Downing Garden | Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion

Before the Civil War, landscape gardening in America reflected the styles fostered by the English garden designers of the early Victorian Era. America’s most influential landscape gardener at this time was Andrew Jackson Downing. Downing had two main approaches to the design of the landscape garden surrounding a home – the Beautiful and the Picturesque. Within the Picturesque he includes a Gothic mansion such as Maxwell.  Downing believed that a single color should be used in each bed, although not always the same plants. For example, the Mansion’s purple bed features ageratum and lavender; whereas, begonias and candytuft fill the white bed.  Downing did not believe in foundation plantings as the English felt such plants trapped moisture thus causing disease.