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Catalog Data

Des Moines Founders Garden Club  Search this
Des Moines Founders Garden Club  Search this
Former owner:
Polk, Harrison  Search this
McCord, Mary  Search this
Fisk, Charlotte  Search this
Collection Creator:
Garden Club of America  Search this
Archival materials
Digital images
Raven Haven (Des Moines, Iowa)
United States of America -- Iowa -- Polk County -- Des Moines
Scope and Contents:
9 digital images, 30 photographic prints (2016-2017) and 1 file folder.
A six-foot stucco wall across the front of this property is a remnant of its history as part of a large estate and orchard, now less than one-half acre with a one-story brick house and garden house. Behind the wall is a fairly formal front garden with spring blooming cherry and crab apple trees among the varying textures and shades of green shrubbery and ground covers. A few of the artifacts in the front garden include a chimney pot, a pair of brass finials, and a pair of tall, lank sculptures of women named East and West. A salvaged iron gate and brick walkway mark the entrance from the driveway. A pair of columns painted pink introduce the highly individualistic back garden assemblage of repurposed salvage, posts with mementoes for each family member, bottle trees, angel statues, a metal spider web suspended in a tree, a thicket and children's corner and sculptures created by the artist/owner. There is a sunny perennial bed in front of the deck planted with phlox, monarda, roses and coneflowers. Other perennials include lilies, rudbeckia, meadow daisy, achillea, plumbago and clematis, with red a favored color. A prairie tribute features miscanthus grass and a collage of rusty farm equipment mounted on the back fence. Several varieties of pine were planted for privacy by the owners circa 1975. The lower limbs of the trees have dropped since then, creating a small woodlands path. An outdoor room for cool evenings is furnished with benches and other furniture, candelabra, and bottle trees. Irregular fieldstone paths and cobblestone lead around the back garden including an "All Things Sculptural" path edged with hydrangeas, yew, Japanese maples and iris. Persons associated with the garden include: Harrison Polk (former owner, 1900-1948); Dr. Charlotte Fisk and Miss Mary McCord (former owners, 1948-1975). Designers Elizabeth Murray (garden designer, 2006) and Douglas Hoerr (landscape architect, 2012) provided advice on the design.
Collection Restrictions:
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:
Collection Rights:
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
Gardens -- Iowa -- Des Moines  Search this
Digital images
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, The Garden Club of America collection.
AAG.GCA, File IA027
See more items in:
The Garden Club of America collection
The Garden Club of America collection / Series 1: United States Garden Images / Iowa
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Gardens