Brown Street Green Garden (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
United States of America -- Massachusetts -- Middlesex -- Cambridge
Scope and Contents:
1 folder and 20 digital images.
The owner's first project after obtaining the one-third acre garden in 1951 was to create a private space with tall wooden fences in back and trees: hemlock, spruce, pine, kousa dogwood, holly and amur cork. The front yard lawn has a granite boulder set in one side of a wide brick walk with hawthorn and cork on the other side, spreading yew mixed with pink and white azaleas in the foundation bed of the gray stucco Cape Cod house, and antique lead containers with seasonal planting. Alongside and behind the house there are three areas: the entry borders, the terrace and lawn, and the wildflower garden. A decorative gate painted yellow-green opens to the entry garden with mixed borders: yew and holly foundation plants, witch hazel, crabapple and Cornelian cherry dogwood for late winter and early spring bloom, mixed spring bulbs and a white Japanese tree peony, and hosta and colorful annuals in summer. A low mound of Japanese maple marks off the corner granite terrace added in 1960 that is surrounded by beds of flowering shrubs, spring bulbs, black-eyed Susan and verbena in summer, shaded by kousa dogwood and hemlock. Climbing hydrangea and akebia have grown up the cedar stockade fence. There is a bench copying one seen in Denmark made from a thick teak plank set between two granite cubes and other decorative features.
A stretch of lawn leads to a shady wildflower garden planted with ferns, Solomon's seal, European ginger, many bulbs including scilla, fritillary, trout lily, trillium and narcissus; spring flowering shrubs and white oak-leaf hydrangea, and yew, hemlock, holly and a very tall ash for shade. There are two beehives behind the house that provide honey for the owner. Additions to the house include a deck and bluestone patio where there are two sculptures by Beverly Seamans: Walter the Poodle and Roger the Red, a Rhode Island red rooster. Trees and shrubs are the mainstays of this garden and provide changing colors each season, from flowering white and yellow in spring and summer to red and yellow leaves in autumn. The owner has employed knowledge about gardening gleaned from guided walks through the Arnold Arboretum with Dr. Donald Wyman and her certification from Radcliffe in landscape design in her plant selection, color coordination, placement and maintenance for a garden that is naturalistic yet elegant. She has been a professional landscape consultant for private and larger civic and commercial gardens and has instigated beautification projects in Cambridge.
Persons associated with the garden include: Emily Howard (former owner, 1914-c.1928); Abbie Nichols (former owner, c.1928-1951); Beverly Benson Seamans (1928-2012) (sculptor, no dates available); Julia Child (donor of garden decorations, 2001); Allen Haskell (nurseryman, no dates available).
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