While everyone is out enjoying Newburyport (and yes, Amesbury’s) gardens, it is a great time to bring up how precious our High Street gardens were in the past and how so many new owners and even long-enduring natives are resurrecting the fine art of the Garden.
At one time, such places were treasured as rechargers for the soul, places of inspiration and were enjoyed a hundred times over as places of social gatherings and of experiencing man-made and natural beauty.
Thanks to being in the 21st century, a great book is still available either through our local bookstores or via the Internet,
Gardens of the New Republic: Fashioning the Landscapes of High Street, Newburyport, Massachusetts
These gardens sometimes stretched as long as a city block (These were often found going east or west from State or Green). The High Street gardens were just places of mystery and intrigue, not visible from the street and yet inviting everyone to venture a peak. It was here that the maritime mixed with the agriculture as gardens became displays of flowers, fruits and vegetables along with orchards and decorative trees brought often from the far parts of the world by captains and mariners. Here the mix of the Far East would mix with the European with the unique blend of folly’s – quant buildings that would either indicate the remote ports that were visited or would send a classical message depending on the whim of the landscape designer.
With the Historical Society of Old Newbury continuing the tradition, we can reflect back on how appropriate it is to come and be immersed with something that is so historic and yet, ever changing.
Here are some of the old pictures of gardens:
Here are some of the amazing follys still seen around Newburyport: