Lessons from Naumkeag
Learn from the best: the recently restored gardens at architect Charles McKim’s Shingle Style icon in Massachusetts, where formality and whimsy co-exist. by Regina Cole | photos by Gross & Daley
STEP OUT A SIDE DOOR AT NAUMKEAG, into the Afternoon Garden. Stone pavers, clipped boxwood in a classical knot around a tiny pool, pots of fuchsias, and painted metal benches perch on a small terrace, looking towards Monument Mountain in the distance. Encircling the friendly assemblage is a parade of brightly painted Venetian gondola poles. | This was the first garden created during the 30-year partnership of Mabel Choate and Fletcher Steele. The gardens at Naumkeag, Choate’s summer home in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, were the grand undertaking of a passionate gardener and America’s first modern landscape architect.
The gardens designed by Mabel Choate and Fletcher Steele for Charles McKim’s Shingle Style icon recently were restored. Why not learn from the best?
ABOVE LEFT Shingle-style Naumkeag was built in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts in 1885. ABOVE The Trustees’ Statewide Curator Mark Wilson was one of the leaders in the UHFHQW SUHVHUYDWLRQ HƪRUW OPPOSITE Framing the entrance into the Afternoon Garden, an arched doorway introduces the textures of masonry, surprises the YLVLWRU ZLWK WKH ƬUVW JOLPSVH of statuary and gondola poles, and leads the eye to mountain views.