The New England Garden was built in 2006-2007
under the leadership of First Lady Karen Baldacci.
The Garden design originated in 1920, when
the Olmsted Brothers of Brookline, Massachusetts, were retained to prepare
a master plan for Maine’s State House grounds and Capitol Park,
as well as a site design for the Blaine House. The site design included
a rectilinear English cottage garden referred to as “The New England
In 2006, Pressley Associates, a landscape
architectural firm located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was retained to
adapt the 1920 Olmsted Brothers plan to existing site conditions and construction
codes while remaining true to the Olmsteds’ original design intent.
The New England Garden is a formal, squareshaped
traditional garden with a central lawn, surrounded by footpaths and fencing.
features a flower display that changes throughout the seasons. Granite
benches, located along the perimeter, focus on the central lawn. One bench
is dedicated to the memory of E. Chuck Cianchette of Pittsfield, who made
possible the construction of the front entrance to the house. An entry
landing and stair from the Blaine House Family Dining Room links the home’s
interior with the Garden.
Plantings in the four central annual beds
reflect the changing seasons, with each season exploring the various species’
unique attributes. The annuals are appropriate to the 1920’s when
the Garden was designed. The annual beds also feature seasonal standards
that complement the surrounding annual display. A Pepper Viburnum is believed
to be part of the original plantings.
The New England Garden represents the third
phase of a 20-year long effort begun under Governor John McKernan in 1987
to repair and restore the Blaine House to its original appearance as the
home of Maine governors and their families.