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Prepared for The Garden Club of Virginia Prepared by Emily Peterson 2011 William D. Rieley Fellow
Copyright © 2011 by The Garden Club of Virginia All Rights Reserved. Reproduction: All material contained herein is the intellectual property of the Garden Club of Virginia except where noted. Permission for reproduction, except for personal use, must be obtained from: The Fellowship Committee Chair The Garden Club of Virginia The Kent-Valentine House 12 East Franklin Street Richmond,VA 23219 www.gcvirginia.org
FOREWORD AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This report attempts to chronicle the landscape changes at Springsbury Farm over the course of the last 200 years, focusing on the 1935 - 1937 additions, which radically altered the property. In my investigation of historical photographs, architectural drawings and personal accounts, I have encountered a dynamic cultural landscape, one that encapsulates a bygone era of great American gardens. It is my hope that the gardens described herein will be restored to their former beauty, thus preserving a valuable chapter in our landscape history. Many thanks are due for the opportunity to complete this work: to the Garden Club of Virginia for their generous support and interest in this type of work; to Will Rieley and the staff at Rieley and Associates for their patience, assistance and mentorship; to the staff at Casey Trees, LLC, notably Barbara Shea, Mark Buscaino and Brian Mayell for allowing me access to the Springsbury grounds and for providing valuable information about the property; to the staff at the Rare and Manuscripts Collection at Cornell University for their enthusiastic and helpful assistance in locatiing Shipman drawings; to the Clarke County Historical Society for providing access to a number of useful photographs and accounts; and finally, to Maral Kaliban, whose work documenting the architectural history of the property provided valuable background to my research.
Shipman, “Sketch.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell Rare and Manuscripts Collection)
SPRINGSBURY FARM | BERRYVILLE,VA
The Springsbury Farm property sits along a bend in the Shenandoah River in Clarke County,Virginia. Appearing on record as early as 1799, Springsbury (or, alternatively, “Springberry”) has been home to several generations of prominent Virginia families, including the Holkers, McCormicks, Greenhalghs and Caseys. For much of its history, Springsbury consisted of a Federal style dwelling (constructed by John Holker in the 1790s), an accompanying log cabin, and an assortment of outbuildings. The property remained generally unaltered for nearly 140 years. But in 1935 the Greenhalghs, a wealthy Ohio couple, purchased the property and undertook a massive renovation that dramatically altered the appearance and size of Springsbury. Employing some of the most respected professionals of their day, including the architecture firm of Perry, Shaw and Hepburn and landscape architect Ellen Biddle Shipman, the Greenhalghs transformed Springsbury into a premier country estate. The gardens at Springsbury are of utmost interest for they count among the few remaining designs of Ellen Biddle Shipman. Although she was a prolific designer in her day (drafting close to 600 designs), most of her projects have been destroyed over the years. Springsbury provides the unique opportunity to protect and restore a Shipman garden designed at the apex of her professional career. The garden demonstrates a sophistication and confidence that represents the best elements of the cottage gardening movement. Springsbury Farm is currently the property of Casey Trees, a non-profit organization. Casey Trees works to protect the tree canopy of the nation’s capital and maintains a tree nursery and offices on the Springsbury property.
SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 4
Image credit: Will Rieley
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction Site Maps 1. Context 2. Development of Springsbury Farm 3. Springsbury in 1935 4. Architectural Additions 5. Ellen Biddle Shipman: Landscape Architect 6. General Designs for Springsbury 7. Entry Gate 8. Roads 9. Service Court 10. Forecourt 11. Terraces 12. Planting Design 13. Tennis Courts 14.Vegetable/Picking Gardens 15. Hill House 16. Swimming Pool Area 17. Letters 18. Other Shipman Projects in Clarke County 19. Springsbury since the Greenhalghs 20. Final Recommendations Appendix 3-4 7 - 10 11 - 16 17 - 22 23 - 26 27 - 28 29 - 34 35 - 38 39 - 40 41 - 42 43 - 44 45 - 50 51 - 62 63 - 70 71 - 72 73 - 74 75 - 76 77 - 80 81 - 82 83 - 84 85 - 86 87 - 88
1. TROOPER HOUSE 2. SPRINGSBURY LANE 3. BARN / STABLES 4. NORTH COTTAGE 5. OUTBUILDING 6. PIERCE HOUSE 7. MAIN HOUSE AND GARDENS 8. FORMER TENNIS COURTS 9. SWIMMING POOL 10. CHAPEL RUN SPRINGSBURY 11. SHENANDOAH RIVER
Background aerial: GoogleEarth image
1. SPRINGSBURY LANE 2. FORECOURT PLANTER 3. FORECOURT 4. SERVICE COURT 5. FORMER SITE OF HILL HOUSE AND GARDENS 6. MAIN HOUSE 7. SOUTH TERRACE 8. UPPER TERRACE 9. NORTH TERRACE 10. LOWER TERRACE 11. FORMER TENNIS COURTS 12. TERRACE VEGETABLE / PICKING GARDENS 13. SWIMMING POOL 14. TERRACE / BATH HOUSES *Study area within Springsbury property
11. 2. 3. 4. 5. 13.
6. 7. 8. 9. 12.
SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 10
1. CONTEXT AND HISTORY
CLARKE COUNTY: A PLACE APART
The Springsbury site is on the eastern edge of Berryville,Virginia, within the borders of present day Clarke County. At 730 acres1, it is one of the largest undeveloped agricultural properties in the region. The area of Clarke County that encompasses Springsbury is comprised of rich agricultural land, irrigated by tributaries of the Shenandoah River. Rolling green hills dotted with elegant estates are set against a backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The proportion of open pasture to forest is three to one2 , thus allowing expansive views throughout the valley. The majority of Clarke County was part of the 1730, 50,212-acre grant from Lord Fairfax to Robert (“King”) Carter (part of the Northern Neck Proprietary land grant)3 . When Robert Carter died in 1732, the land was left to his heirs in the Tidewater region. As Maral Kaliban notes in her report on the Greenway Historic district, “The majority of Clarke County’s land was therefore unavailable for settlement by pioneers from the North, thus creating a dramatic social difference between the people who inhabited the area that later became Clarke and those who inhabited the rest of Frederick County.”4 The influence of Tidewater families began to take effect around the 1780s, when the heirs moved to Clarke County as their own land became less profitable. The well-drained limestone soils made for productive agricultural land and thus fueled a steady influx of these Tidewater families and their unusual land-use patterns. A real estate brochure for Springsbury describes the distinct character of the region at that time: “These early landowners established in Clarke County, around Berryville, an aristocratic little colony, which endeavored to carry on the English way of life, completely apart from the pioneer character of the surrounding valley. The distinguished houses and farms around Berryville today represent the natural culmination of this cultural background, agricultural wealth and an inherent tradition of gracious living.”5 Due to the impact of the wealthy Tidewater families, the land was never subdivided as it was in much of the surrounding area. For the most part, the serene expanses of pastureland remain relatively undisturbed. This area is now part of the Greenway Historic District, a network of historically significant properties within southwestern Clarke County.
1 2 3 4 5 Kaliban, Historical Report, 1 Kaliban, Greenway Historic District, Section 7, page 5 Kaliban, Historic Report, 13 Kaliban, Greenway Historic District, Section7, page 7 Real Estate Brochure. Clarke County Historical Association SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 11
Fry-Jefferson map of Virginia, 1751
SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 1
HYDROLOGY AND SOILS
Springsbury’s location in the rich bottomlands of the Shenandoah River makes it an ideal place for agriculture. However, the proximity of the river also makes structures vulnerable to the occasional flooding regime; an addition to the main house sits just within the 100-year floodline (as seen in the diagram to the right). The soils are comprised of a mix of Chagrin, MonongahelaZoar complex and Timberville silt loam (see map on following page), with occasional limestone outcrops. These limestone enriched soils supported hearty wheat crops in the era before the Civil War when large-scale plantations comprised most of Clarke County. In the era after the war, most plantation owners turned to fruit and hay production, crops that were less labor intensive.
Spr bur ings y La ne
Br igg ’s R
SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 13
2B Braddock loam, 3 to 8 percent slopes 4 Buckton soils 10 Chagrin soils 25B Monongahela loam, 3 to 8 26B Monongahela-Braddock complex 26C Monongahela-Braddock complex, 27B Monongahela-Zoar complex 30B Nicholson-Duffield silt loams 38B Poplimento-Webbtown complex 38C Poplimento-Webbtown complex 38D2 Poplimento-Webbtown complex 39B Poplimento-Webbtown complex, 39C Poplimento-Webbtown complex, 39D2 Poplimento-Webbtown complex, 43C Rock outcrop-Opequon complex 46B Swimley-Hagerstown silt loams 47B Swimley-Hagerstown silt loams, rocky 49B Thurmont loam, 3 to 8 percent slope 51B Timberville silt loam 52B Udipsamments, 55D Udults-Udalfs association 56 Weaver silt loam 57C2 Webbtown-Poplimento-Rock outcrop complex 57D2 Webbtown-Poplimento-Rock outcrop complex *information courtesy of the USDA soil survey
SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 14
Land divided into large parcels for plantation style farming.
Main house built by Holker. Log cabin built on site. Mill and distillery operating on site. Land farmed by slave labor.
Death of Robert Carter. Land left to Tidewater heirs, Northern Neck Proprietary Land Grant includes area of Springsbury.
Land owned by Colonel Fielding Lewis. Springsbury parcel inherited by George Lewis.
John Holker owns the Springsbury property.
Holker dies, land passes to wife, Nancy.
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Springsbury and Land’s End parcels rejoined. Land divided into two parcels: Springbsury and Land’s End. Massive renovation of house, horse barn and gardens. Several new outbuildings constructed at this time as well. Construction of swimming pool.
Casey Trees renovates outbuildings for offices. Constructs a tree nursery.
Greenhalgh era. Springsbury owned by Dr. Hugh Taylor and his wife, Minnie. Minnie Taylor leaves property to Episcopal Diocese, which then sells property to Greenhalghs. Springsbury owned by Eugene and Betty Casey.
Land passes between members of the McCormick family.
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Property donated to Casey Trees, LLC.
2. THE DEVELOPMENT OF SPRINGSBURY FARM
THE HOLKER ERA: 1790-1840
As part of the King Carter land grant, the Springsbury site came under the ownership of descendants of Robert “King” Carter. Robert Carter Nicholas inherited the land, and in turn conveyed 3,078 acres to Colonel Fielding Lewis, George Washington’s brother-in-law, around 17501. Upon the Colonel’s death, 1078 acres were willed to his son, George Lewis. A log cabin was built during this time and remained until the Greenhalgh additions (around 1935-1936). George Lewis sold the property not long after he inherited it. The land passed through a number of hands between 1781 and 1790, whereupon John Holker finally purchased it. The core of what is now the Springsbury house was built sometime in the 1790s, not long after the purchase was made. Its location was selected due to its proximity to a spring. Thus, the property earned the name, “Springsbury,” which appears on record for the first time in 1799. At this point, records indicate that the property consisted of 1,076 acres. John Holker was indeed one of the more colorful owners of the property. Holker was of Scotch descent but lived in France after his father fought for the pretender to the Scottish throne, Bonnie Prince Charlie. He was sent to America by the French government during the Revolutionary War and was later named Consul General of France. According to reports, Holker was very prosperous, owning properties in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Illinois, among other locales. In a 1930 manuscript from the Garden Club of Virginia, Holker is described as having “displayed during the whole war a taste and luxury hitherto strangers in America; his house was the resort of all the first people on the continent and after the arrival of the French army of all their officers of distinction.” 2 A dabbler in a variety of trades and projects, Holker was undeniably entrepreneurial. His farm records, kept between the years of 1801 and 1803, indicate that there was both a mill and distillery on site3. Unfortunately, not all his ventures were financially viable, and the property was mortgaged in 1799 (the first time Springsbury appears on public records) 4. According to the architectural report on the property, Holker tried to sell it in 1814. He never found a buyer. There are also indications that Joseph Bonaparte, brother to Napoleon, entertained the idea of purchasing Springsbury around 1815.5 The very fact that Joseph considered such a purchase is testament to the wealth of the Springsbury house and grounds at the time.
1 2 3 4 5 Kaliban, Historical Report, 13-14 Manuscript. Garden Club of Virginia, 1930, Clarke County Historical Association Kaliban, Historical Report, 15 Griffith, “Springbury,” 31 Kaliban, Historical Report, 16 SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 17
Photograph, Springsbury pre-1937, Clarke County Historical Association (CCHA) Archives.
John Holker died in 1822 and his land continued to be held in part by his third wife, Nancy Holker, between 1822 and 1839. Between 1839 and 1842, the estate was the subject of a legal battle among the Holker heirs, which was never resolved. In 1842, all land and slaves of John Holker were sold at public auction and purchased by Colonel Hugh M. Nelson of Long Branch.1
Kaliban, Historical Report, 18 SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 18
THE MCCORMICK/TAYLOR ERA: 1842-1933
In 1842, Charles McCormick purchased Springsbury from Colonel Hugh Nelson. Charles was the son of Francis McCormick, one of the earliest settlers of the valley. The McCormick clan was extremely prosperous, excelling in a number of professions, which allowed them to indulge in “the fine art of good living.” 1 Charles McCormick died shortly after the purchase and the land was divided among his brothers: Province McCormick, Francis McCormick, and Dr. Cyrus McCormick2. Under Charles McCormick’s will, a trust was created to support his widowed sister, Hannah, and her two children, Eliza and William. Substantial litigation ensued when it came time to execute the will due to the complexity of the partition. Ultimately, Francis McCormick deeded 531 acres to Hannah and William in 18513. The remaining land, known as the Land’s End parcel, was given to Eliza and her heirs. Under the tutelage of the McCormick family, both Springsbury and Land’s End properties flourished. Even in the years immediately following the Civil War, the property did not depreciate substantially. Springsbury was one of the rare estates that prospered after the war, even with the shift from slave to paid labor.
1 2 3 Griffith, Springsbury, 33 Griffith, Springsbury, 33 Griffith, Springsbury, 34 SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 19
Photograph, view from northwest, circa 1936, courtesy of Rieley and Associates.
Over the next 20 years, the land moved among different members of the McCormick clan. In 1873, Hannah Taylor conveyed the property to her son, William Taylor, who lived there with his son, Samuel.1 A decade later, in 1884, William conveyed the land to Samuel, who lived on the property with his family. When the widow of William Taylor, Gertrude, finally passed away in 1894, the land was again conveyed to her daughter, Annie Taylor.2 Annie Taylor died in 1912 and Dr. Hugh Taylor, one of her sons, eventually purchased the land3. At that time, the property consisted of 410 acres. The acquisition was recorded in the local papers, suggesting that Springsbury was a noteworthy place in Clarke County at the time. It should be noted that Dr. Hugh Taylor was a reputable physician in Richmond, acting as secretary and treasurer of the Medical Society. He retained a primary residence in Richmond and visited Springsbury on occasion. Upon Dr. Hugh Taylor’s death, the land was passed to his wife, Minnie Taylor, a noted philanthropist. When she later died in 1933, she willed the Springsbury property to the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia4. Her hope was that the property would be used as a school for orphan boys. However, the Diocese decided not to keep Springsbury, and sold it shortly thereafter to the Greenhalghs.
1 2 3 4 Kaliban, Historical Report, 19 Kaliban, Historical Report, 19 Griffith, Springsbury, 34 Griffith, Springsbury, 35
Detail. Chrisman, Map of Clarke County, 1922. UVa Special Collections.
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THE GREENHALGH FAMILY 1935 - 1958
Unlike previous owners of Springsbury, the Greenhalghs did not have Virginia roots. George P. Greenhalgh was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 18781 and went on to attend Yale and Harvard for business school. By 1910, census records indicate that he worked as a lawyer in Toledo, Ohio2. Marie, his wife, was born in Winchester, Massachusetts in 1884. Her family was associated with the Libbey Glassware Company, which relocated to Toledo, Ohio in 1888.3 Presumably, the paths of George and Marie intersected in Toledo, and the couple was married sometime between 1910 and 1920. George appears to have held a number of different professions over the years; census records list him as a lawyer, broker, and then finally, in the 1930s, as a manufacturer4. By the 1930s, George and Marie were living in Perrysville, Ohio and had achieved a very high standard of living. Both the value of their house and a record of decadent vacations evidence a couple that was financially very well off.5 It is around this time (1935) that the Greenhalghs purchased Springsbury. They were introduced to the area by one of George’s Yale classmates, whose family owned Fairfield, a large colonial mansion in Clarke County6. As dedicated breeders of thoroughbred horses, the Greenhalghs must have been taken with the equestrian culture and beauty of the surrounding countryside. And they were not alone: the Greenhalghs were part of a larger migration of northern industrialists to Clarke County, motivated by the culture and affordability of land. These northern transplants purchased languishing plantation properties and transformed them into country houses used for entertaining guests and fox-hunting, among other leisure activities. The photograph to the right shows the Greenhalghs after one of such hunting outings with friends. Upon purchasing the property, the Greenhalghs decided to undertake a series of renovations and additions. What transpired altered the fabric of Springsbury and turned it into the elaborate country estate that exists today.
1 2 3 4 5 6
Kaliban, Historical Report, 21 Kaliban, 22 Kaliban, 22 Ancestry.com “Greenhalgh” Kaliban, 22 Kaliban, 22
SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 21
Photograph, “Hunt Breakfast”, circa 1930s (Marie and George pictured), CCHA Archives
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3. SPRINGSBURY IN 1935
A SNAPSHOT OF THE PROPERTY BEFORE THE ADDITIONS
Before discussing the changes made to the property, it is important to understand what it was like when the Greenhalghs first purchased it. Only by contrasting the renovations with the state of the property in 1935, does the extent of the changes register. Thankfully, a survey of the Springsbury grounds was completed in July, 1935 in order to install a sewage system for the property. It is one of the rare documents that provide a glimpse of the estate before the Greenhalgh’s renovation. From the drawings, an inventory of trees and structures can be compiled. Trees present on Springsbury at time of survey: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Elm 39” Elm 30” Elm 4” Elm 5” Sycamore 30” Walnut 18” Cottonwood 2” Locust 33” Willow 6” Ash 2” Sugar Nut 30” Maple 4” Ash 30” Ash 30” Sugar Nut 2” Peach 3” Peach 2” Cedar Bush Locust 3’ Cottonwood 2” Sycamore 30” • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Sugar Nut 30” Sycamore 36” Sycamore 8” Sycamore 15” Sycamore 12” Hedge Bush 10’ tall 4” Elm Bushes, 20’ tall Maple 8” Pear 8” Apple 6” Pear 2” Lilac bushes 8’ tall Grape arbor Grape Arbor Lilac bushes Elm 2” Pear 4” Pear 4” Structures at time of survey: • • • • Main house with front and back porches, elevated above ground level. 18th century log cabin Pierce house (not shown on survey) Barn
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INSIGHTS FROM THE SURVEY
In analyzing the survey, redundancies become evident. Certain trees, hedges and topographical elements on the survey appear again in the final designs for the property. The drawings to the right exhibit three features that ultimately structured components of the final plan: 1. The flood line: The main house fell just outside the 100-year floodplain. In order to prevent flooding of house and grounds, gardens would have to be elevated above this line. 2. The lilac hedge: This hedge bounded the original Springsbury garden (which is described in detail on the following page). It appears in multiple drawings, acting as a means of aligning elements. Ultimately, the pool is placed along the northern lilac hedge. 3. The Sugar Nut Tree: This tree appears again and again throughout design iterations for the property. A concerted effort was made to maintain this particular specimen for reasons that will be discussed in later chapters.
Flood line. All details from “Topographic Map”, 1935, Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC.
*See appendix for survey
Lilac hedge detail.
Sugar Nut Tree detail. SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 24
In addition to the survey, a 1930 Historic Garden Tour led by the Garden Club of Virginia provides a vivid description of what the Springsbury gardens looked like only a few years before the renovation: “The south lawn is bordered by a dancing brook whereby the waters from the large spring find their way to the nearby Shenandoah.To the north of the house was the garden, it was reached by a path bordered on either side by beds filled with a wealth of old fashioned companionable flowers.The garden was entered through a wicket gate, the box bordered path from this gate spread into a large circule in the center of the garden.This circule was intersected by two grass paths, the four beds thus formed being filled with a wealth of flowers. On the west behind the box hedges were planted the vegetable and small fruits. And the west side of the garden was bordered with a magnificent hedge of purple lilacs.The path from the east side of the circule led into a garden gently terraced to the point where it lost itself in the blue grass meadow which was washed on the east by the waters of the Shenandoah. Through this meadow the driveway approached the house. “1 The image at top right shows another Virginia garden that follows a similar configuration to that described by the Garden Club. Below that is an example of a terrace garden. While it is likely more elaborate than the one constructed at Springsbury, it shows the sense of prospect and status that such a garden provided. Images on the following page show the possible locations of the gardens described in the tour.
1 Manuscript. Garden Club of Virginia, 1930, Clarke County Historical Association “ “Walk at Carter’s Grove.” Early American Gardens, date unknown. SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 25
“Flower de Hundred Garden” Historic Virginia Gardens, 1923.
Probable boundary of original garden
Area of possible terracing
“Topographic Map”, 1935, Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC.
1936 aerial confirms presence of terraces, although they might have been altered during the renovations.
Aerial photograph of Springbsury, 1936, Rieley and Associates.
SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 26
4. ARCHITECTURAL CHANGES
THE PERRY, SHAW AND HEPBURN ADDITIONS
When it came time to renovate the property, the Greenhalghs spared no expense. They hired the prestigious Boston firm of Perry, Shaw and Hepburn to design additions to the house as well as two outbuildings (Trooper House and Hill House). It is likely that Marie Greenhalgh was familiar with the firm due to her Massachusetts upbringing. At the time, Perry, Shaw and Hepburn had just completed work at Colonial Williamsburg, which was funded and overseen by John D. Rockefeller. The project had earned the firm great notoriety within the state of Virginia and had inspired a renaissance in Colonial revival architecture. In seeking architects for a historically sensitive and large-scale renovation, the Greenhalghs had located among the best in the field.
The designs drawn up by the firm transformed the modest Federal style dwelling into a “sprawling U-shaped Georgian Colonial revival style mansion reminiscent of Tidewater plantations.1” Most of the original house, beyond the brick core of the existing house was demolished including: “the east porch, vestibule and steps; the complete west wing and porches; the north entrance and platform; and the south entrance and steps.”2 Also worth noting is the fact that the additions forced the mansion to make an about-face, shifting the front to the back and vice versa. For that reason, the house definitely appears idiosyncratic: the main entry has two doors and the back seems grander than the front despite attempts to make it appear otherwise. The peculiar color scheme included white walls, pink trim and green shutters. The motivation for this unique color scheme is uncertain, although it matches the Vitrolite glass colors used in the bathrooms3. It is likely that the colors were simply the preference of the Greenhalghs and have no historical significance.
1 2 3 Kaliban, 1 Kaliban, 4 Kaliban, 4
Perry, Shaw and Hepburn, “Elevation of East Facade,” 1935. (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 27
SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE Perry, Shaw and Hepburn, “Site Plan”, 1935 (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC). 1
5. ELLEN BIDDLE SHIPMAN
SPRINGSURY’S LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
In 1935, Ellen Biddle Shipman was at the height of her career as a landscape architect. Her work had already been featured in numerous nation-wide publications including House Beautiful and House and Garden, among others. The Greenhalghs were probably keenly aware of her talents from the magazine spreads, which featured lush perennial gardens and meticulous architectural details.
Image: House and Garden, September 1930.
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THE MAKING OF A LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
Shipman has an interesting history, and the path that led her to the Greenhalgh estate in 1935 is worth detailing. Born in Philadelphia in 1867, Shipman’s early life was marked by unusually rich experiences with nature. Her father was in the military, and much of her childhood was spent in the west, in Nevada and Colorado1. One of her earliest memories is of her father’s insistence on maintaining trees in the arid western climate: “One of my earliest recollections was the excitement of seeing water that my father had ordered brought for miles to a Nevada post, running in a ditch, or essahia, as it was called there, to feed the trees he had planted along the driveways – the only trees in our vicinity.”2 Her love of nature was fostered by sightseeing trips throughout the country, including the east coast, where her extended family lived. The margins of her childhood notebooks were filled with drawings and plans of gardens, evidencing an ever-burgeoning talent. One of her teachers took note and gave her an architectural history book to provide some additional encouragement.3 It took Ellen slightly longer to realize what her teacher saw in her at such a young age. Although she went to college at Radcliffe (also known as the Harvard Annex) for a year, she never studied landscape architecture. Her brief tenure at the school ended when she met Louis Shipman, an aspiring playwright, and fell in love. Despite disapproval from her family, she married Shipman in 1893 and moved with him to an artist’s colony in Cornish, New Hampshire.
1 2 3 Way, Thaisa, Unbounded Practice, 66 Shipman, “Garden Notebook.” Shipman, “Garden Notebook”
Portrait of Ellen Biddle Shipman, date unknown, Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC.
SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 30
Gardens by Ellen Shipman: 1. House Beautiful, July 1924. 2. House and Garden, Septmber, 1925. 3. House Beautiful, July 1924.
The move to Cornish precipitated a resurgence of Shipman’s gardening interests. The charming colony attracted a slew of artists, which made the atmosphere ripe for innovation and the exchange of aesthetic ideas. Of the place, she wrote, “Here was the renaissance of gardening in America.”1 Although Shipman experimented extensively with her own gardens at Cornish, she did not design for anyone but herself. However, her talents did not go unnoticed. During a stay at the house of Charles Platt, she accidentally left some of her drawings at his house. Platt was impressed and shortly thereafter sent her drafting materials with a note imploring her to keep drawing2. At that time, Shipman had three children and her life was spent contentedly caring for her family. But this domestic bliss was short lived: in 1910 Louis left for New York, leaving Shipman to fend for herself and three young children. His departure prompted her to consider new ways to support herself, which led her to pursue landscape architecture.
Shipman, “Garden Notebook” Tankard, Judith. “The Gardens of Ellen Biddle Shipman,” 18 SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 31
Her Cornish connections enabled this sudden career shift, and she began training under her old friend, Charles Platt. Under his mentorship and training, her modest skill began to blossom into a veritable talent. Platt would design the house and other architectural features and have Shipman compose the gardens and grounds. For nearly a decade, Shipman worked in close collaboration with Platt; but by 1920, she was ready to embark on her own practice. She set up an office in New York City and relied on connections she had created and maintained both in her years living at Cornish and in her time working under Platt. Her resilient character, astute design skills and general affability served her well and her practice flourished. No project was too small or too undignified, and Shipman took on projects many of her contemporaries (including Beatrix Farrand) would have refused. As her practice grew, she hired young female graduates from the Lowthorpe School to help her draft designs. She developed close relationships with the Lowthorpe graduates and actively donated money and time to Lowthorpe despite her own lack of formal education1. Over the years, Shipman designed close to 600 gardens, most of them in the northeastern United States. By the early 1930s, she was heralded as the “Dean of women landscape architects,” a high honor by any measure. Shipman remained deeply committed to the profession throughout her life despite its hardships and occasional setbacks. Toward the end of her career, Shipman attempted to compile a notebook detailing her design knowledge and philosophy. Due to failing health (and the lack of a market for such a book), the work was never completed. However, some of her pages remain and one quote in particular seems to sum up her democratic and unpretentious design philosophy: “To the individual, gardening opens a door wider than any other of the arts – all mankind can walk through, rich and poor, high and low, talented and untalented. It has no distinctions, all are welcome.”2
1 2 Tankard, 56 Shipman, “Garden Notebook” SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 32
Lowthorpe school brochure: Image courtesy of Wikipedia. Shipman advertisement, courtesy of All About My Garden.
SHIPMAN’S DESIGN INFLUENCES
Shipman differed from her contemporaries in both her lack of education and her inability to travel abroad. Thus, her landscape inspirations were more eclectic and local than the likes of Beatrix Farrand and Marian Coffin. Her earliest education in gardening came from her time spent with Louis at Cornish. The gardens there “brimmed with old-fashioned flowers, dirt paths, and simple ornaments and features, such as rose arbors and circular reflecting pools.”1 Because she did not have the means to travel, Shipman pored through copies of House Beautiful and House and Garden, magazines that would eventually feature her work. The Shipman archives at Cornell have a number of her magazine clippings of gardens and details that inspired her. Perhaps unsurprisingly, her clippings featured a wide range of styles and aesthetics. Her time working under Charles Platt gave her another design vocabulary, one lifted from pages of Italian villa gardens. The basic axial plans she developed under Platt provided the compositional strategy for much of her career. In working with Platt, she learned the importance of integrating house and garden, considering the garden the “shadow of a house.”2 But, unlike her mentor, Shipman had a greater appreciation for the existing qualities of site. She approved of formality within close proximity to the house, but advocated less intervention on the periphery. This sort of attitude was consistent with the work of William Robinson, who advocated hardy plants with a more natural appearance outside the garden proper. Shipman describes her own stance on the use of native “natural” plantings in her Garden Notebook: “Native plants and shrubs will be found best to use outside the garden proper. There are many reasons for this but to give only a few. First they are apt to do well. Second they look less as if they come from a nursery. Third they blend into the distant landscape and give your property a larger aspect, for no matter how big one’s place may be there is always the desire to extend one’s landed possessions.”3
1 2 3
Tankard, “Shipman’s New England Gardens,” 47 Tankard, “The Gardens of Ellen Biddle Shipman,” 47 Shipman, “Garden Notebook” SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 33
Shipman’s primary genius was reserved for the space within the garden boundaries, in lush perennial beds, expertly choreographed to remain in bloom throughout the year. She was particularly inspired by the work of Gertrude Jekyll, a preeminent gardener and author who championed the hardy perennial border. An article from a 1930 issue of House and Garden describes the appeal of Jekyll’s approach: “Miss Jekyll made us believe ourselves artists in embryo with a color box to our hands and a canvas ready stretched before us. She opened up to us a new delight in gardening and new possibilities in ourselves and set us a most radiant and enticing example.”1 Shipman certainly took to this brand of landscape gardening, painting radiant compositions in peony, foxglove and narcissus. In terms of planting, Shipman’s designs were robust, colorful and dynamic.
1 “New Colour Schemes for the Garden.” House and Garden, 1930
Image of Gertrude Jekyll Garden: Thomas Henry Hunn The Pansy Garden, Munstead Wood, Surrey. Watercolor. Courtesy of artnet.com.
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6. GENERAL DESIGN PLANS
SHIPMAN’S APPROACH TO SITE Shipman had a very exacting regimen when it came to creating a landscape design for any property. She was a big proponent of site-based design and found it necessary to spend time getting to know the place and its peculiarities. Shipman herself once said, “I never have done and never expect to do a piece of work without seeing the place and making the plans especially for it.”1 During her site visits, she recorded her observations in notes and photographs2. Although no specific evidence exists of her visit to Springsbury since most of her correspondence and notes prior to 1940 have been lost, it is likely that her manner of working there followed suit. In drafting the design, she would also consult surveys of the grounds (see appendix) to get a better sense of overall layout and topography of the site. Shipman employed a similar rigor when it came to observing the local flora. Her Garden Notebook gives a vivid description of how she approached developing a planting plan: “Frequently when doing work in a new part of the country people will ask me how I know what plants I will want to use. My answer is that I will not know until I SEE what there is. After two of three days driving about the country to note the native growth and natural combinations of trees, shrubs and ground covers and visiting gardens to see which plants that I use in other parts of the country do well under local conditions, as well as noting requirements of new plants that suit my taste and needs, I will have made a good working basis.”3 Although site analysis and observation played important roles in Shipman’s design process, there were certain geometries and spatial strategies that she regularly employed. Her strong belief in the relationship between house and garden led her to incorporate architectural features from the house and carry them through her construction details.
1 2 3 Shipman, quoted from Tankard, “Gardens of Ellen Biddle Shipman,” 78 Tankard, 78 Shipman, “Garden Notebook” SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 35
Shipman, Ellen. “General Design Plan.” Date unknown. (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
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EVOLUTION OF SHIPMAN’S DESIGNS
Shipman, “Sketch” Date Unknown
Shipman, “Preliminary design plan.” September, 1935
*All images from Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC
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Shipman, “General Design Plan.” December, 1935
Shipman, “Revised Design Plan.” August, 1936
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1 (beyond frame)
6 4 5 7 3
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OVERVIEW OF SHIPMAN’S DESIGN FEATURES
Not all elements of Shipman’s ambitious plans were realized. The features that were ultimately completed by the Greenhalghs included the gateway, roads, service court, forecourt, terraces, tennis courts, and swimming pool. The following chapters will elaborate more specifically on each of these elements.
The Service Court
The Swimming Pool
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7. THE GATEWAY
AN ENTRY TO SPRINGSBURY
The entrance to Springsbury is framed by two curving walls made of attractive local flagstone. While the road into the property, Springsbury Lane, existed before the additions, Shipman’s gateway creates a distinct moment of arrival. In keeping with the surrounding pastureland, the gateway has a more rustic appearance. The aesthetic is similar to the pillars on the original barn, which feature a comparable stone and finish. The common approach to landscape architecture at the time was to concentrate the more formal, designed elements of a plan near the house and to leave the outskirts of the property more “wild” by comparison. By that logic, the gateway encapsulates a rougher aesthetic than that reproduced around the house. However, despite its less refined look, it still contains architectural motifs that are repeated throughout the garden and the house. The entrance gate appears nearly as Shipman planned it with the exception of the molding on the cap. It should also be noted that the trees contained in the current view of Springsbury Lane have been planted by Springsbury’s current owner, Casey Trees. The trees in the allee are a variety of elm cultivars1 grown by the organization, which has a nursery on site.
Casey Trees, LLC: http://www.caseytrees.org/about/casey-tree-farm
SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 41
1. Entry to Springsbury 2. Shipman, “Construction details for entrance walls,” 1935. (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC) 3. Elevation of entry gate (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC) 4. Detail of entry gate 5. Shipman, Detail. “Construction details for entrance walls,” 1935. (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
*Note: some drawings have been inverted or edited for greater legibility. Full drawings are available at the Cornell Rare and Manuscript Collection in Ithaca, NY.
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8. THE ROADS
CHOREOGRAPHING AN APPROACH
Shipman’s drawings and notes for the roads at Springsbury demonstrate the depth of her knowledge in all aspects of the design process. The Cornell archives contain a number of documents like the one drawn up for the Greenhalghs (right)1, specifying all details of road construction, from the height of the crown to the sealant. There is also a keen understanding of the way in which water should be conveyed off the road depending on its slope. Such specificity is truly impressive and shows that Shipman had learned not only from her experience working with architects, but also in her time with engineers. Also worth noting is the way in which the roads are set into the slope. A drawing for the entry roads at the Jenkins property (see page 84), display the way in which she studied a site’s topography and aligned the road to curve gracefully along swells in the landscape. The photographs below show the way movement is choreographed through the drives at Springsbury.
Shipman, “Specifications for Gravel Road.”
Shipman, “Specifications for Gravel Road.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
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Shipman, “Plan for Stable Road and Parking Lot.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 1
9. THE SERVICE COURT
As a wealthy family in the 1930s, the Greenhalghs did a large amount of entertaining and likely had a sizeable staff working on the property. The generous service kitchen indicates a manner of living consistent with a cooking and serving staff rather than one used privately. Originally the service drive served both Hill House (the guest house just north of the main house, no longer on site) and the main house. The driveway was likely meant to allow shipments to be delivered directly to the kitchen without disrupting activity in the rest of the house. In keeping with the more domestic nature of that side of the property (and the cottage feel of Hill House), the building details are less monumental. The rounded wooden posts set into a brick base, flanked by the occasional brick column with wooden crown molding. The juxtaposition of the pink and white give it a distinct warmth, especially in combination with the lush green foliage that surrounds it. The gate that once led to Hill House still remains, although the house it leads to does not. For more information on the house, see page 75.
Shipman, “Plan for layout of entrance court and service drive.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
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4 2 5
Image 6: Shipman, “Detail of Moulded Brick at Base of Post.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
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10. THE FORECOURT
THE FORECOURT WALLS
Shipman had an interesting philosophy when it came to the design of walls. An article from the Winston-Salem journal describes a lecture by Shipman given on the topic: “She stressed the right manner of building walls where walls were necessary, so that they might seems a permanent part of the garden and not just put together for the moment, and, too, that they might readily hold the lovely vines which would eventually cover them.”1 In other words, walls were meant to seem grounded in a place rather than arbitrarily constructed. Shipman’s logic in this lecture seems to apply to her design in the forecourt. The walls extend off the architecture of the house, demarcating the place of entry and turnabout drive. Along their perimeter, a number of small trees, shrubs and vines are specified, including wisteria, small-leaf English ivy, climbing hydrangea and trumpet vine (see page 50 for planting plan). These vines were meant to cover the walls, making them appear firmly integrated into the site. The brick pattern on the forecourt walls is the same as on the house, making the walls appear as an extension of the architecture rather than as an addition. The drawing bears a note that reads: “All walls to have same brick and laid in same bond as house.”2 Shipman was known to have said that the garden was the shadow of the house, and her choice to treat the walls in such a manner shows her desire to bind the two in close relationship to one another. The bronze eagles which perch atop the two entry columns are prominent gate markers, although their exact significance to the Greenhalghs remains unknown. The eagle has long been used in heraldry motifs, signifying strength and nobility. Perhaps the Greenhalghs were making a statement about their own status, or maybe they simply appreciated the symbolism behind the bird; either way, the eagle markers provide an impressive frame for the Springsbury residence. .
“Mrs. Ellen Shipman, Famous Landscape Architect, Thrills Hearers.” Winston-Salem Journal. October 8, 1932. (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC) Shipman, Ellen. “Forecourt” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC) SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 47
*Images 1 and 4: Shipman, “Construction drawing of forecourt walls,” 1937 (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
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THE FORECOURT TREE
In the 1935 survey and all subsequent drawings, one feature remains: the consistent, steadfast “Sugar Nut”1 tree. Shipman had always been an advocate for maintaining existing specimens, but there seem to be a number of factors at work in the preservation of this particular tree. For one, it was the only tree indicated on the survey that fell within the boundaries of the forecourt walls. In such a monumental space, a large tree was probably necessary to provide a place of visual grounding. Then there is the question of the tree’s off center placement. Was the placement a result of Shipman’s commitment to this specific tree or was some other motivation at work? In closely examining the house, one thing becomes clear: it is not symmetrical. The spaces to either side of the two entry doors are unequal and the chimney is not centered. In being off-center, the tree helped provide a sense of balance, creating the illusion of architectural symmetry (or, perhaps, simply acting as a distraction from house’s asymmetry). Regardless of the motivation for the preservation of the tree, it eventually became the primary feature of the forecourt. Shipman designed a slate planter, held together with bolts and steel connecting plates, to create a frame for this fine specimen. The large planter ties together the slate from the roof and entry stairs into the landscape, thus maintaining the continuity between house and garden. Although the only label for the tree is “Sugar Nut,” a common name unknown to current practitioners, it seems likely that it was simply a misnomer for “Sugarberry” or Southern Hackberry (Celtis laerogata)2 as it is now known. Unfortunately, this hypothesis cannot be confirmed since the tree no longer exists.
McBond C., Walker. “Topographic map of estate.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC) Conversation with Will Rieley, Landscape Architect, August 11, 2011.
SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 49
SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 50
Images 1, 2, 4 and 5 from Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC; Images 6, 7, and 8 from CCHA Archives, Real Estate Brochure, 1958.
PLANTING PLAN FOR FORECOURT
From Shipman’s plans it is clear that the forecourt, or entry court, as it is occasionally labeled, was not meant to act as a garden. It was a place of arrival and greeting rather than of intimacy. As such, her planting plan consists primarily of low maintenance trees, shrubs and vines which would help camouflage the surrounding walls. The one exception to this rule is on south side of the forecourt, where a gateway leads to a terraced garden, planted with rhododendrons and hosta (still relatively low maintenance plants).
Real Estate Brochure for Springsbury, 1958. CCHA Archives.
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Today, the forecourt still contains the old slate edging that once defined the border plantings, however, few original specimens remain. The photograph on the previous page shows how the area looked in its prime, circa the 1950s. Below is the planting plan.
PLANTS SPECIFIED: English Ivy Wisteria Boxwood Magnolia Grandiflora Small leaf English Ivy Climbing rose – Dr.Van Fleet Anchusa Myosotiflora (12) Andromeda (6) Wisteria Prunus Climbing Hydrangea Rhododendron Carolinanum (6) Viburnum Lantana Rhododendron Album Elegans (6) Funkia Lanc (15) Pulmonaria (20) Gordonia Malus Micromalus Viburnum Cassanoides Hemlock Thorn Locust Narcissus Poeticus Reuruus (50) Wisteria Prunus Haven Climbing Rose Star of Persia Cornus Florida Highbush Blueberry Vinca Minor Kalmia Latifolia (50) Vinca Minor (100) Climbing Rose Mermaid Elm Plumbago Climbing Rose New Dawn Box Saxifrage Prunus Amanagawa Shipman, “Planting Plan for the Forecourt.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC) Cornus Florida Vinca Minor (100) Kalmia Latifolia (50) Small Leaf English Ivy Prunus Amanagawa Cotoneaster Simonsi Myosotis (30) Hemlock Wisteria Peony Therese Taxus Cuspidata Baccata (6) Lilium Regale (12) Syringa Josikara Lithosperm Elm Magnolia Stellata Climbing Rose Jacotte Laburnum Anchusa Myosotidiflora (20) Varnish Tree Kalmia Latifolia Andromeda (3) Magnolia Soulamgeana trained on wall
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11. THE TERRACES
EARTHWORK AND RETAINING WALLS
The terraces are the crowning achievement of Shipman’s Springsbury designs. Seamlessly integrated into the house, providing a sense of prospect that extended past the hay fields and the Shenandoah River, the terraces were expertly designed to maximize the site’s natural beauty. While the terraces seem so integrated as to appear almost intuitive, a closer inspection reveals some clever planning and design ingenuity. Remember, the original Springsbury house, built by John Holker, (see page18) was elevated. A porch had once helped to offset this awkward change in elevation but was demolished in anticipation of the new additions So, in 1935, the grade change problem again presented itself: how could one not only compensate for this elevation change but create a design that incorporated it? Furthermore, the property fell just within the 100-year floodline (see page 13). Not only was the house at risk of flooding but also any landscape additions sited on the back of the estate. Shipman’s solution to this problem was to create enormous terraces that not only helped offset the grade change but also provided a barrier against potential flooding by the Shenandoah River. To achieve this goal, Shipman designed massive retaining walls, with concrete bases as wide as 6 feet. 8 inches and a depth of close to 3 feet (4). It is likely Shipman sought some assistance in drafting these walls, since she typically subcontracted grading work to engineering consultants.1 The result of this problem-solving was a robust landscape feature that served utilitarian as well as aesthetic aims. In the end, four distinct spaces emerged as a result of the design strategy: the north terrace, the south terrace, the upper terrace and the lower terrace.
Tankard, “The Gardens of Ellen Biddle Shipman,” 77 SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 53
1936 aerial photograph courtesy of Rieley and Associates
“Shipman, “Grading plan for terraces and entrance court.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
Real Estate Brochure, courtesy CCHA Archives, 1958.
“Shipman, “Wall section.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
“Shipman, Ellen, “Construction drawings of walls.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
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AREAS OF PAVING AND PLANTING ON TERRACES
STANDARD BRICK PAVING
SPECIAL BRICK DETAILS
Half Basket Weave
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The north terrace is a simple rectangular shape, lined with intricate perennial beds. It connects to both the upper terrace (by the circular stairs) and the lower terrace (by traditional brick stairs). The paving is comprised of molded brick arranged in a basket weave pattern and defined on either side by a border of brick headers. The brick patterns at Springsbury were commonly used by Shipman, who preferred to keep the architectural elements simple and to let the intricate plantings perform most of the work. 1The extents of the terrace are defined by low brick walls, which demarcate the space and create a frame for the colorful perennial plantings. The entry to the north side of this terrace is flanked by two Japanese Yew specimens, which were specified by Shipman and remain to this day.
1 Tankard, “The Gardens of Ellen Biddle Shipman,” 53
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Shipman, “Perennial Plan for north terrace garden.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
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The south terrace receives significantly less sun due to its proximity to a number of large trees along the southeastern side. Perennial beds hug the perimeter of the terrace, the center of which bears the same basket-weave brick pattern as adjacent terraces. Due to the strange topographical variations at Springsbury, the south terrace is elevated significantly higher above ground level than the north terrace. For that reason, Shipman designed a curving staircase that conveys one from the terrace to the ground below. A single crepe myrtle tree, planted at the base of the stairwell, overhangs the terrace. The tree was not specified on the plan and it seems to have been an addition by owners of the house rather than the landscape architect. As in the north terrace, a low wall defines the boundary of the terrace, creating a sense of seclusion and privacy.
Real Estate Brochure, Clarke County Archives, 1958
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Shipman, Ellen, “Perennial plan for south terrace.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
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The upper terrace at Springsbury is defined by a large brick expanse in the typical basket-weave pattern. As the image below indicates, the paved area acted as a patio space for leisure and entertaining. The unpaved portion of the terrace was planted with turf grass and two symmetrically placed elm trees, meant to frame the back entry to the house (see following page for image). Although Shipman specified elm trees in her drawings, the fate of these trees remains uncertain. Perhaps they fell victim to Dutch Elm disease, or maybe they were never planted at all. Regardless, whether at the garden’s genesis or shortly thereafter, the elms were replaced by Zelkova trees, a species native to Japan. Because the species is highly resistant to Dutch Elm disease, it has been widely used as a replacement throughout the Northern United States1. At present, only one of the two Zelkova trees remain, providing an asymmetry Shipman would likely have eschewed. The health of the remaining Zelkova is dwindling due to included bark, which makes the tree particularly weak and vulnerable. There are plans to remove it in the near future.
1 Zelkova Serrata.” Floridata
Shipman, Ellen, “Grading plan for terraces and entrance court.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
Real Estate Brochure, CCHA Archives, 1958.
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Shipman’s designs for the lower terrace are minimal. Although plans for square, flagstone-paved areas exist (see plan below), it appears that they were never executed; perhaps they were deemed unneccessary. At any rate, the final, completed terrace consisted of a large expanse of turf grass, bounded by a clipped boxwood hedge. The exterior of the wall was meant to be disguised by a combination of flowering trees and shrubs including Japanese tree lilac, Sheepberry and Magnolia. None of the specimens identified on the plan remain, with the exception of the boxwood. It should be noted that although a distinct boxwood hedge remains, it is not comprised entirely of original plantings. Additional specimens were added by the Caseys, the couple who purchased Springsbury from the Greenhalghs in the 1950s1.
1 Conversation with Brian Mayell, Nursery and Grounds Manager, Casey Trees, LLC
Shipman, Ellen,“Tree, shrub and vine plan around house.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
Real Estate Brochure, CCHA Archives, 1958.
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TERRACE STAIRWELL DETAILS
The circular stairwells are some of the more interesting architectural features in Shipman’s designs for Springsbury. They appear to have been influenced by stairs described by Sebastiano Serlio, author of The Five Books of Architecture1. The drawing to the right shows one of Serlio’s drawings, which feature stairs that appear nearly identical to those drawn up by Shipman. This influence is unsurprising considering Shipman’s training under Charles Platt, a champion of Italian design. During her time with Platt, Shipman had become well acquainted with Italian design motifs. Platt, after all, had traveled extensively throughout Italy and had written the very successful book, Italian Gardens2. His book helped bring the Beaux Arts style to the United States, along with the application of formal, architectonic elements3. Shipman’s circular stairs at Springsbury act as transition points between the upper terrace and the sunken north and south terraces. Their form echoes the semi-circular windows designed by Perry Shaw and Hepburn for the main house.
NEXT PAGE: Drawings 1, 2, and 6 Shipman, “Construction details of Terrace B.” Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC. 7: Serlio, Sebastiano, “Five Books of Architecture.”
1 2 3
Serlio, Sebastiano. “The Five Books of Architecture.” Cultural Landscape Foundation, “Charles Platt” Cultural Landscape Foundation, “Charles Platt” SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 63
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12. PLANTING DESIGN
SHIPMAN: A MASTER OF TIMING
Shipman viewed a garden’s walls and paving as the frame for her planting designs, and indeed, her horticulural knowledge is what made her gardens so remarkable. Unlike many of her contemporaries who sought to divorce landscape architecture from the practice of gardening, Shipman continued to promote thoughtful garden making, saying of her designs, “I am never quite satisfied until there is some place I can walk between flowers”1 Shipman had an amazing ability to harness the temporal qualities of design, seeing in time the possibilty of choreography, change and evolution. The garden was a place that could slowly unfold its beauties throughout the season, and could morph along with the whims and preferences of her clients. Shipman “used no more than six to eight main flowering plants in each design and let each, in its season, dominate the garden. For each time one flower is the guest of honor and is merely supplemented with other flowers.”2 Shipman made extensive plant calendars, a couple of which were published in House and Garden magazine. One such calendar gives a good sense of the way in which plants were meant to arise and then supplant one another throughout the year: “The next main plant which dominates the garden...would be the iris, beginning with the earlier varieties and running into the German iris...From the iris under the fading late June, we would run into the early and later peonies. Before the peonies have gone, the early larkspur comes, and the then larkspur completely dominates the garden..Before the larkspur is gone the early Phlox comes...By the time the phlox is gone, the autumn garden has come and the later phlox, set off by the autumn flowers, the hardy asters, Boltonia and the Euparotiums, agerotoides and colesdestinum, the later coniutum, anemone, dahlias, which have been set in to take the place of the Dephinium, that were cut back…By late autumn, the anemone japonica and the late hardy asters and chrysanthemums, and the very late aconitum and pyrethrym.”3
1 2 3
Shipman quoted by Tankard, “Gardens of Ellen Biddle Shipman,” 109 Tankard, 94 Shipman as quoted by Tankard, 116 SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 65
At the time Shipman was designing a plant palette for the Greenhalghs, there was a general preference for more muted color tones over bolder ones. An article in a 1930 issue of House and Garden provides insight into the predominant color approach at that time: “All strong color was banished from polite purlieus – though it keeps up a low muttering in the outlands – we became chaste and chastened in our color predilections. Fragile mauves and buffs, shadowy blues, soft pinks and salmons, lavenders, heliotropes and saffrons, with an admixture of fleecy white flowers and gray foliage, were the only hues suffered in our garden.”1 It should be noted that this article was attempting to encourage readers to be more liberal in their use of color. A palette of pastel hues off set by whites and greys had been popularized by Gertrude Jekyll, and Shipman’s designs seemed to generally follow suit. Shipman’s favored color scheme was comprised of blues, whites and an occasional yellow2. However, considering the sea change this article evidences (circa 1930) and the colors specified at Springsbury, Shipman seems to have loosened her color preferences. An array of yellows, oranges and reds are specified, although Shipman herself provides the caveat: “It will be seen, in going over the shrubs and flowers that certain shades such as orange or any of the red yellows, reds or red purples, are seldom, if ever listed. It is because they draw too much attention to themselves. However, if one desires them, a shrub planting, such as azaleas or a flower border in which you use these tones as high notes, can be gradually built up to their level of color. It will be found best to introduce some pale yellows and use trees or shrubs to tone down their blatant notes.”3 In short, bolder colors could be used, but in moderation, and only when they were diluted by other plantings. The following pages provide a visual analysis of Shipman’s planting plan for Springsbury, providing a sense of how this philosophy manifested itself in her actual design.
1 2 3
“New Colour Schemes for the Garden”, House and Garden, 1930 Tankard, 115 Shipman, “Garden Notebook” SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 66
PLANTINGS ON TERRACES
Anemone September Charm
Aster Barrs Pink
Basket of Gold
Dianthus Sugar Plum
Dr. Rose Van Fleet
Iris King Karl
Iris Lord of June
SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 67
Peony Festiva Maxima
Peony Couronne D’Or
Persian Yellow Rose
Snow White Iris
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As the calendar to the right indicates, Shipman was particularly attuned to timing in her gardens. Plantings specified for the terrace beds were designed to maintain their bloom from February through October, an astonishing range of time.
*information and images courtesy of contributors to Dave’s Garden: http:// davesgarden.com/
Bi-color Buttercup (Aconitum columbianum) Common Periwinkle (Vinca minor) Dr. Rose Van Fleet (Rosaceae rosa) Himalyan Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster simonsii) Tartarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) Arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum) Japanese Snowball Bush (Viburnum tomentosum) English Dogwood (Philadelphus coronarius) Morrow’s Honeysuckle (Lonicera morroni) Feverfew Grape Hyacinth (Azureum species) Rock-cress (Arabis alpina) Basket of Gold (Alyssum citrinum) Common Violet (Viola odorata) Alexander’s White (Iberis sempervirens) Yellow Viola (Viola Pensylvanica) Sweet William (Carophyllaceae dianthus) Sugar Plum (Dianthus plum) Early Tulip Peachblossom (Liliaceae tulipa) Hollyhock Winter Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima) Regal Lily (Lilium regale) Iris Snow White (Iridaceae iris) Peony Therese (Paeonia lactiflora) Peony Couronne D’Or (Paeonia) Persian Yellow Rose (Rosa foetida) Daylily (Hemerocallis fulva) Miss Lingard (Phlox caroliniana)
Pincushion flower (Scabiosa caucasia)
Iris Lord of June (Iridaceae iris) Aster Japanese Anemo Madonna Lily (Lilium candidum) Iris Pallida (Iridaceae iris) Peach Leaf Bellflower (Canpanula persicifolia) Coral Flower (Heuchera brizoides) Garden Peony (Edulis superba)
Iceland Poppy (Papaver nudicale) Hybrid Columbine (Aquilegia hybrida) Empress Daffodil (Amarylidaceae narcissus) Emperor Daffodil (Amarylidaceae narcissus) Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)
Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)
Albatross Daffodil (Amarylidaceae narcissus)
Anemone September Charm (Anemone hybrida) Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Early Tulip Murillo (Liliaceae tulipa) Helios daffodil (Amarylidaceae narcissus) Thunbergia (Thunbergia)
Fleabane (Erigeron species) Forget-me-not (Boraginaceae anchusa) Pyrethrum Daisy (Chrysanthemum cinerarifolium)
Japanese Iris (Iris sanguinea) Iris Ambassadeur (Iridaceae iris)
Sheepberry (Viburnum lentago) Hosta (Hosta lancifolia)
Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia)
Wormwood (Artemesia lactiflora) apanese Lily (Lilium specioisum)
r Barr’s Pink (Asteraceae family) one (Ranunculaceae anemone)
The following diagrams show the way in which Shipman combined shape, color, texture and height in her planting beds. She tended to arrange plants in drifts, deciding upon size, orientation and number according to intuition. After spending a lifetime in careful observation of plant form and habit, she knew how to arrange plants to their best advantage. The way in which Shipman composed color should also be noted; at Springsbury she widened her typical palette of blues, whites and yellows by adding some hints of pink and purple. White flowers were typically used as points of transition, helping to soften juxtapositions or offset brighter tones. These diagrams were made using the perennial plan Shipman drafted for one of the north terrace perennial beds. The planting logic displayed here is similar to that employed throughout the terrace beds.
SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 71
PHLOX GER. IRIS PHLOX
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13. TENNIS COURTS
As a wealthy mid-century couple, the Greenhalghs likely entertained guests not only with fox hunting and fine dining but also with the more casual tennis game. The tennis courts laid out by Shipman were once bordered by Hill House on the north side and by the swimming pool and bath house on the south. According to the description provided by the Garden Club of Virginia in 1930, the courts supplanted the old four square garden was once located at this spot (see page 25). The Shipman archives at Cornell possess a number of brochures that Shipman must have perused when choosing a tennis court design for Springsbury. A 1950s real estate brochure describes the tennis courts as having a Har-Tru surface1, a popular tennis company that is still in operation today. Image 2 shows the cover of the Har-Tru brochure contained in the archives and Image 5 displays the “correct tennis court layout.” Shipman’s drawing (image 1) seems to have followed the instructions. A 1936 aerial photograph of the site shows the tennis courts as they must have looked around the time of their construction. Chain-link fencing (similar to the kind remaining on grounds - see images 4 and 6) bounded the courts. A flagstone terrace and bench appear to have been designed adjacent to the courts, however, they were likely demolished at the same time as the courts. Today, little evidence remains of the Har-Tru tennis courts that once existed there. The chain link perimeter fence (not the original) provides a sense of the dimensions but now simply demarcates a swath of turf grass.
Har-Tru Brochhure, 1935 (Shipman Archives, Cornell RMC) SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 73
1. Shipman, Ellen. “General Design Plan.” Date unknown. (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC) 2 and 5. Har-Tru Brochhure, 1935 (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC) 3. 1936 aerial photograph (Rieley and Associates)
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The fate of the vegetable and picking gardens designed by Shipman remain the primary mystery in the Springsbury story. In her plans for the estate, Shipman designed an elaborate series of parterred gardens, allees and formal walks. The 1936 aerial photograph (image 1) show no evidence of the plans Shipman envisioned beyond the primary walkway. Further investigation at the site level reveals brick edging, (image 3) confirming that the path, if not the planting beds, did exist along the central axis. Also worth noting is the description of the space in 1930 by the Garden Club of Virginia, which claimed a terraced garden once existed in this location. Due to the erosive nature of such gardens, it is hard to confirm this account one way or another. Today, the area is difficult to decipher. On the west side of the pathway is a haphazard line of volunteer Hackberry trees, which appear to have arisen along a former hedgerow (possibly lilac, see page 26). The east side is lined with a wooly, untamed mix of Black Walnut, Boxelder and Hackberry. Both rows of trees seem to have been maintained by a mowing regime which avoided them, allowing the specimens to mature. At present, a couple rows of boxwood and peonies line the western edge of the pathway. They were planted by the Casey family and are not part of the Shipman scheme for the property.
1. Shipman, Ellen. “General Design Plan.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
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1936 aerial photograph
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15. HILL HOUSE
FROM OUTBUILDING TO GUEST HOUSE
Besides enlarging the main house, Perry, Shaw and Hepburn also designed additions to Hill House, an adjacent outbuilding. According to one account, Hill House was formerly the residence of a priest John Holker (circa 1800s) once housed on the property.1 The living and dining rooms of Hill House are part of the original structure constructed by Holker. Shipman created the robust landscape plan for the grounds around the house consisting of a number of large trees and shrubs, including Oaks, Elms, Locusts and Sycamores. Clearly, from the plant palette, Shipman was hoping to create some sense of privacy for the Greenhalgh’s visitors, designing a veil of plantings that separated guest house from main house. Little remains of Shipman’s plans besides a couple small sets of stairs which once connected Hill House to the gardens below. Hill House was moved off the property by Marie Greenhalgh in 19422 and is now known as Stubblefield.
1 2 Farland, Mary. “In the Shadow of the Blue Ridge, 55 Farland, 55
1936 aerial photograph, courtesy of Rieley Associates
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Shipman, Ellen. “General Planting Plan for area around cabin.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
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16. SWIMMING POOL
NEW ADDITIONS IN 1945
The swimming pool was not part of the original 1935 plans for Springsbury. In 1945, Marie Greenhalgh again enlisted the help of Shipman to design a pool and bath houses for the property. At that time, Shipman’s practice was languishing; the war had curtailed all construction and commissions were few and far between. Tankard describes Shipman’s situation as follows: “Shipman had almost no work during the war aside from a few interior design commissions and her business was running in the red. When the war ended, the resumption of her specialized, residential practice did not look promising. Labor and materials were in short supply; lifestyles had changed dramatically. “1 As a result, Shipman had begun writing to many previous clients in the hope of securing small jobs to keep the practice afloat; so, when Marie wrote to ask for her design assistance, Shipman was likely thrilled to oblige.
1 Tankard, “The Gardens of Ellen Biddle Shipman.” 175
Photograph, “Swimming Pool” CCHA Archives, 1988.
Real Estate Brochure, CCHA Archives, 1958.
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She drew up a number of plans for a pool and bath houses, many of which were significantly more elaborate than the plans Marie eventually settled upon. Like many of Shipman’s clients, Marie’s post-war tastes and priorities had shifted. Cornell has the original drawings for the bath houses Shipman initially proposed. According to the plan, two bath houses, both octagonal in shape, were joined by a colonnaded brick pathway (see drawing to the left). The structures were planned on the western side of the pool, and would have blocked the view to the barn beyond. The built design was more connected to its surroundings, with an uninterrupted view from pool to barn. As for plantings, Shipman seems to have decided upon a simpler scheme, opting for a lilac hedge border around the pool area (possibly the old hedge referenced in the survey, page 24). Small flowering trees were meant to overhang the flagstone terrace (to the left of swimming pool), though none remain.
Shipman, “Plan Showing location of proposed bath houses.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
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THE END OF THE SWIMMING POOL
The final scheme for the pool area included the swimming pool, flagstone terrace with bench and root/tool cellars (set below footprint of terrace, see image 10). A pathway on the south side of the pool connected the tool cellar to the swimming area, portions of which still remain. Ongoing demolition of the swimming pool has hindered documentation, which is extremely unfortunate as no previous studies have covered this territory. As of August, 2011, most of the pool had been removed, along with the flagstone terrace (Images 3, 4, 5, 8, 9). Like many of Shipman’s designs, the swimming pool at Springsbury is a casualty of changing needs and values. The demolition of the pool and its adjacent cellar, rather than infilling one and stabilizing the other, means they will not be available for future study. The inability to reconcile future plans with this rare original Shipman fabric thus resulted in the erasure of a valuable piece of landscape architectural history--a reminder of the tenuous nature of these sometimes unappreciated elements of our surviving landscape design heritage.
1 and 2: Shipman, Ellen. “Construction drawing for bath houses.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC Archives)
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Images 3-5, 10: Shipman, Ellen. “Plan for swimming pool area.”(Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
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MARIE AND ELLEN
Correspondence between Marie Greenhalgh and Ellen Shipman during the design of the swimming pool offers a few interesting insights into the relationship between the two women. In addition to speaking about design, they also shared bits of personal information about the war, their children and their own health difficulties. Shipman was known to have close relationships with her clients and these letters confirm a warmth and familiarity between Shipman and Marie. When making site visits, Shipman typically stayed in the houses of her patrons, a habit that helped facilitate the types of friendships she formed with her female clients. Several exchanges between Marie and Ellen regarding train shedules and visit dates, corroborate this type of relationship. The closeness that developed between Shipman and her clients was also fostered by the very act of designing the gardens. Judith Tankard, Shipman’s biographer, speculates that gardens were a rare creative outlet for her clients: “At a time when women’s expressiveness was not encouraged – at home or in the world generally, flower gardens provided female clients with sensous havens and a grounding link to seasonal rhythms and cycles. Shipman’s power to facilitate the development of such gardens suggests that she may have played a highly charged emotional as well as aesthetic role in the lives of her women clients.”1 Indeed, Shipman was willing to put aside her own aesthetic preferences in favor of a client’s, or even to admit her own fault. In a letter to Marie about the planting for the pool area she writes: “I am delighted that the hedge looks so well and I can see your reason for taking out the little jog. My reason for putting it in was to reduce the space of grass on either side of the pool which I thought had gotten into too big proportions, but as you are there you can probably see it all much better than I.”2 The correspondence at the time of the swimming pool evidences a firmly established working relationship, one in which Marie and Shipman could exchange opinions openly and honestly. It is unfortunate that correspondence prior to 1940 has been lost; it would have been fascinating to have charted the development of this relationship during Springsbury’s design development phase.
1 2 Tankard, “The Gardens of Ellen Biddle Shipman,” 120 Correspondence. November 16, 1945. (courtesy of Cornell RMC Archives)
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Images 1-4: Correspondence with Marie Greenhalgh, 1945. (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
18. NEARBY PROJECTS
OTHER SHIPMAN GARDENS IN CLARKE COUNTY
In acquiring new projects, Shipman often relied on the recommendations of current and former clients. And, sure enough, it appears that Shipman drew up designs for two other residences in the Clarke County area around the time she was working for the Greenhalghs. For Mr. and Mrs. Edward Jenkins of Millwood (of Red Gate), she created plans for a garden, gazebo structure and entry drive. It appears that the Jenkins were also making additions to their property and likely sought the expertise of Springsbury’s landscape architect to help complete their vision1. The drawings to the right showcase some of the main features of her design for Red Gate. The present state of this garden is unknown and would be fertile territory for future research. In addition to drafting designs for the Jenkins, Shipman also drew up some small details for an entry gate for the property of Mrs. Stacy Lloyd, also of Millwood. The modest nature of this project evidences Shipman’s willingness to take on designs of all sizes and prestige.
1 Farland, Mary. “In the Shadow of the Blue Ridge, 93
Images 1-3” Shipman, Ellen. Drawings for Red Gate (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
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19. SPRINGBSURY AFTER THE GREENHALGHS
1955 - PRESENT
In 1958, 701 acres of the Springbsury and Land’s End parcels were sold to Mr. and Mrs. Casey1. Mr. Eugene Casey had been the agricultural advisor to the Roosevelt administration and had secured his wealth in land development in the years after World War II. His land holdings included rural tracts in Maryland in addition to Springsbury. During the Casey’s tenure at Springsbury, few changes seem to have been made to the property. When Eugene Casey died in 1986, the land passed to his wife, Betty. In 2008, as benefactor of the Eugene B. Casey foundation, she deeded the Springsbury property (and the adjoining Land’s End parcel) to Casey Trees, LLC. 2The organization, which was founded in 2001 by Betty Casey, seeks to protect and restore the tree canopy of the nation’s capitol. Since Casey Trees has acquired the property, they have restored many of the outbuildings, including the Trooper and Pierce House, among others. They are currently in the process of renovating the exterior of the main house, which had become vulnerable to water damage. Additionally, Casey Trees, LLC has planted a variety of Dutch-Elm resistant elm cultivars along the entry road into Springsbury as well as established a tree nursery in the southwestern corner of the property. 3The gravel roadways have been repaired and are presently in excellent condition. Over the next decade, Casey Trees intends to expand their nursery operation and it promises to be an exciting time for the organization and for Springsbury.
1 2 3
Kaliban, 24 Kaliban, 24 Casey Trees, LLC: http://www.caseytrees.org/about/casey-tree-farm SPRINGSBURY FARM REPORT | PAGE 87
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20. FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS
NEXT STEPS AND ADDITIONAL RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES Now is a time of great change and opportunity for the Springsbury property. Under the ownership of Casey Trees, LLC, the gardens at Springsbury have the capacity to educate and inspire the public about a period in landscape architectural history that is too often erased by the ravages of time or taste. Few of Shipman’s gardens remain; Casey Trees has the unique ability to restore the gardens at the property and to act as steward to this valuable resource. As a non-profit organization with the goal of fostering a better environment for the public, Casey Trees’ restoration of such a garden seems not only consistent but necessary. Due to the intact nature of the walls and paving of much of the Shipman designs, restoration efforts would be relatively minimal. Plans specifying plantings are readily available and could be laid out and planted much as Shipman would have intended. Preliminary research on the types and hardiness of plants within Shipman’s bulb and perennial plans have been done (see appendix) but additional horticultural investigation would have to be completed to ensure the quality and accuracy of the plantings. It should also be noted that the garden’s significance extends beyond the landscape architect; Shipman was a practitioner who saw her projects as a portrait of her clients. Springsbury, then, is a portrait of the Greenhalghs. In preserving the garden, one also preserves the story of the people who lived there. Moving forward, let us work to prevent Springsbury’s gardens from succombing to the fate of other Shipman gardens, keeping in mind a quotation from her Garden Notebook: “If one can gauge the height of civilization by the beauty of the gardens, one can also judge the spirit of democracy in a people by the prevalence of gardens among all its classes.”
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UPPER TERRACE CONSTRUCTION DRAWING
Shipman, Ellen. “Construction Details for Terrace A.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
McBond C., Walker. “Topographic map of estate.” July 23, 1945. (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
SOUTH TERRACE CONSTRUCTION DRAWING
Shipman, Ellen. “Construction Details for Terrace B.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
GARDEN GATE CONSTRUCTION DETAILS
Shipman, Ellen. “Details of Garden Gate.” (Shipman Papers, Cornell RMC)
1936 AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHS
Images courtesy of Will Rieley and Associates.
Po Po Po Po
Jv Mp Mp
Jv Jv Ma Ma Ma Ma Co Co Ma Co Ma Cc Cc Co Co Ma Ma
Jv Ma Pt Ma Ma Ma Co Co Co
Co Ma Co
Co Co Co Co Co Co Co Co Co Co Co
Co Jn Gt Co Bs
DENSE MIX: Co Jn An
OSAGE ORANGE (Maclura pomifera) REDBUD (Cercis canadensis) CHERRY (Prunus virginiana) EASTERN RED CEDAR (Juniperus virginiana) SWEET GUM (Liquidambar styraciflua) COMMON HACKBERRY (Celtis occidentalis) BOXELDER (Acer negundo) SILVER MAPLE (Acer saccharinum) BLACK WALNUT (Juglans nigra) HONEY LOCUST (Gleditsia triacanthos) GREEN ASH (Fraxinus pensylvanica) FLOWERING DOGWOOD (Cornus florida) JAPANESE YEW (Taxus cuspidata) BOXWOOD (Buxus species) WHITE MULBERRY (Morus alba) AMERICAN SYCAMORE (Platanus occidentalis) ZELKOVA (Zelkova serrata) BRADFORD PEAR (Pyrus calleryana) PRINCESS TREE (Paulonia tomentosa) OAK (Quercus species) Mp Cc Pv Jv Ls Co An As Jn Gt Fp Cf Tc Bs Ma Po Zs Pc Pt Qs
PLANTS SPECIFIED THROUGHOUT SPRINGSBURY
COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME Sedum Sedum species Star Magnolia Magnolia stellata Hosta Funkia Hosta lancifolia Thunbergia Thunbergia Sheepberry Viburnum lentago Wayfaringtree Viburnum lantana Helios Daffodil Amarylidaceae narcissus Early Tulip Murillo Liliaceae tulipa Japanese Iris Iris sanguinea Pyrethrum daisy Chystanthemum cinerarifolium Forget-me-not Boraginaceae anchusa Fleabane Erigeron species Albatross Daffodil Narcissus albatross Seagull Daffodil Narcissus seagull Lavender Lavandula angustifolia Daffodil Narcissus Poeticus Fringe Tree Chioanthus virginica Japanese Tree Lilac Syringa reticulata Anemone September CharmAnemone hybrida Trumpet Vine Campsis radicans Seneca Viburnum sieboldii Virginia Bluebells Mertensia virginica Emperor Daffodil Amarylidaceae narcissus Empress Daffodil Amarylidaceae narcissus Garden Peony Edulis superba Hybrid Columbine Aquilegia hybrida Coral Flower Heuchera brizoides Iceland poppies Papaver nudicale Peach Leaf Bellﬂower Canpanula persicifolia Peony Festiva max? Paeonia lactiﬂora Butterﬂy Bush Buddleia Iris Pallida Iridaceae Iris Smoke Bush Conospermum Madonna Lily Lilium candidum Daylily Hermerocallis fulva HEIGHT SPACING <6" 9-12" 10-12' 12-15' 10-18" 24-36" 12-15' 4-6' 12-15' 10-12' 12-15' 12-15' 12-16" 12-18" 3-6" 12-18" 18-24" 12-18" 12-15" 12-18" 9-12" 12-18" 15-18" 12-18" 3-6" 12-18" 3-6" 12-18" 18-24" 12-18" 3-6" 12-20' 10-20' 12-20' 10-12' 12-36" spreads 15-20' 36-48" 15-30' 15-30' 18-24" 9-12" 18-24" 3-6" 18-24" 3-6" 18-24" 24-36" 18-24" 12-15" 18-24" 6-9" 18-24" 12-15" 18-24" 24-36" 18-24" 24-36" 18-24" shrub 18-24" 18-36" 12-24" 18-48" 24-36" 9-12" 24-36" 15-18" SUN EXPOSURE full sun sun - part shade partial - full shade full sun - part shade sun - part shade sun - part shade partial - full sun full sun full sun full sun full sun full sun full sun - part shade full sun - part shade sun - part shade full sun - part shade sun - light shade full sun - part shade sun - part shade full sun - part shade full sun - light shade partial - full shade full sun - part shade sun-partial shade full sun - part shade sun - part shade sun - part shade full sun full sun - part shade full sun - part shade full sun - part shade full sun sun - light shade full sun full sun - part shade HARDINESS 5a - 5b 4a - 9b 3a - 8b 10a - 11 2a - 8b 3a - 7b 3a - 9b 3a - 8b 4a - 9b 10a - 10b 5a - 9b 4a - 9b 4a - 9b 5a - 9b 2a - 9b 3b - 9a 3b - 7a 5a - 7b 4a - 10b 4a - 8b 3a - 9b 4a - 9b 4a - 9b 4b 3a 4a - 9b 3a - 10b 3a - 8b 3a - 8b 5a - 9b 3a - 8b 3a - 7b 5a - 10b BLOOM TIME mid summer late winter/mid spring late winter/early spring late spring/early summer late spring/early summer mid-late spring mid spring very late late spring - mid summer late spring - early fall late spring - early fall late winter/mid spring late winter/mid spring mid summer - early fall mid spring/early summer mid spring mid spring/early summer early fall/summer blooms repeatedly late spring/early summer mid spring mid spring late winter - spring late spring/early summer mid spring - mid summer mid summer late spring/mid summer mid summer late spring/early summer late spring - mid fall late midseason late winter/early spring mid summer early/reblooming
Japanese Anemone Aster Barr's Pink Iris Lord of June Persian Yellow Rose Peony Couronne D'Or Miss Lingard Peony Therese Pincushion ﬂower Iris Ambassadeur Iris Snow White Regal Lily Japanese Lily Wormwood Winter Honeysuckle Hollyhock Summersweet White Rod Viburnum Early Tulip Peach Blossom Sugar Plum Sweet William Yellow Violas Alexander's White Common Violet Basket of Gold Dianthus 'Beatrix' Rock-cress Grape Hyacinth Feverfew Forget-me-not Morrow's Honeysuckle English Dogwood Japanese Snowball Bush Arrowwood
Ranunculaceae Anemone Asteraceae Iridaceae Iris Rosa foetida Paeonia Couronne d'Or Phlox carolina Paeonia lactiﬂora Scabiosa caucasia Plumbago Iridaceae Iris Iridaceae Iris Lilium regale Lilium speciosum Artemesia lactiﬂora Lonicera fragrantissima Clethra alnifolia Viburnum cassinoides Liliaceae tulipa Dianthus plum Caryophyllaceae dianthus Viola pennsylvanica Iberis sempervirens Viola odorata Dianthus plum Alyssum citrinum (?) Caryophyllaceae dianthus Arabis alpina? Azureum Myosotis arvensis Lonicera morroni Philadelphus coronarius Viburnum tomentosum Viburnum dentatum
24-36" 24-36" 24-36" 24" - 6' 3' 36-48" 36-48" 36-48" 36-48" 36-48" 36-48" 36-48" 4-6' 4-6' 4-6' 4-6' 4-6' 4-6' 6-12" 6-12" 6-12" 6-12" 6-12" 6-12" 6-12" 6-12" 6-12" 6-12" 6-12" 6-12" 6-12" 6-8' 8-10' 8-10' 8-10'
4-6' 12-15" 12-15" 4-6' 3' 18-24" 36-48" 18-24" 24-36" 12-15" 12-24" 12-15" ? 15-18" 6-8' 36-48" 4-6' 4-6' 3-6" 12-15" 3-6" 3-6" 12-15" 15-18" 12-15" 9-12" 12-15" 15-18" 3-6" 6-9" 4-6' 6-8' 15-20' 8-10'
light - full shade 5a - 8b light shade - full shade 5a - 8b full sun 3a - 8b shade tolerant 6a - 10a full sun 2a full sun 3a - 8b full sun 2a - 8b sun - part shade 4a - 8b sun - partial shade 8a - 11 full sun 3a - 8b full sun 3a - 8b full sun 3a - 8b full sun - light shade ? full sun 5a - 8b sun - part shade 4a - 8b full sun 3a - 11 full sun 3a - 9b sun - part shade 3a - 7b full sun 3a - 8b full sun 5a - 10b sun - part shade sun - part shade 4a - 7b full sun - part shade 3a - 9b sun - full shade 4a - 9b full sun 5a - 10b full sun 3a - 10b full sun 4a - 9b full sun 3a - 8b full sun 4a - 8b full sun 5a - 9b sun - full shade full sun - part shade 3b - 6b sun - part shade 4a - 8b light shade 5a - 9b sun - part shade 3a - 9b
late summer/early fall late summer - mid fall mid-late season mid spring late spring/early summer mid summer late spring/early summer repeatedly blooms repeatedly late early - midseason late spring/early summer late summer/early fall late summer/mid fall late winter/early spring blooms repeatedly mid summer/early fall mid spring mid spring blooms repeatedly mid spring - summer mid spring - early summer mid spring - early summer late winter - early summer repeatedly late spring/early summer late spring/early summer late winter/early spring late winter/mid spring late spring/mid summer mid spring - mid summer mid spring/early summer late spring/early summer mid spring late spring/early summer
Tatarian Honeysuckle Himalayan Cotoneaster Rose Dr.Van Fleet Hackberry Common Periwinkle King Karl Japanese Yew Buttercup bicolor?
Lonicera tatarica Cotoneaster simonsii Rosaceae Rosa Celtis occidentalis Vinca minor Iridaceae iris Taxus cuspidata Aconitum columbianum
8-10' 8-10' climber over 40' under 6" unknown up to 30' varies
6-8' 4-6' 8-10' 10' 15-18" 12-15" 8-10' 9-12"
full sun - part shade full sun unknown full sun - part shade full sun - full shade full sun sun - light shade full sun - part shade
4a - 10b 3a - 7b 6a - 10b 3a - 8b 4a - 8b 3a - 8b 4b - 8b 2a - 5b
late spring/early fall late spring/early summer late spring/early summer mid spring/mid fall mid summer mid summer - early fall
OTHER: trees + generic + unidentified
Wisteria White Lilac Boxwood Rose Albertina Lilac Belle de Mary Mermaid Rose Paul’s Lemon Pillar Rose Small Leaf English Ivy Clematis Dutchess of Edinburgh Silver Moon Rose Gordonia Elm Apple Tree Andromeda Elderberry Mallow Climbing hydrangea Pulmonaria Crabapple Hemlock Wisteria Prunus Haven Climbing Rose Star of Persia Flowering Dogwood Highbush blueberry Elm plumbago Climbing Rose New Dawn Elm Varnish Tree Hardy Aster Climax Hollyhock Pink Victoria Daffodil Alice Knight Daffodil Madame de Graaf Daffodil Delphinium Dahlia Rose Buttercup Dwarf asters Foxglove Flax Phlox Columbia Pink Delight Moonbeam White Beauty Coral Queen Daffodil Sir Wilkin Daffodil Fair Queen Daffodil White Lady Daffodil Barrii Conspicuus’ Daffodil Phlox C.Vandenberg Chrysanthemum Pear Tree Hibiscus Phlox Bridesmaids Aster Queen Mary Hawthorne Artemesia Lilac purple Phlox Rhinelander Plane Tree Dahlias Pink Phlox Frau Buchner Chrysanthemum Yellow Normandy Peony Mons Jules Peonies Sarah Bernhardt
REFERENCE BOOKS AND ARTICLES Brown, Stuart E. Jr. Annals of Clarke County Virginia,Vol. 1: Old Homes, Families, Etcetera. Berryville:Virginia Book Company, 1983. Print. Chrisman, Arthur Bowie, and Everard Kidder Meade. Clarke County 1836-1936: Historical Sketch. Berryville,Va.: Clarke Courier Press, 1936. Farland, Mary Gray. In the Shadow of the Blue Ridge. Richmond: William Byrd Press, 1978. Print. Gold, Thomas Daniel. History of Clarke County,Virginia and Its Connection with the War Between the States: with Illustrations of Colonial Homes and of Confederate Officers. [Berryville,Va.: Printed by C. R. Hughes, 1914. Griffith, Richard E, and William H Kerfoot. Early Estates of Clarke County : Comprising the Histories of Chapel Hill, Llewellyn, Springsbury, The Tuleyries, Montana Hall, Bellfield, Lakeville, Farnley, Fairfield and Audley. [Berryville,Va.]: Clarke County Historical Society, Carr Pub. Co., 1954. Hofstra, Warren R. A Separate Place: The Formation of Clarke County,Virginia. Madison: Madison House Publishers, 1999. Print. Tankard, Judith. The Gardens of Ellen Biddle Shipman. Sagaponack: Sagapress, Inc., 1996. Print. Tankard, Judith B. and Martin A. Wood. Gertrude Jekyll at Munstead Wood. Sagaponack: Sagapress, Inc., 1996. Tankard, Judith B. Ellen Biddle Shipman’s New England Gardens. Arnoldia, Spring 1997: 2-11 Way, Thaisa. Unbounded Practice: Women and Landscape Architecture in the Early Twentieth Century. University of Virginia Press, 2009. Print. ARCHAEOLOGICAL / HISTORICAL REPORTS Kaliban, Maral S. “Greenway Historic District.” National Register of Historic Places Nomination Report. Richmond:VDHR, July 1993. Kaliban, Maral S. “Springsbury Farm: Historical Report.” April 2009. Rivanna Archaeological Services, LLC. Blandy Experimental Farm, University of Virginia Phase I Archaeological Investigations. Charlottesville, 2008. WEBSITES Casey Trees, LLC: http://www.caseytrees.org/ Dave’s Garden for photos/plant information Greenhalgh Family Tree. Ancestry.com Zelkova Serrata.” Floridata. 4 May 2009
CLARKE COUNTY ARCHIVES
Article, Newspaper. 1960 article on the Horse industry in Clarke County. Many photos of places and horses. Persons cataloged. Clarke County Historical Society, Item #2006.00018.025. Manuscript. Clarke County-Historic Houses, c 1930. Talk on historic houses of Clarke County for an early Virginia Garden Club tour. Clarke County Historical Archives, Item #2004.00053.029. Print, Photographic. Springsbury. Printed Vol 11, Proceedings. 1952. Clarke County Historical Archives, Item #1954.00230.006. Print, Photographic. Springsbury, pre 1937, Clarke County Historical Archives, Item #1971.00286.001. Print, Photographic. Springsbury-Priest’s Cottage, pre 1937, Clarke County Historical Archives, Item #1971.00286.002. Print, Photographic. Springsbury-West Courtyard, 1977. Clarke County Historical Archives, Item #1986.00224.110.B. Print, Photographic. Hunt Breakfast, Springsberry, c1930s. Clarke County Historical Achives, Item # 1985.00161.015. Print, Photographic. Springsbury - West Façade, 1988. Clarke County Historical Society, Item #1989.00317.074.A. Brochure. Real Estate Brochures-Clarke Co. Houses, Springsbury. 1950s. Clarke County Historical Society, Item #1985.00143.198. Print, Photographic. Springsbury Swimming Pool, 1988. Clarke County Historical Archives. Springsbury Real Estate Brochure. 1958. Clarke County Historical Archives. Item #1976.00165.068.B HISTORIC PERIODICALS Cummin, Hazel E. “What Constitutes a Good Garden? The Garden of Mr. and Mrs. George Meade in Dayton, Ohio, Answers This Question,” House Beautiful, March 1931, 241-45. “Notes from Some Virginia Gardens, “ House Beautiful, August 1930, 164, 179-80. “Design in a Michigan Garden.” House and Garden, September 1926, 108-9. “The Edging Plant in Herbaceous Gardens,” House Beautiful, July 1925. “A Focal Point for the Garden,” House and Garden, January 1927, 69. “A Garden by the Sea,” House Beautiful, March 1930, 290-91. “The Garden in Good Taste,” House Beautiful, August 1923, 132. “The Garden of James Fenimore Cooper at Cooperstown, New York,” House Beautiful, July 1924, 30-31. “The Garden of Samuel Morris, Esq., in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania,” House Beautiful, July 1927, 30-31.
“In a Michigan Garden,” House and Garden, March 1927, 88-91. “A Pool for Every Garden,” House and Garden, June 1920, 26. Perrett, Antoinette. “A Rose and Purple Garden in July,” House Beautiful, July 1922, 21, 72. Piper, Adaline D. “The Charm of Chatham,” House Beautiful, April 1926, 437-41. Russell, Elizabeth H. “A House on Beekman Place,” House Beautiful, November 1927, 512-516, 568-69. “To Link the Lawns and Garden,” House and Garden, August 1930, 49, 55-57. “Variety of Form and Abundance of Bloom within a Small Area: The Garden of Mrs. Henry V. Greenhough, Brookline, Massachussetts,” House Beautiful, March 1931, 259-62. Warren, Dale. “The Garden as a Frame for the House,” House Beautiful, October 1926, 426-27. ELLEN MCGOWAN BIDDLE SHIPMAN PAPERS, #1259. DIVISION OF RARE AND MANUSCRIPT COLLECTIONS, CORNELL UNIVERSITY LIBRARY: Shipman, Ellen Biddle. “Drawings and Papers, 1914-1946.” [Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Library Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections]. Shipman, Ellen. “Construction Details for Swimming Pool.” 1945. (Folder 48) ____________. “B.P. of residence.” (Folder 48) ____________. “Proposed sewage system.” 1935. (Folder 48) ____________. “Sewage Disposal Details.” (Folder 48) ____________. “Plan for layout of entrance court and service drive.” (Folder 48) ____________. “Construction drawing for bath houses.” (Folder 48) ____________. “Plan for swimming pool area.” (Folder 48) ____________. “Construction drawing for bath houses.” (Folder 48) ____________. “Plan of stable road and parking spaces.” (Folder 48) ____________. “Construction drawing of forecourt steps.” (Folder 48) ____________. “Plan for swimming pool area.” (Folder 48) ____________. “Detail of swimming pool gutter.” (Folder 48) McBond C., Walker. “Topographic map of estate.” July 23, 1945. (Folder 48) Shipman, Ellen. “Detail of dog watering trough.” (Folder 49) ____________. “Plan of stable road and parking spaces.” (Folder 49) ____________. “Construction drawing of forecourt steps.” (Folder 49) ____________. “Sketch.” (Folder 49) ____________. “Preliminary design plan.” September, 1935 (Folder 49) ____________. “Revised layout plan of entrance and service drives.” October 1935. (Folder 49) ____________. “Construction details for entrance walls.” October 1, 1935. (Folder 49) ____________. “Grading plan for terraces and entrance court.” October 1936. (Folder 49) ____________. “General design plan.” December 1935. (Folder 49) ____________. “Revised design plan.” August 1936. (Folder 49)
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“Construction drawing for watering trough.” (Folder 49) “Construction plan and details of picket fence.” (Folder 49) “General plan for area around cabin.” April 1937. (Folder 49) “Wall sections.” June 1937. (Folder 49) “Construction drawings of walls.” (Folder 49) “Construction drawings of garage court gate.” (Folder 49) “Details of wrought iron post and rail.” (Folder 49) “Bulb planting plan for south terrace.” September 1937. (Folder 50) “Perennial plan for south terrace.” September 1937. (Folder 50) “Construction drawing of forecourt walls.” April 14, 1937. (Folder 50) “Plan around Hill House.” Sepember 1937. (Folder 50) “Revised drawing of service court.” December 1937. (Folder 50) “Tree, shrub and vine plan around house.” September 1937. (Folder 50) “Detail of post at bottom of east terrace stairs.” (Folder 50) “Construction details of Terrace A.” May 1937. (Folder 50) “Bulb Planting Plan for north terrace garden.” September 1937. (Folder 50) “Details of Garden Gate.” July 1937, (Folder 50) “Construction details of Terrace B.” June 1937. (Folder 50) “Plan for the Forecourt.” September 1937. (Folder 50) “Perennial Plan for north terrace garden.” September 1937. (Folder 50) “Detail of limestone cap for brick pias in forecourt.” (Folder 50) “Detail of wooden cap for brick gate ports in service court.” January 1938. (Folder 50) “Location plan of bath houses.” August 1, 1945. (Folder 50) “Construction drawing for swimming terrace.” June 1945. (Folder 50)
____________. “Garden Notebook” (Box 10, Folder 15) ____________. “Specifications for Gravel Road: Mrs. George P. Greenhalgh.” July 8, 1935. (Box 9, Folder 8) Correspondence with Marie Greenhalgh, 1945. (Box 9, Folder 8) Print, Photographic. Ellen Biddle Shipman. (Box 10, Folder 8) “Mrs. Ellen Shipman, Famous Landscape Architect, Thrills Hearers.” Winston-Salem Journal. October 8, 1932. (Box 10, Folder 7) “Preparation of Soil for Grass Terrace.” (Box 10, Folder 8) Har-Tru Brochure (Box 10, Folder 11)