Friends of the Olmsted Landscape at Moraine Farm

Mission Statement

The Friends of the Olmsted Landscape at Moraine Farm (FOLMF) are dedicated to preserving and protecting the historic landscape at Moraine Farm, which was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. in the 1880s.  We are committed to working with all of Moraine Farm’s owners to preserve and protect the property, while accommodating change consistent with the farm’s historic landscape.

Background and Projects

FOLMF began as an advisory committee for the Landscape Management Plan for Moraine Farm and has since implemented many of the plan’s recommendations.  Our members have broad experience in all aspects of landscape history, design and maintenance, as well as a long-term commitment to Moraine Farm.  Since its inception, FOLMF has carried out a wide range of projects, which have fallen into three broad categories: fundraising, technical assistance and advocacy.

FOLMF’s primary focus has been to rehabilitate and/or restore characteristic landscape areas at Moraine Farm such as fields, woodlands, understory and designed landscape areas.  FOLMF has also supported the infrastructure of Moraine Farm and served as advocates for the historic landscape.  For most projects FOLMF has been involved in fundraising, research, design and implementation.

  • The new sprinkler system for the south lawn was one of FOLMF’s largest projects, involving technical assistance and fundraising to provide an irrigation system for this high visibility area adjacent to the main house.

The Tea House sits at the far end of the Lawn and overlooks the perennial garden.

  • Re-establishing the complex richly layered landscape of the entrance drive plantings is an ongoing project, undertaken in collaboration with several garden clubs.
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Members of the North Shore Garden Club replace plantings along the drive. (Photo by Shary Berg)

  • Rehabilitation of the woodland edge along Cabot Street was undertaken in collaboration with the Moraine Farm property management crew.
  • FOLMF provided assistance for the rehabilitation of foundation plantings around the main house, which had become seriously overgrown.

Overgrown plantings were cleared away from the foundation to expose beautiful stonework.

  • Rehabilitation of the laurel and rhododendron garden adjacent to the terrace was an early project involving technical assistance, as well as funding for specialized pruning.
  • FOLMF raised funds for the replacement of the Tea House roof and is working to support restoration of other features of the building.

The roof on the Tea House has since been restored. (Photo by Shary Berg)

  • The much-loved perennial garden is an ongoing project that includes oversight, technical assistance and funding for maintenance and improvements.

The perennial bed in bloom. (Photo by Shary Berg)

  • FOLMF played an active role in the 2011 Moraine Farm Open House, preparing a brochure about the history of Moraine Farm and offering interpretive programs to farm visitors in collaboration with the staff of the Olmsted National Historic Site.

 

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Overgrown boxwoods and invasives have been removed.

 

  • Along with Project Adventure, the Friends are working to restore the perennial garden using design plans found in the archives.  Overgrown shrubs and invasive plants and vines have been removed and will be replaced in the spring with appropriate shrubs and perennials.  The North Shore Garden Club will be assisting with the project in the spring.
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Laura Gibson designed the middle beds to be lower maintenance and continuously in bloom. Lilacs, roses, itea, germander and Russian sage are among the new plantings installed in spring 2017. Along with the North Shore Garden Club, Project Adventure, Waldorf School at Moraine Farm, Fireside Catering, Mimi Batchelder-Brown and Mr. and Mrs. Diarmaid Douglas-Hamilton donated generously in support of this restoration.

  • Future projects will include tree care and plant labels, as well as expanded outreach, including additional interpretive materials that highlight the history of the farm and the Olmsted legacy.

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