The Lower Garden

The LOWER GARDEN can be seen from ground level as well as from the porches and decks of both the Main House and the Carriage House.

In England in the late-nineteenth century, Gertrude Jekyll distinguished herself as a horticulturist, garden designer and as artist. The Arts and Crafts Movement provided a philosophical and artistic backlash to the results of the Industrial Revolution. Nature was revered. The Earth and its colors were subjects in art and design. The popularity of gardens spilled over into magazines and books.

Ms. Jekyll’s designs often used mass plantings of a single variety, called “drifts”, to create the appearance of a less formal garden. While her popular “herbaceous borders” appeared to be casual, almost natural, they were very well planned. Borders are a series of repeated patterns of color, texture, and size. Although they might appear haphazard, she referred to them as “ordered chaos”.

Having taken some ideas from Gertrude Jekyll’s work, we created a combination of a patterned plan, massed planting of single varieties, and grouped plantings that are repeated in the garden.

Designed in 1995, the Lower Garden incorporates a central “wheel” pattern of radiating pea gravel paths lined with over 180 boxwoods (Buxus sempervirens) with benches at each end point. In the center stands and antique gazebo that Nick found at a local antique store and the team here at Abbington Green restored. The “pie slice”-shaped beds are planted each with one primary type of plant.

The steeper side of the garden is terraced to create additional planting areas using short dry stack stone walls. You’ll find several varieties of berry bushes on the backside of the garden toward the parking lot. In addition, wood and pea gravel stairs take you into the garden, passing by red and pink Knockout Rose bushes and St. John’s Wart near the Carriage House.

Hundreds of perennials and shrubs are punctuated with dwarf tree varieties. The color scheme is primarily rose and purple, except in full Summer when more reds and oranges serve to attract both hummingbirds and butterflies. A lion head fountain is on the back trellis flanked by climbing roses.