Tour a Garden Designed by One of America’s First Female Landscape Architects

Leif Nilsson Painting

Leif Nilsson

The public is invited to view a piece of the world as seen through the eyes of Amy Cogswell—one of the first female landscape architects in the United States, and designer of the Colonial Revival Garden at the Webb-Deane-Stevens (WDS) Museum. On Sunday, June 25, 2017 from noon to 4 p.m., the WDS Colonial Revival Garden will be one of 14 historic gardens highlighted for Connecticut Historic Gardens Day. Visitors during the free event will also have the chance to win a framed poster featuring the winning entry by the 2017 Historic Gardens Day Poster Art Contest, Connecticut artist Leif Nilsson.

Colonial Revival Garden

The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum Colonial Revival Garden was designed by Amy Cogswell, one of the first female landscape architects in the U.S.

Professionally designed gardens were uncommon in the early 20th century, and female landscape architects extremely rare in a field that was traditionally dominated by men. Cogswell attended the first American institution for women studying in her field, the Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture, Gardening, and Horticulture for Women, in Groton, Massachusetts. She graduated in 1916 and served as the school’s headmistress from 1916 – 1923. When hired by the Connecticut Society of Colonial Dames, in 1919, Cogswell’s plans for the Webb House’s gem of a garden included classical elements, quaint arbors, and a wide assortment of the “old fashioned” flowers that were popular in the early 1900s.

In celebration of Connecticut Historic Gardens Day, WDS garden guides will give free tours of the garden, show copies of Cogswell’s original garden plans, and discuss her vision for the space. There will be a PowerPoint display, “A Year in the Cogswell Garden,” and refreshments will be served. Optional WDS Museum house tours will be offered at a discount for the day.

For more information on the Webb Deane Stevens Colonial Revival garden, visit: http://webb-deane-stevens.org/colonial-revival-garden/. For more information on Connecticut Historic Gardens, visit: www.cthistoricgardens.org.

 About Connecticut’s Historic Gardens

Connecticut’s Historic Gardens raises awareness of distinctive historic sites and gardens within Connecticut’s borders. The group was started in 2002 and has since grown to 15 sites: Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden, Bethlehem; Butler-McCook House & Garden, Hartford; Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme; Glebe House Museum & The Gertrude Jekyll Garden, Woodbury; Harkness Memorial State Park, Waterford; Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford; Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington; New London County Historical Society & Shaw Mansion, New London; Osborne Homestead Museum & Kellogg Environmental Center, Derby; Promisek at Three Rivers Farm, Bridgewater; Roseland Cottage, Woodstock; Thankful Arnold House Museum, Haddam; Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, Wethersfield; and Weir Farm National Historic Site, Wilton. For more information about the group, individual participating sites, and events, please visit cthistoricgardens.org.

About the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

Located in the heart of Connecticut’s largest historic district, the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum consists of three authentically restored 18th-century homes and provides the quintessential New England experience – from the American Revolution to the early 20th century. Tours include the 1752 Joseph Webb House, where General George Washington met with French General Rochambeau, and planned the military campaign leading to the end of the Revolutionary War, the 1770 Silas Deane House, built for America’s first diplomat to France, and the 1788 Isaac Stevens House – depicting life in the 18th and 19th centuries through original family objects and a fascinating children’s exhibit. For rates and hours visit http://webb-deane-stevens.org or call (860) 529-0612, ext. 12.