15 November 2010

Marian Coffin

I spent part of the weekend roaming the garden. It is sad to see everything gone, so naturally, I begin to explore the next garden. I have a real fondness for landscape architects, especially the women who worked at the turn of the last century.

Marian Coffin was one of those women. She wrote:
"I secretly cherished the idea of being a great artist in the future, but that dream seemed in no way possible ... I did not seem to posses a talent for music, writing painting, or sculpture."
Undaunted in her quest for beauty, she signed up for a new course at MIT in called "Landscape Architecture." Marian Coffin had found her calling.

Entrance to the rose garden, The Oaks, Bridgeport, Connecticut

Nancy Fleming has written an excellent book on Marian Coffin entitled appropriately, Money, Manure, and Maintenance. According to Marian Coffin, these were the three ingredients in producing a lovely garden. I am usually in possession of one of those items.

Gates to the pool at Winterthur

Coffin developed a long working relationship with the duPont family, designing several projects, including the gardens at Winterthur.

Fort Ticonderoga, New York

Instead of lamenting the passing of the garden, I am going to read extensively about the women who "invented" landscape gardening. I have found access to manure, now I just need to find that money and all will be well.


  1. Amazing and beautiful garden. MIT
    I am surprised she must have been the only woman. This was very interesting.

  2. fantastic post, along with the manure and books- who needs money-OF Course, We Do. The reading will keep you busy over the winter, I am an eternal optimist when it comes to the next paycheck. pgt


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