This is an exciting time of year for the green thumbs of the northeast. If you're feeling ambitious about planting season this year and are looking for a little gardening inspo, check out this 1949 photograph of the Crowninshield Garden's refinery terrace statues and plantings.
The Crowninshield Garden was a ca. 1920s neoclassical garden built on our own grounds, on the terraced ruins of Eleutherian Mills, constructed slowly over the course of more than a decade by local craftsmen and by the home's last residents, Louise du Pont Crowninshield and her husband, Francis Boardman Crowninshield. This was a garden of intentional ruin, with cascading layers of Italianate pools, columns, statuary, and colonnades crafted to appear worn away by time.
Until recently, the site was simultaneously an industrial ruin, a carefully manufactured classical ruin, and an actual garden ruin, and was thus perhaps the most meta-textual garden in American history: a ruin within a ruin within a ruin (you can read more about our work to restore the garden in this article from the Washington Post).
This photograph is from Hagley Library's collection of Crowninshield garden negatives (Accession 1988.208).