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The gardens were designed by Arthur Shurcliff, designer of the gardens at Williamsburg, Virginia, and are some of the most important in Vermont. The outstanding remaining feature is the dry wall enclosures which skillfully control air movement and take advantage of sun exposure. The walls provide privacy for outdoor living while maintaining freedom of visual access and movement. All these factors provide an exceptional setting for the collection of plant life and temper the harsh climate, all to the benefit in the English landscape setting.
The stone is from local stone walls which Mr. Martin purchased for the purpose. Curt Holt designed and built the walls and stairs with the aid of local workmen. The garden relates well to the estate's buildings and reflects the interests of the family, particularly the rose garden. On "Rose Day" in 1928, the garden was visited by 600 people in a two day period.
The Upper and Lower Gardens, along with the Garden House and Pergola, provide an excellent example of a formal English garden, recreated in northern New England. They have been a focal point of campus life and continue to be used to this day for special events and graduations in the warmer months of the year.
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