Q. I would like to research and start a colonial garden on an early 18th century historical site. Where do I begin?

It's Morton Homestead in Prospect Park PA next to John Heinz Wildlife Refuge. I am interested in herbal and flower garden/ naturalistic setting- using natives. Prospect Park Historical Society project. Swedish/ English influences. Close historical accuracy.


Yvonne, you do not say what research you’ve done to date so let me suggest some places for you to begin.

We recently added a very intriguing book to our collection and I think you should track it down (you can consult it in our library and if you become a member you can  borrow it).

Denise Wiles Adams and Laura L. S. Burchfield. 2013.   American home landscapes :   a design guide to creating period garden styles  Portland, Or. : Timber Press, 2013.

Suggest you read

Chapter  1.  “So you want to design a historic landscape” -- this chapter walks you through a process for doing the research, starting with a site inventory. The authors then  describe documentation common in historic landscape research (wills, deeds, photographs, letters, diaries, maps, nursery catalogs, and more).

Chapter  2.  “ Landscapes of the colonial period and new republic (1620-1820)” includes common architectural styles, landscape designs and plant lists.

see also

Rudy J. Favretti’s    Landscapes and gardens for historic buildings :   a handbook for reproducing and creating authentic landscape settings /   Nashville, Tenn. : American Association for State and Local History, 1991.

as well as many selections from our garden history section of the collection.

For online resources, see the American Society of Landscape Architecture’s general resources on historic preservation – as a starting place for your research.

Good luck and have fun!

  • Last Updated Jan 08, 2019
  • Views 25
  • Answered By Janet Evans

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