The Mount: Edith Wharton and the American Renaissance


Kay Davis
University of Virginia
© 2001-2003


The Mount > Interior > Grounds > Gardens


From 1895 to 1903, Wharton published a series of magazine articles that became the books Italian Villas and Their Gardens and Italian Backgrounds. In these works, Wharton examined the relationships between garden design and architecture. (44)

With assistance from Hoppin & Koen and Wharton's niece, Beatrix Jones Farrand, Wharton worked to create gardens that would extend the house's symmetrical arrangement into the landscape.

According to architectural historian Richard Guy Wilson, The Mount's gardens have sources in the Villa Gamberaia, the Villa Chigi, and the Villa Campi, which Wharton discussed in Italian Villas and Their Gardens. (45)

Flower Garden

The flower garden is located at the bottom of a hill to the north of the terrace. The garden is a succession of rectangular shapes with a central fountain.

Flower Garden Fountain
Fountain in the Flower Garden

The garden contains a trellis niche, which was popular in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French and Italian gardens. Codman designed the trellis niche for the garden at Land's End, and Wharton transferred it to the flower garden at The Mount.

Flower Garden Trellis
Trellis Niche in the Flower Garden

Walled Garden
A walled garden is connected to the flower garden by a path lined with trees. The walled garden has a stone wall on the east side with six arches. At the center is a circular pool with a fountain. On the south and west walls are benches in niches. (46)

Kitchen Garden

Wharton's niece, Beatrix Jones Farrand, designed the kitchen garden near the stable in a symmetrical pattern.

Kitchen Garden
Farrand's Drawing of the Kitchen Garden

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