Skip to content

Home > Collections, Archives, and Exhibitions > Exhibitions > Lost Gardens of New England

Lost Gardens of New England


A Multimedia Presentation Narrated by Laura Carlo

Lost Gardens of New England invites you to consider the region's rich heritage of garden design. Drawn from an exhibition culled from Historic New England's Library and Archives, these images illustrate the major themes of American landscape history. New England gardens of the colonial period and the New Republic were influenced by English design, both the naturalistic and the ancient or "geometric" styles. By the middle of the nineteenth century, however, a distinctive American style emerged. It embraced the native picturesque landscape while seeking, through design, to tame and refine the national character. Shortly before 1900, New Englanders turned to history for inspiration, and created a wide variety of revival gardens.

The images in this exhibition reflect the most impermanent of the design arts, capturing each garden at a single moment in time. In many cases, these views are the only record of a specific garden's existence. Today, some of the gardens are parking lots, other lie in ruins. Some have the potential for renewal. The images, however, preserve the legacy of New England's landscapes and provide inspiration to all who view them.

 Part I: The New Republic (1780s-1850)


Part II: House and Garden Beautiful (1850-1890)


Part III: Revival Gardens (1890-1910)

Lost Gardens of New England