The Towne Garden
The pleasure ground, laid out beyond the south windows of the sitting room and parlour, reveals this family’s interest in fashion and innovation. Flower varieties that were old favorites in the 18th century grow alongside flowers newly introduced in the 1830s. The family and their guests could stroll the encircling walks to enjoy the colors and fragrance and to view the rose bed, grape arbor, and the prospect from the summer house.
The four pattern beds and central circular bed exhibit a display of popular 19th-century flowers that change throughout the season. Early bloom from spring-flowering bulbs—tulips, hyacinths, narcissus, and crocus—blends with a succession of perennials—candytuft, baptisia, pinks, gasplant, foxglove, and the fragrant peony.
In late May, the faded bulbs are lifted for storage and tender annuals, started under glass in hot beds, take their place. Love-lies-bleeding and globe amaranth fill the center bed bordered with sweet alyssum. The dahlia tubers, stored over winter in the cellar in boxes of sand, are replanted in their beds beside the west wall. In the pattern beds, China asters, celosia, euphorbias, hyssop, Scabiosa, and tassel flower provide the variety of color, folia, and fragrance sought in fashionable gardens.
Four cutting beds flank the garden, planted with bellflowers, larkspurs, immortals, coneflowers, and marigolds. An ornamental garden such as this was considered a sign of refinement and good taste.