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Monday, March 22, 2010

Inspiration from Naumkeag

If it is spring it must be time to start thinking about gardens and an amazing one can be found at Naumkeag, another over-the-top summer retreat designed in the Shingle Style by McKim, Mead, and White.  Here are a few pictures I took at the Stockbridge, Massachusetts, estate --- I am feeling the inspiration.

I love the elegance of simple green plants in simple pots and irregularly cut stone pavers.  Fletcher Steele, a noted American landscape designer designed this "Afternoon Garden" in 1926 (the house was originally built in 1885).  It included the carved and painted gondola piers the owner brought back from Venice.

I also love the nonsensical squiggly pathways in the Rose Garden....

(photo from Kim Knox Beckius)

And this peaceful rill of water leads to Fletcher Steele's most famous creation.....

(photo by Felice Frankel) 

...the Blue Steps (1938) which lead to the cutting garden.  The water channel reminds me of this even more spectacular channel photographed many years ago in Hawaii (I can't remember where but it was in a botanical garden on Kauai).

An earlier pot post from Alhambra, Spain....