bullet Alice's Garden

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Sundial in garden
Sundial in formal garden

Alice added a sundial to the center of the garden in 1903, bearing one of Longfellow’s favorite mottoes, a line from Dante’s Purgatory, xii, 84: “Pensa che questo di mai non raggiorna.”

Longfellow translated this as: “Think that this day will never dawn again.”

Alice maintained the formal garden as it had been in her parents' time, while adding structures such as the pergola.

Formal garden, 1840
Historic photograph of formal garden, 1940
New pergola, 2003
Front view of new pergola, 2003

The pergola added outdoor living and seating space.

Alice's pergola had to be taken down during the 1930s when it fell into disrepair. In 2003, it was rebuilt.

View through pergola
View through original pergola
Layout of Alice's garden
Alice's formal garden

The garden will be rehabilitated to look as it did in Alice Longfellow's time.

Martha Brookes Hutcheson, a young landscape architect, was hired by Alice Longfellow to restore the garden.

Hutcheseon observed, "I regret having to write you that there was no plan of the Longfellow Garden when I took it in hand.  I added all arbors, gates, etc., but based the flower beds on the ghost of those which existed as Miss Longfellow told me that her father, a poet, had laid out the original plan, taking the flower bed shapes from a Persian pattern. Though I thought it an ugly idea, it was nevertheless so in keeping with the way things were done at the period that I felt it was interesting to reset the box borders in the original flower bed pattern so long as Longfellow, himself, had done it originally. I felt that it was a way in which one of my generation could pay him homage. That pleased Miss Longfellow very much."

Garden rehabilitation plan

Longfellow site rehabilitation plan

Garden during early 20th century Early 20th century
Garden during early 20th century Early 20th century

Property history

© 2004 Longfellow National Historic Site