Created By: The Jonnycake Center of Westerly, Inc.
Our yard is not a finished product. The gardens have been evolving since 1929 and we expect that they will continue to do so as we refine and renew our landscaping.
My paternal grandparents, Emily & Owen Morgan of West Hartford, built the Cottage as a summer home in the late 1920s. My grandmother put in the front garden (along Noyes Neck Road) and the south side (ocean-side) garden shortly after the house was finished. From my childhood, I remember those gardens as full of flowers, especially roses. Like my grandmother, I love roses! We’ve maintained several wild and very old bushes (it’s hard to kill a rose), and planted many more.
After my grandmother passed away, our family continued to use the house in summer only and my mother took over the responsibility of the gardens, focusing primarily on the small beds around the patio behind the breezeway.
We took over ownership of our home in 2001, moving here year-round from California. Even though the property had been maintained throughout the years, the gardens had erupted in vines and extraordinarily robust weeds, while most of the back yard was thicket.
Our obvious and biggest challenge was to clear and landscape the back yard, most of which we accomplished in 2001. We “finished” the back yard in 2016 by taking out the remaining thicket and planting more new beds. We weeded (and weeded and weeded) my Grandmother’s original front and side gardens. We planted, transplanted, pruned and maintained plants throughout the yard, choosing easy maintenance perennials which added color or form. Many of the plants in our garden were gifts, transplanted from family and friends’ yards.
Our goal going forward is to keep the personal feel and scale of my Grandmother’s gardens, while incorporating new strains of favorite and traditional plants.
This point of interest is part of the tour: 2017 Westerly Garden Tour: Gardens Near the Sea