The Living Collection

The designed landscape at Locust Grove is a living collection in two parts. The Park, created by Samuel Morse during his residency (1842-1872) is a rare survivor of the 19th century romantic landscape movement which advocated a painterly, idealized approach to nature.  Trees, native and exotic are sited in naturalistic groupings along an oval drive.  The mansion is gradually revealed as the visitor approaches through majestic European beeches,  hickory, and Ginko .

The half acre ornamental garden reflects the pre WWI style and taste of its owner, Martha Young, an avid plant collector.  It is organized within a rectangle, 150 feet in length, edged with boxwood and planted in a succession of large blocks, each devoted to a single type of plant. The largest collection, peonies, have grown here for more than a century. They are flanked by collections of heirloom dahlias, annual and perennial flowers extending seasonal interest to frost.

In addition a large vegetable garden exhibits heirloom varieties & growing practices unique to the periods of ownership represented at Locust Grove.

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