United States

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens - English Garden

This secluded enclosed garden is situated approximately 100 feet to the west of the Stan Hywet Hall manor house, on axis with its West Terrace. The rectangular garden showcases architectural features designed by Warren Manning in 1915 and a vibrant planting plan devised by Ellen Shipman in 1929.  

According to family memory, the north-south oriented garden, was frequented by Gertrude Seiberling, who helped choose its location, intending visitors to discover it after walking south from the Japanese Garden. A vegetative screen, established by Manning, separates the terrace and the English garden, which is framed by eight-foot-tall hand-hewn stone walls. The eastern and northern walls are reinforced with earthen mounds, affording the garden a sunken appearance. The intimate space includes two entry points, with the main entrance, adorned with a gable roof, located on its southern side. Symmetrical brick-paved paths navigate the space, framing planting beds and a central, recessed pool. Opposite the main entrance, a sculptural fountain, “Garden of the Water Goddess,” designed by Willard Paddock, draws the visitor’s gaze.  

Manning prepared a list of plants but did not specify their arrangement, and in 1928 recommended that Ellen Shipman redesign the garden. Shipman prepared two planting plans that included over 100 different varieties of perennials and bulbs, adhering to a color scheme of pinks, blues, and yellows as requested by Seiberling. While Shipman retained some woody plants stipulated by Manning, such as climbing roses and espaliered pear trees, she introduced others, including Sargent cherries, Japanese yew and arborvitae to provide visual and spatial interest.  

After Seiberling’s death in 1955 the garden became increasingly shaded by perimeter trees growing outside the garden’s walls and as a result new shade tolerant species were replanted. In the early 1990s, master plans by Doell & Doell guided the restoration of the garden according to Shipman’s vision. The garden is maintained with support from the Akron Garden Club and is a contributing feature in the 

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