Blithewold's Site History
The Gardner House (1840's-1894) Blithewold I (1896-1906) Blithewold II (1908-present)
The following text is excerpted from the introduction of the BLITHEWOLD SITE HISTORY prepared by the MP consultants.
This site history was prepared as part of the Master Plan for Blithewold to document the physical evolution of the site, to identify character-defining features and to provide a platform for discussion of the significance of the site and its components. Communication of the site’s significance, in turn, will form the foundation for preservation and redevelopment recommendations in the Master Plan.
Given the complexity of the buildings, landscape and collections, and the vast wealth of documentary material available, it was impossible to address all of their aspects within the context of this project. The primary focus has been on summarizing the history of the land and the buildings, and communicating this information in a way most useful for master planning. More emphasis has been given to the physical features and how decisions were made to build or alter them, than to the social and intellectual development of the site.
The primary source materials for this project were the written and graphic materials located in the Archives at Blithewold. There are many additional sources of information, which may add depth to the understanding of various aspects of the site; as individual areas are restored and/or re-interpreted, these investigations should take place.
Sunday, November 02
Pruning Practices and Winter Interest Plant Walk
Thursday, November 06
Garden Design Luncheon The Slow Flowers Movement: From Field to Vase
Friday, November 07
Eco-Floral Hands-On Workshop with Debra Prinzing
Friday, November 14
Dahlia Days with Rick Peckham's Greenhouse, Little Compton, RI
Saturday, November 22
Children's Thanksgiving Floral Workshop
Friday, November 28
- Sunday, January 04
Christmas at Blithewold
(Oct 24, '14)
I’d prefer to think that the season is in transition rather than ending but when we start throwing some of summer’s best blooms into the bed of Blithewold’s truck, it definitely feels more like a goodbye than a see-you-later. This week, once again, the rain and a woolly nor’easter held off just long enough for […]
Celebrating Our Arboretum
(Oct 23, '14)
There’s something very new and exciting going on this year in Blithewold’s Visitor’s Center during Christmas at Blithewold. Gail Read, Gardens Manager, Kris Green, Interpretive Horticulturist, and Betsy Ekholm, Horticulturist, have partnered with the garden volunteers to design a display to Celebrate Our Arboretum. Essentially, they are pulling different natural features from throughout the Grounds, preserving […]
A rabbit’s eye view with Noel Kingsbury
(Oct 17, '14)
We are so lucky that yesterday’s rain held off just long enough to take a ground-level tour of Blithewold’s gardens with British garden designer/plantsman/author, Noel Kingsbury. He showed us, plant by plant, exactly what to look for to help predict how different plants will behave in our gardens. He reminded us that plant growth falls along […]