As reported last week on enterprisenews.com, the abandoned 1911 garden of Broadway producer and playwrite Winthrop Ames at Queset House in Easton, Massachusetts was rediscovered by Kath Holland, a student of the Landscape Institute at Arnold Arboretum. Enterprise staff writer Vicki-Ann Downing reports:
Buried beneath five decades of debris were the 10-foot stone columns that once marked the garden’s entrance, a large rectangular reflecting pool covered by a toppled tree, a stage topped by a wooden pergola, curving Chinese gates, walls once delineating terraces of turf that rose in steps and semicircular stairways of stone.
Over the course of a year, Holland developed plans for the garden’s restoration, calling her thesis “The Secret Garden.” Today, thanks to the Ames Free Library and a dedicated group of volunteers, her plan is becoming a reality. Queset Gardens is being restored.
. . . The garden was built in 1911 by Winthrop Ames, a Broadway producer and playwright living in Queset House, the stone mansion next to the library. The stage was the site of impromptu performances by his house guests, who included the actors Leslie Howard, Katherine Cornell, George Arliss and Gene Autry.
Thanks to multiple funding sources, including a proposed $69K of Easton's Community Preservation Act funds, plans are underway for the restoration of the historic garden for public enjoyment.