Human Flower Project

A Haven in New Haven


Marsh Botanic Gardens, designed by Beatrix Jones Farrand

Photo: Georgia Silvera Seamans

My 2001 class photo was taken in the backyard of Marsh Hall on the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies campus.  As a student I did not spend much time at Marsh; most of my courses were held in Sage Hall. It was not until I read a 2012 Yale Alumni Magazine essay that I realized the garden behind Marsh was more than a backyard; it was the Marsh Botanic Gardens. 

Furthermore, it was designed by Beatrix Jones Farrand, a preeminent woman landscape architect of the 20th century and, indirectly, a personal patron.  Farrand left an endowment for the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley which funded part of my dissertation research.

According to the Gardens’ official website: “Our modest outdoor displays include remnants of the original design by Beatrix Farrand, whose relationship with Yale University began in 1923 and lasted for decades. The display areas also include naturalistic plantings on the hillsides using American native wildflowers, grasses and woody plants. The perennial and annual beds near the greenhouses provide spring, summer and fall color…. Her design was implemented over several years, and included a formal garden, patterned after the earliest existing formal garden, in Padua, Italy. Her design also included a rock garden, which is the last and best remnant of her work at Marsh.”


“Naturalistic hillside” at Marsh Botanic Gardens, Spring 2012

Photo: Georgia Silvera Seamans

I chose to photograph not this “last and best”  but the “naturalistic plantings on the hillsides” – what does this say about my landscape aesthetic?!

You can read more about Beatrix Jones Farrand here and here

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/09 at 12:06 PM



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