"Seaside Gem"




The Fuller Gardens rose bushes - 2,000 of them - come into bloom in June.

It was, it seems, a matter of getting joy from other people's enjoyment.

When Alvan and Viola Fuller, back in the 1930s, designed gardens for their seaside summer estate in North Hampton, they placed a sizeable garden in front of the house, next to the road, so passersby could enjoy its beauty.

It's said that they would take great pleasure at looking out their bedroom windows to watch people walk through the garden.

But Alvan - a pioneer in the car business (he originated Washington's Birthday sales), a two-term governor of Massachusetts and friend of Teddy Roosevelt - wasn't satisfied with his "front" garden so he hired the Olmstead Brothers, who had designed New York City's Central Park, to make it more of a showpiece. As a partner in the firm reported at the time: "Mr. Fuller wants the garden design revamped so that even more color can be seen from the road as you drive by."

Their work turned the gardens into what was then described, and still is, as a "seaside gem." Over the years the gardens were added to by others and in 1962 the house was removed (according to the Fullers' wishes), opening up yet more garden space, now at two and a half acres. Aside from the more than 2,000 rose bushes (approximately 125 varieties of them), the Colonial Revival-style gardens include a dahlia display garden, formal English perennial borders, a Japanese garden with a Koi pond, a public conservatory and more.

Jamie Colen, director of Fuller Gardens, says there are blooms there all summer, even rose blooms. "It's not as hard as you think to keep rose bushes blooming," he says. Constant deadheading is one of the secrets to it.

More than 10,000 people visit the gardens each year, many of them taking workshops that are given almost every day. Also, staff members are available to answer questions when people are roaming the gardens.

"It's one of the last working formal estate gardens of the early 20th century," says Colen. "It's a great place to cool off on a summer day and take a step back into history

Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. Beer Guide 2016 - Seacoast and Merrimack Valley
    Looking for more great beer? Here's the rest of the 2016 edition of the Beer Guide that we...
  2. Guide to Local Beer in NH's Monadnock, Lakes and North Country Regions
    If you’re a craft beer lover in New Hampshire, then chances are you know all about what’s...
  3. Walking New Hampshire's Northern Border
    “Good fences make good neighbors,” wrote Robert Frost, quoting his grumpy muse. No fences...
  4. Tips for Taking Great Outdoor Photos
    Your photography doesn't have to stop at selfies. Learn how to take top-quality shots of the...
  5. The Scaredycat's Guide to Haunted Houses
    Fear led our primitive ancestors to hide in caves and build fires to keep their nightmares at...
  6. Donna Zils Banfield Turns Simple Bowls into Works of Art
    The Derry woodturner's vessels would bring flair to any home.
  7. Crafty Witch Pat Peck
    The volunteer behind Canterbury Shaker Village's Halloween witch is more treat than trick.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags