When we step into the Triangle Parterre Garden, we immediately look upwards. The towering conical arborvitae point skyward like giant green arrows that draw the eye. Following the path, we begin to gaze around and see not grand trees and open sky, but dilapidated hedgerows that speak to a once vibrant parterre garden, previously manicured and luxurious. This Garden is overgrown and out of scale; the intended look and feel that Robert Allerton had for this space are gone. This is what happens to gardens, living and breathing – nature takes its course and spreads out of bounds.
In short, the Triangle Parterre Garden needs to be renovated. Plans are underway to replant the invasive a
mur privet hedge with more maintenance friendly boxwood hedge, as well as a more compact arborvitae. The space behind the parterre, within the garden boundaries, will be reimagined with Robert’s intended purpose of using this garden for food. (He once had sweet corn bordering this space.) Plans include a more formalized permaculture planting— fruit and nut trees, with interwoven vegetables and herbs planted as much for aesthetics as for production. New paths will keep in mind maintenance needs and accessibility to bring students and visitors into intimate communion with the reborn garden.
Consider the possibilities of an estatestyle landscape filled with sustainably produced food. Consider how the different elements of this garden could work together to produce a beautiful work of art. Our work in the Gardens is ongoing as we maintain and uphold the vision of Robert Allerton. The Triangle Parterre Garden will be an example of a multi-use landscape: highly functional, highly manicured, and beautiful.