Skip to main content

Beverly -- Tea House Garden, Moraine Farm

Object Details

sova.aag.gca_ref33239
GUID
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/kb612039030-a3fc-458e-aa41-f6cf49a0b8cf
General
The Tea House Garden is a small sunken flower garden that occupies 1/4 acre on the 175 acre Moraine Farm. The tea house itself is an octagonal shape with fluted columns and a shingled dome on top of a fieldstone grotto. It features a vast lawn that extends south from the house and terrace, as well as a circular pool. The east and west walls of the lawn are constructed of trees, shrubs, and dragon tooth. The property overlooks a panoramic view of Wenham Lake from a terrace that spans the length of the house.
Frederick Law Olmsted was involved in the development of the property between 1879 and 1880 when John C. Phillips acquired several small farms to renovate, including this one. Olmsted worked with the architectural firm Peabody and Stearns to determine the position of the house, as well as its visual and physical connection with the naturalistic landscape adjacent to the house and along the road. Though the first owner desired a vibrant flower garden, Olmsted discouraged his client from clashing the brilliance of a colorful garden with the native shrubs and trees. He ultimately decided to place the flower garden within the rock-bound framework of the residential landscape, and out of sight of the house.
The original owner continued to take interest in the Tea House Garden after her husband's death in 1885. In 1907, she commissioned Beatrix Jones [Farrand] to design a water garden. While Jones' original plans depicted a horseshoe shaped pond amongst perennials, photographs taken that year prove that the water garden created did not reflect Jones' plan. The idea for a shrubbery bed was replaced by a circular lily pond and fountain. After the original owner's death in 1925, her children sold the property to George and Katherine Batchelder Jr. In 1928, the new owners removed the grape arbor, kept the circular pond, and designed a new trap rock path system that reflected the horseshoe shape of the dragon tooth wall. In 2017, the Moraine Farm Landscape Committee asked member Lolly Gibson to simplify the garden to reduce maintenance requirements and make upkeep more sustainable. Her alterations are reflected in the current documentation of the garden, such as the added mulched maintenance paths in the large beds.
Inside the dragon tooth wall are azaleas, andromeda, laurel, white rose of Sharon, Summersweet and Lilacs that form a backdrop for summer blooming Astilbe, Fairy Candles, Hosta, Lysimachus, Sedum, Thalictrum, Thermopsis, and Turk's Cap Lily. European Ginger, Lady Ferns, Maidenhair Ferns, and Trillium lie beneath the shrubs. Roses, lilacs, sweetspire, and anemones frame the grotto of the teahouse. The circular pond is surrounded by roses, catmint, and peonies, and behind it are germander edged perennial beds. One can see azaleas through the tea house windows. Moss continues to cover the stone used as the tea house foundation as it did in Olmsted's day.
Persons associated with the garden include: John Charles and Anna Tucker Phillips (former owners, 1878 – 1885, 1885 – 1925); John Charles Phillips Sr., and William Phillips (former owners, 1925 – 1928); George Lewis Batchelder Jr., and Katherine Tiffany Abbot Batchelder (former owners, 1928 – 1977); George Lewis Batchelder III and Wilhelmina VanLier Batchelder (former owners, 1977 – 1999); Batchelder Trust (former owner, 1991 - present); Project Adventure (74 acres including garden area); (owner, 1999 to present); The Trustees of Reservations (37 acres) (owners, 2010 – present); Frederick Law Olmsted/ Olmsted Bros. (landscape architects, 1879 – 1884/ 1948 – 1968); Beatrix Jones {Farrand} (landscape architect, 1907); Grace Kirkwood (landscape architect, 1960); Thomas Wirth (landscape architect, 1986); Laura Gibson (landscape architect, 2017).
Provenance
North Shore Garden Club of Massachusetts
Former owner
Phillips, John Charles
Phillips, Anna Tucker
Owner
Project Adventure
Former owner
The Trustees of Reservations
Landscape architect
Olmsted Brothers
Farrand, Beatrix, 1872-1959
Kirkwood, Grace
Wirth, Thomas
Gibson, Laura
Photographer
Gibson, Lolly
Collection Creator
Garden Club of America
Place
United States of America -- Massachusetts -- Essex -- Beverly
Topic
Gardens -- Massachusetts -- Beverly
Tea House Garden, Moraine Farm (Beverly, Massachusetts)
Provenance
North Shore Garden Club of Massachusetts
Former owner
Phillips, John Charles
Phillips, Anna Tucker
Owner
Project Adventure
Former owner
The Trustees of Reservations
Landscape architect
Olmsted Brothers
Farrand, Beatrix, 1872-1959
Kirkwood, Grace
Wirth, Thomas
Gibson, Laura
Photographer
Gibson, Lolly
See more items in
The Garden Club of America collection
The Garden Club of America collection / Series 1: United States Garden Images / Massachusetts
Sponsor
A project to describe images in this finding aid received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care Initiative, administered by the National Collections Program.
Custodial History
The North Shore Garden Club of Massachusetts facilitated the submission of this garden's documentation in 2020.
Archival Repository
Archives of American Gardens
Identifier
AAG.GCA, File MA169
Type
Archival materials
Collection Citation
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, The Garden Club of America collection.
Collection Rights
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Scope and Contents
This file contains 2 folders, 2 35mm slides (1987), 11 digital images and 3 photographic prints (2020).
Collection Restrictions
Access to original archival materials by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Related Materials
Related materials include Tea House Garden Ledgers, correspondence, plans: The Trustees of Reservations, Archives and Research Center, Sharon, Massachusetts; Plans: Fairsted, Brookline, Massachusetts, National Park Service; Correspondence: Library of Congress; Frederick Law Olmsted, Designing the American Landscape, Charles E. Beveridge and Paul Rocheleu, Rizzoli.
AAG.GCA_ref33239
Large EAD
AAG.GCA
AAG
Record ID
ebl-1643208220039-1643210180578-0
Beverly -- Tea House Garden, Moraine Farm
Back to Top