Gardens and Grounds

All of the gardens at Ruthmere continue to be planted with flowers that were used in the early 1900s.

Gardens and Grounds

Elkhart, Indiana 46514, United States

Created By: Ruthmere

Tour Information

This is the Ruthmere Gardens & Grounds Tour. Look for small signs on the grounds with Ruthmere’s "R" to find out more specific information on that item. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the percentage of families that were farmers declined as the population moved to urban industrialized cities. Because of this shift people became more interested in the use of gardens for status. Having a lawn became an indication of personal wealth. The Edwardian Era, named for the reign of King Edward VII of England started in 1901. This period became the golden era of horticulture. Albert and Elizabeth Beardsley built Ruthmere precisely at this time. For Edwardian homes it was especially important that grand gardens became an extension of the home itself and the style of the home matched the style of the garden. All of the gardens at Ruthmere continue to be planted with flowers that were used in the early 1900s.


Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

Cast iron was the most popular form of fencing for grand homes during the early 1900s because it was a readily available material of the new industrial age. It could easily be formed into ornamental designs to create a more formal and elabo... Read more
Ruthmere's Gardens & Grounds tour is the garage. The garage was built at the same time as Ruthmere Mansion, in 1910. The garage originally housed Albert Beardsley's 1918 Cadillac, as well as a tool room. In addition, the garage is equip... Read more
Ruthmere's 2020 Quilt Garden is Ruth's Chrysanthemum. This year's design theme for Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail was flower patterns - Ruthmere chose the chrysanthemum, a flower that was beloved by Victorians in the 19th and early ... Read more
Visit our website and read more information about each year's design.  
In Edwardian style gardens the fencing of the house had to compliment the exterior architecture of the home. Balustrade is a decorative railing supported by baluster posts. A baluster is the single, vertical post; the balustrade is several ... Read more
Ruthmere will again be a Blue Star Museum; the Blue Star Museums program is a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts that offers free admission to all active duty military personnel, National Guard, and Reserve personnel, as w... Read more
Ruthmere Museum’s sixteen foot circle garden is a beautiful addition to the grounds. This carpet-bed garden is modeled after a bed of solid red flowers in the forecourt of Queen Victoria's "Osborne House" on the Isle of Wight. The garden... Read more
The Tiffany garden is inspired by the work of American artist and designer Louis Comfort Tiffany, who is best known for his artistry with stain glass. Located in front of the greenhouse, the garden’s design is taken from the window pane i... Read more
The presence of beautiful white birch trees framing the drive at Ruthmere is no coincidence. It was very common in an Edwardian garden to frame the carriage drive approaching the house. Vines were often used to cover less aesthetic features... Read more
The greenhouse is an original feature of the 1910 Beaux Arts style home built by Albert and Elizabeth Beardsley. Elizabeth, the first lady of Ruthmere, loved flowers. Her husband Albert had the greenhouse built for her so she could enjoy he... Read more
Statues integrated the human element and formality into the Edwardian garden. This art nouveau herm located by the greenhouse is original to Ruthmere’s property. A herm is a sculpture with a head and a torso above a plain, usually squared... Read more
The wedding garden, also called the Blue and White garden, is modeled after the work of Gertrude Jekyll. She was a famous gardener of the time period and the first nationally recognized female gardener. Jekyll radically changed the trends o... Read more
Kitchen gardens were traditionally located close to the kitchen door to allow easy access for cooking. Kitchen gardens were utilitarian in purpose, and included herbs, fruits and vegetables with some flowers also. However, the kitchen garde... Read more
The Angel is sculpted from two thousand pounds of Carrara Italian marble to Robert Beardsley’s precise specifications replicating a small baptismal font that he had collected years earlier. The smaller piece resides in the drawing room at... Read more
The Baldwin apple tree was planted at Ruthmere Museum in 2008. The Baldwin tree is an apple variety discovered as a chance seedling in Massachusetts in 1740 and named after Colonel Loanne Baldwin, a high sheriff of the courts of Concord and... Read more


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