The Blue Garden: Recapturing an Iconic Newport Landscape (Hardcover)
This is a compelling story about the decline and rebirth of a 100 year old garden. Until recently, the Blue Garden, an icon of Gilded Age splendour in Newport, Rhode Island, was known only from hand-tinted slides dating from 1917. Originally designed in collaboration with the garden's original owner by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr, and the Olmsted firm--founded by his father, the great landscape architect responsible for Central Park, New York City--it has now been brought back to life. Landscape historian Arleyn A. Levee tells a fascinating and carefully researched narrative about the garden's origins, development, heyday, decay and ultimate renaissance. The Blue Garden skillfully interweaves the garden's design and social history, and stories of its founders and the Olmsted firm, with historical photos, original drawings and sketches, and images of the restored garden from 2015. This is a timeless and inspiring account of the devoted patrons, skilled artisans and great designers behind the creation and revival of a masterpiece, made possible by the vision of a devoted patron, and the relevance of historic preservation of gardens in the 21st century.
Arleyn A. Levee is a landscape historian and preservation consultant specialising in research concerning the Olmsted firm. She received degrees from Wellesley College, Harvard University, and a Certificate from the Radcliffe Seminars Program in Landscape Design. For decades she has worked with national nonprofit groups to advocate for enlightened rehabilitation and stewardship of America's historic landscape legacy. Sarah Vance is Director of the Blue Garden, and was part of the design team that developed the rehabilitation plan for the garden and supervised its construction. She works with a dedicated group of gardeners to ensure the design intent of the garden is maintained while offering it to visitors as an accessible and sustainable landscape. Sarah received a Master in Landscape Architecture with Distinction from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Millicent Harvey visited the Blue Garden for several consecutive days in mid-summer 2015 to photograph the garden and its surrounding landscape. Her goal was to place the restoration of the garden within its historical context. Millicent studied at the Art Institute of Boston, and taught at the New England School of Photography. Marianne Lee works from Newport and was asked to visit the Blue Garden weekly to photograph details of the plants as they matured and bloomed. Marianne's images are an intimate essay on the ethereal beauty of each plant and flower's life.