Gardens Today at Evermay

Evermay Fountains Today Evermay’s grounds and gardens consist of approximately four acres of property surrounded on two sides by Oak Hill Cemetery.

Several trees on the property may remain from the time when Samuel Davidson purchased the property. Historians believe that much of the lumber used in building the house came from trees on the property, and the bricks came from Samuel Davidson’s brickyards which supplied bricks used in construction of the White House and other federal buildings.

Evermay Gardens The gardens were substantially reworked and revised after Mr. and Mrs. F. Lammot Belin purchased the property in 1923, including development of the terracing seen today. The renowned landscape engineer, Charles W. Leavitt of New York worked with Mr. Belin in creation of this design, and George N. Ray was the architect for the restoration of the historic house. “Mott” Belin’s brother-in-law, Pierre S. DuPont, was helpful to the Belins, especially during the periods when they were living in Europe and he monitored the garden’s development, bringing trees and other plants from Longwood to Evermay. Other notable landscape architects contributed to the design during the following decades, including Rose Greely, and Janet Darling Webel, of the New York landscape architecture firm of Innocenti & Webel .

Evermay Gardens The garden consists principally of three terraced levels and includes six fountains. The fountain in the courtyard of the north front of the home was commissioned by the Blisses for Dumbarton Oaks. When they decided not to use it, Mr. Belin offered to buy it and used it as the centerpiece of the courtyard. The fountain was sculpted by Carl Milles, a Swedish sculptor who lived between 1875 and 1955. It is made of black granite.

The Rabat Fountain

Evermay Gardens The Rabat Fountain is a copy of one that the Belins saw in Rabat, Morocco. Mr. Belin, trained as an architect, was so taken with the original that he took detailed measurements and photographs which he used in having a copy created in 1938.

Bricks in the walkways and boxwood bushes were brought by barge in 1924 from tidewater Virginia estates, including “Ashland” in King George County. This beautiful 18th century home was built by the Fitzhugh family and is still standing midway between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers. More than 100 English boxwood bushes came from Solomon Brown’s “Middleborough” family home in the Northern Neck of Virginia. This old home is gone now and another one sits on the same spot in King George County, Virginia.

On the south front of the house is a more unusual white wisteria which is trained along the south face of the home. Other interesting plants on the property include an Oriental Spruce which is straight ahead as you enter the gates of the property, camellias around the front courtyard, a Franklinia tree at the eastern end of the second terrace (this tree is rarely seen in the cooler latitudes, blooms in late summer, and then provides autumn foliage of burgundy, red and yellows), and a cut Evermay GardensJapanese maple just to the right of the stairs leading from the top terrace to the second level.

The garden is also filled with daffodils, tulips, azaleas, roses, peonies, and a plethora of other botanical wonders of nature. While mainly ornamental in nature now, over the years the garden produced fruits, vegetables and honey (from six active hives).

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