Shelburne Farms : Gardens


”The celebrated importance of Shelburne Farms’ Formal Gardens, the sheer beauty of their design, and their unparalleled, stunning site are critical to garden history. The gardens are among the most beautiful historic country gardens in America. Their strong visual and social components are one of the many factors that contributed to the property’s designation as a National Historic Landmark.

When it came to designing Shelburne’s extensive landscape, the Webbs hired Frederick Law Olmsted to create a comprehensive plan; however, no professional designer is credited for the Formal Gardens and original plans have yet to be discovered. Lila Webb was a well-traveled, well-read, creative individual who had a keen interest in gardening and garden design. She mentions the development of her gardens in her personal correspondence with family and friends and in her journals. Many agree that the design is chiefly her creative expression.”

Glenn Suokko, “Formal Gardens,” in Shelburne Farms: House, Gardens, Farm, and Barns (New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 2017), 115.