Garden Manager – Scott Traveline
Garden Ambassador – Claire Casstevens

The gardens at the Mansion were created to represent two time periods during the Victorian era. The northwest triangle of the garden was based on the philosophy and designs of Andrew Jackson Downing’s book The Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1841. Frank Scott’s book Art of Beautifying Suburban Grounds, 1870, was the inspiration for the southeast portion of the garden. Nationally renowned landscape architect Reed Engle designed the Mansion gardens using precepts from these books.

Downing Garden | Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion

The Downing Garden

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.

The Scott Garden

Frank Scott dedicates his book to the memory of A.J. Downing, his friend and instructor, this book is dedicated, with affectionate remembrance, by the author. Scott believed firmly in a well trimmed lawn, stating a smooth, closely shaven surface of grass is by far the most essential element of beauty on the grounds of a suburban home. Scott preferred the transparency of iron fencing; the Mansion displays such fencing. The use of fruit trees close to the house is shown in Scott’s plans many times over; therefore, the Mansion garden features two apple trees, a pear tree and a cherry tree along with a grape arbor and run of red currents, all protected by an arborvitae screen. Another feature of the 1870 Mansion garden is a hemlock arch formed by two hemlock trees trained together. Scott’s ribbon garden was revived in 2016.

Scott Garden | Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion

Claire Casstevens - Garden Ambassador

Claire CasstevensClaire, a graduate of the University of Virginia with a Master of Landscape Architecture, is a Landscape Designer at OLIN, Philadelphia. As a GIS intern at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, she mapped trees across the property, as well as the gardens themselves. She also worked alongside the dedicated gardening team in the flower and vegetable beds. Claire is developing a new garden brochure and garden tour for the Mansion.

Scott Traveline - Garden Manager / Horticulturalist

Scott TravelineScott, a graduate of Temple University School of Horticulture, brings years of professional experience growing and selecting annuals and perennials for professional and residential clients. He is an expert in cultivation and plant and tree species. Scott is carefully planting and restoring the historically designed gardens at the Mansion.

Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion’s Victorian gardens are funded in part by the Philadelphia Committee of the Garden Club of America.