Marian Coffin designed Gibraltar's "Country Place Era" gardens for the H. Rodney Sharp family in 1916.
Located in Wilmington, DE, construction continued until 1923. Coffin was among the first women formally trained in landscape architecture. Typical of the time, the property is very Italianate in design but English in planting style. Sharp himself was an enthusiastic gardener and world traveler, and the Sharps collected the 35 statues that grace the gardens. Preservation Delaware saved the property and its gardens from demolition in 1990 and has run the property as a free public garden, open from dawn to dusk. In order to secure an "adaptive reuse" for the mansion, however, the entire property is now up for sale, with the intention that Preservation Delaware would lease the garden back from the new owner. In the interim, Preservation Delaware wants get the word out to all that this valuable garden is here and is in need of your assistance.history