Befitting a splendid Georgian manor house, Allerton’s 14 Formal Gardens feature extensive plantings and over 100 ornaments and sculptures to discover. The Gardens were designed by Robert and John Gregg Allerton in the Beaux arts/Neoclassical style during the American Country Place era between 1902 and the late 1940s. They are defined by divided ‘rooms’ bordered by pruned hedges and long allees with statues as strong focal points.
The Formal Gardens at Allerton are truly one-of-a-kind. Robert Allerton’s brilliance can be seen in the careful placement of each flower, the deliberate turn of every path, and the guided movement of color throughout his estate. As you stroll through his inspired creation, filled with sculptures collected from his travels around the world, you are transported from daily life into a place where cultural artifacts enhance Mother Nature’s best. From freshly sheared parterre hedges to numerous annual and perennial plantings, visitors find peace in the balance of natural and man-made beauty.
Today, Robert Allerton’s legacy in the gardens is carried on by a small horticulture staff, seasonal employees, and generous volunteers. These dedicated workers plant 12,000 summer annuals, 5,000 bulbs and 500 mums each fall, and 100 trees every spring. They spread over 140 cubic yards of mulch, prune 10,250 linear feet of hedge, pull weeds in over 80,000 square feet of planting beds, and mow 45 acres of turf grass weekly.
He created a picture in the garden. Yes, he painted with vegetation instead of oil and canvas. —JOHN GREGG ALLERTON