooks Pope (former owner, 1913-1920); Theodate Pope Riddle (former owner, 1920-1946); the Hill-Stead Museum (owner, 1946 to date); Beatrix Farrand (landscape designer, 1916); and Roland/Towers (landscape restorers, 1986).
The folder includes a worksheet, photocopies of garden plans and Beatrix Farrand's plant list, a 1999 plant list, and brochures about the museum and the garden that also include plans and plant lists.
Garden has been featured in Paula Dietz, "The Sunken Garden at Hill-Stead," The Hartford Monthly, May 1989, p. 54
Garden has been featured in Anne Stillman, "The Garden at Hill-Stead," Connecticut Preservation News, September/October 1995, p. 12
Garden has been featured in Kathleen McCormick, "The Hidden Jewel," Historic Preservation, October 1995, p. 80
Garden has been featured in Rea Lubar Duncan, "Sunken Treasures," Connecticut Magazine, August 1998, pp. 116-121
Garden has been featured in James F. O'Gorman, Edward S. Cooke, Jr., and Allyson M. Hayward, Hill-Stead: The Country Place of Theodate Pope Riddle (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2010)
United States of America, New York, Monroe, Rochester
1915-circa 1930s, 1985, 1991
The gardens at the George Eastman house have been partially restored to the original circa 1920 designs of landscape architect Alling S. DeForest (1875-1957) and architect and theatrical designer Claude Bragdon (1866-1946), with work beginning in 1984 following a grant of $16,000 from the Rochester Garden Club. The original eight gardens rooms had been reduced to four: a terrace garden, library garden, rock garden and sunken west garden. The formal terrace garden has boxwood-edged flower beds planted with more than 90 varieties of perennials, with reconstructed brick paths between the beds. The library garden, replacing the historic cutting garden, contains double rows of arborvitae lined with tulip bulbs, trees, shrubs, ground cover plants and vines. The rock garden features scalloped borders of dolomite rocks and a grape arbor with seating beneath. The sunken west garden, originally designed by Bragdon and influenced by the gardens at Hestercombe in England designed by Sir Edward Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll, has formal flower beds and a wisteria-covered garden house. Trees and shrubs have been planted in front of the house, placed so that they will not obscure the house and 70 feet of open lawn. About 300 historic varieties of perennials, bulbs, ground covers, trees and shrubs have been planted.
George Eastman (July 12, 1854-March 14, 1932) purchased 8.5 acres in 1902 and worked with landscape architect Alling S. DeForest to install elegant floral gardens as well as a working farm on the property. Eastman purchased four more acres in 1916. The Georgian Revival house and colonnaded pergola were designed by architect J. Foster Warner. During Eastman's lifetime, known as the "Country Place Era", there were five greenhouses including a palm house that supplied fresh flowers and orchids, a rose garden, orchard, sizable vegetable and berry gardens, a poultry yard, stables, a barn, and pastures. Eastman bequeathed the property to the University of Rochester as a home for the college president, and that led to the simplification of the gardens, including replacing brickwork walkways with turf or concrete. A sunken lily pool was filled in and covered by a rectangular reflecting pool. The remaining farm elements such as the vegetable garden and livestock facilities were removed or converted. When the Eastman House was transformed into a museum of photography beginning in 1949 the greenhouses and peony garden on the west side were replaced by a parking lot, with the remaining lawn bordered on two sides with white flowers.
The museum's West Garden was dedicated as a memorial to Virginia Pike Judson, past president of the Rochester Garden Club in 1985. At that
The Eastman House gardens and grounds can be toured, with guided tours offered from mid-May through September. The property was designated a National Historic Landmark on November 13, 1966 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Persons associated with the garden include George Eastman (former owner, 1902-1947), University of Rochester (former owner, 1947), George Eastman House, Inc. (former owner, 1947- ), Alling Stephen DeForest (landscape architect, 1902-1921), Claude Bragdon (landscape architect of West Garden, 1916-1917), J. Foster Warner (architect, 1902), William Rutherford Mead (architect, 1902), Katherine Wilson Rahn (landscape architect, restoration, 1985).
The folder includes worksheets, photocopies of articles and other information about the property.
Garden featured in Country Life in America, September 1910, p. 524-7
Garden featured in Garden Design Magazine, Jan/Feb. 1991
Garden featured in American Country Houses for Today, 1915, p. 322