After a brutal Northeast winter and a major overhaul of our septic system last year, we’ve come to the realization that our poor garden is in sore need of an overhaul, too. It’s been six years since we dug up the beds and planted our perennials and it’s about time to prune, transplant and add new color. Our first instinct was to contact the original landscape designer but, alas, she has moved on… so the next best thing was to open Judith Tankard’s new book, Beatrix Farrand: Private Gardens, Public Spaces to find inspiration.
Beatrix was not only the first woman ever to have a thriving career as a landscape designer, but she was also responsible for some of the loveliest gardens in the United States – Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown, The Mount in Lenox, MA, and the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Gardens, just to name a few.
Born into high society in 1872 (she was Edith Wharton’s niece!), Beatrix was dignified, formal and proper yet her gardens belied this upbringing. Using soft, impressionistic colors and textures, she tempered the formal with the natural, creating exquisite environments that lasted into the next century. Who wouldn’t want to stroll the paths or sit quietly on bench in such loveliness?
Now… where did we leave our shovels and shears?
For more information about this prolific landscaper, please visit the Beatrix Farrand Garden Association.