National Register coordinators were invited to submit images of designed landscaes listed in the National Register that they think are among the best in their state.
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Photographs courtesy of the Florida State Historic Preservation Office
Reference Number: 09000345
The Cummer Gardens, located on the grounds of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens on the western shore of the St. Johns River, in the historic Riverside neighborhood of Jacksonville, encompass 1.45 acres between the west bank of the river and the art museum. The gardens are unique in Florida and the southeast, representing the history of American landscape design in the first four decades of the 20th century. The gardens have direct ties to four leading American landscape designers and firms--Michigan based Ossian Simonds, Philadelphia’s Thomas Meehan & Sons, Ellen Biddle Shipman of New York, and the renowned Olmsted Brothers firm of Massachusetts. Arthur and Ninah Cummer’s once private gardens are now restored and accessible to the public. Ninah Cummer (1875-1958) was an avid educator and promoter of gardening and horticulture through lectures, publications and consultations, and was instrumental in the establishment of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, which originated in her English Garden.
The ca. 1903 English Garden, although later embellished by others, was the initial work of Ossian C. Simmonds. Ellen Biddle Shipman, an early pioneer within the field and exceptionally accomplished, designed the Italian Garden in 1931.
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