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Written by historian Arleyn A. Levee, this book tells the story of the Blue Garden, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. from 1910-1915 for Arthur Curtiss and Harriet Parsons James, for their Newport estate. It includes a history of the collaborative design process between the owners and landscape architects to create a unique garden with a monochromatic palette of blues and purples. The author documents how, after the death of the owners, the garden was all but forgotten and nearly destroyed by years of neglect. The illustrations include original photographs, plans, and drawings that were archived at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, among other repositories. The book features a section describing how the historic material was analyzed and used to rebuild a garden for the 21st century, yet true to the original design intent. There is a full color photographic essay of the garden as it is today.
Published with the Redwood Library and Athenaeum, the book is a sumptuous 208 page, hardcover cloth-bound with dust jacket, fully illustrated in black and white and color. A DVD, “Building the Blue Garden” is also included. The book is also available at the Redwood Library, 50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport.