The Summer Garden

August 26, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Prescott Park Portsmouth New HampshireSummer at the GardenPrescott Park's Formal Garden is awash with vibrant color at the height of its summer display. (Portsmouth, New Hampshire)

“How deeply seated in the human heart is the liking for gardens and gardening.” 
— Alexander Smith

This is certainly true for me! No doubt I inherited my love of gardens and garden design from my father, who was trained as a landscape architect (even though he went on to become a civil engineer). Like my dad, I tinker in my own gardens and relish exploring them when traveling.

Give me a beautiful garden to wander through - or better yet, to sit within and linger - and I'll be a happy camper.

Not surprisingly, I also love to photograph them! 

My favorites include the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois with millions of plants in a variety of settings scattered across 385 acres; a little bit of heaven on earth. Then there are the exquisite formal and informal gardens at The Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, these are a living legacy to the man considered to be America's foremost landscape architect. 

Gardens don't have to be immense in order to be magical, though. I'll happily spend any afternoon in the petite Formal Garden at Prescott Park in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, pictured here. Steps away from the Piscataqua River and anchored by spectacular, mature crabapple trees, it's a wonderful place to find shade on a hot summer day. Featuring red brick walkways and filled with colorful annuals during the blooming season, white benches scattered throughout beckon visitors to linger. The garden's three fountains add to the ambiance.

(My appreciation of the Formal Garden extends beyond the aesthetic to the sentimental: my husband and I were married there.)

Due to its small size, proximity to the center of town, and popularity, it's not an easy place to make photographs. Quarters are somewhat cramped and there are nearly always people around. That said, if you're willing to come out very early in the day (just before the sun comes up), your chances of working without an unreasonable amount of company will be greatly improved.

If you're visiting Portsmouth, be sure to give yourself time to enjoy Prescott Park.

Take a SeatTake a SeatWhite benches line the perimeter of the formal garden, inviting visitors to linger and enjoy the lovely setting.


Trees in Bloom, Beds Ready for PlantingAnticipationThe beds in Prescott Park's formal garden await planting as the crab trees in full bloom take center stage. (Portsmouth, New Hampshire)


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