The Blue Garden: Recapturing an Iconic Newport Landscape
by Arleyn A. Levee
This richly illustrated book tells the story of the creation, decline and renewal of an iconic Newport garden. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. and constructed under the Olmsted Brothers’ exacting supervision between 1910 and 1913, the Blue Garden in its heyday was renowned for its unique monochromatic palette and elegant structures. As a “room” on the sizable estate of Arthur Curtiss and Harriet Parsons James, this horticulturally resplendent garden served as a focal point for Newport’s vibrant social life.
Landscape historian Arleyn Levee explores the collaborative design process of creation between the unique owners and the Olmsted firm, illuminating the story with original photographs, plans and drawings from numerous repositories across the country. She details the garden’s near loss after the owners’ deaths, and the rediscovery and determined rehabilitation of this remarkable space. The concluding section of this volume examines how historic material was analyzed and interpreted to reconstruct this garden according to 21st century standards, while retaining the integrity of the original Olmsted design intent. A full color photographic essay captures the success of this reconstruction.
Published with the Redwood Library and Athenaeum, the book is a sumptuous 208 pages, cloth-bound, hardcover with dust jacket, fully illustrated in color and in black and white. As an added bonus, included in the volume is a DVD, “Building the Blue Garden.”