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The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jacksonville boasts one of the most important and delightful gardens in Northeast Florida. Idyllically located on the banks of the St. Johns River, the gardens have a fascinating history stretching back over 100 years and bear the imprint of some of the foremost names in landscape design and horticulture, including Ossian Cole Simonds, Ellen Biddle Shipman, Thomas Meehan and Sons, and the fabled Olmsted firm. The involvement of these prestigious firms gives national importance to the gardens at The Cummer. Throughout the year, the gardens are ablaze with rare horticultural specimens nestled under a canopy of mature live oak trees. In addition to the lush plantings, features such as reflecting pools, fountains, arbors, antique ornaments, and sculptures help create a special outdoor space that provides a perfect complement to the museum's collections.

The gardens were created by one of Jacksonville's most prominent families, who settled in Florida in the early 1900s. Arthur Cummer and his brother, Waldo Cummer, came from a long line of Michigan lumber barons. They built their homes on either side of their parents, Ada and Wellington Cummer, on the banks of the St. Johns River. The brothers led the Cummer Lumber Company, while their wives, Ninah Cummer and Clara Cummer, masterminded the gardens surrounding their homes. Those gardens are now one of the glories of the museum and are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Simonds’s initial scheme, with naturalistic sweeps of native trees and shrubs, enhanced the stands of majestic live oaks along the riverfront property at the time of its development by the Cummer family. These plantings provided the backbone for later ornamental gardens, such as the formal English Garden designed in 1910 by Thomas Meehan and Sons for Arthur and Ninah Cummer. Today the English Garden boasts a magnificent wisteria-laden cypress arbor that peaks at Garden Week in March.

The jewel in the crown of The Cummer Gardens is the Italian Garden, one of only a handful of extant gardens designed by Ellen Biddle Shipman. Designed in 1931 on the site of Arthur and Ninah Cummer’s former garage, this garden was conceived as the ultimate display garden for Ninah’s large collection of Italian marble garden ornaments and hundreds of azaleas. Two long reflecting pools frame the view to the green, ficus-covered gloriette that resembles the famous water gardens at the Villa Gamberaia in Tuscany. These gardens reached their apogee in the late 1930s, when they were ablaze with hundreds of azaleas set amidst a stunning collection of garden ornaments.

Also in the early 1930s, additional gardens were developed by Waldo and Clara Cummer, who inherited the majority of Ada Cummer’s estate upon her death. They engaged William Lyman Phillips, a partner in the Olmsted Brothers firm, to incorporate this new property into their existing gardens. These gardens were partially obliterated in the early 1960s, when both homes were demolished to make way for a new museum building to house Ninah Cummer's art collection, but plans are in place to restore this landscape to its former glory.

Adapted from A Legacy in Bloom: Celebrating a Century of Gardens at The Cummer by Judith Tankard.

Thank you to all of our donors, partners, sponsors and subcontractors in the Olmsted Garden Restoration and Landscape Beautification Project.

Olmsted Donors and Sponsors

Mrs. C. Kirby Alexander, Mr. and Mrs. Willis M. Ball III, Mr. and Mrs. William B. Barnett, Mr. and Mrs. James V.E. Bent, Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Commander, III, Mrs. Maria R. Cox, Ms. Cheryl S. Cummer and Mr. Jack Lyle, Ann and David Hicks, Monica and Bob Jacoby, Carolyn Marsh Lindsay, Mr. and Mrs. Billy Morris, Russell B Newton, Jr. and Joannie Newton, Mr. and Mrs. Russell B. Newton, III, Mrs. James H. Robbins, Ryan A. Schwartz, Mr. and Mrs. Robert T. Shircliff, Mrs. Bryan Simpson, Sandra Roe Smith, Mr. and Mrs. J, Frank Surface, Joan Van Vleck,  Delores Barr Weaver and J. Wayne Weaver, Edna Sproull Williams Foundation, State of Florida

Special thanks to the hundreds of individuals who have made this project possible through their support of special initiatives like Garden Month and the Dedicate a Brick Campaign.

This project has been financed in part with historic preservation grant assistance provided by the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, assisted by the Florida Historical Commission.

Project Partners

Elkins Constructors Inc.; CMS Group LLC; Connelly & Wicker Inc.; Atlantic Engineering Services; Sunscapes Landscape Design Inc.; Francois Goffinet Limited; and Richard Skinner & Associates, Architects.

Subcontractors

American Plumbing; B&L Landscape; Brown Enterprises; Childers Roofing & Sheet Metal; Coleman Construction Group; Cummings Masonry; Duval Fence; Ernest Carroll Tile; Frattle Stairs & Rails; Green Built Construction; H&H Landscaping; Harbinger Sign; Marietta Sand Corp.; Miller Electric; Nitelites Outdoor Lighting; S. David; Sole Design; Southeastern Ornamental; Supreme Stucco; Tabbystone; Taylor Cotton Riddley; Wes Peters Painting; and Wonderland Products.

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The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jacksonville boasts one of the most important and delightful gardens in Northeast Florida. Idyllically located on the banks of the St. Johns River, the gardens have a fascinating history stretching back over 100 years and bear the imprint of some of the foremost names in landscape design and horticulture, including Ossian Cole Simonds, Ellen Biddle Shipman, Thomas Meehan and Sons, and the fabled Olmsted firm. The involvement of these prestigious firms gives national importance to the gardens at The Cummer. Throughout the year, the gardens are ablaze with rare horticultural specimens nestled under a canopy of mature live oak trees. In addition to the lush plantings, features such as reflecting pools, fountains, arbors, antique ornaments, and sculptures help create a special outdoor space that provides a perfect complement to the museum's collections.

The gardens were created by one of Jacksonville's most prominent families, who settled in Florida in the early 1900s. Arthur Cummer and his brother, Waldo Cummer, came from a long line of Michigan lumber barons. They built their homes on either side of their parents, Ada and Wellington Cummer, on the banks of the St. Johns River. The brothers led the Cummer Lumber Company, while their wives, Ninah Cummer and Clara Cummer, masterminded the gardens surrounding their homes. Those gardens are now one of the glories of the museum and are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Simonds’s initial scheme, with naturalistic sweeps of native trees and shrubs, enhanced the stands of majestic live oaks along the riverfront property at the time of its development by the Cummer family. These plantings provided the backbone for later ornamental gardens, such as the formal English Garden designed in 1910 by Thomas Meehan and Sons for Arthur and Ninah Cummer. Today the English Garden boasts a magnificent wisteria-laden cypress arbor that peaks at Garden Week in March.

The jewel in the crown of The Cummer Gardens is the Italian Garden, one of only a handful of extant gardens designed by Ellen Biddle Shipman. Designed in 1931 on the site of Arthur and Ninah Cummer’s former garage, this garden was conceived as the ultimate display garden for Ninah’s large collection of Italian marble garden ornaments and hundreds of azaleas. Two long reflecting pools frame the view to the green, ficus-covered gloriette that resembles the famous water gardens at the Villa Gamberaia in Tuscany. These gardens reached their apogee in the late 1930s, when they were ablaze with hundreds of azaleas set amidst a stunning collection of garden ornaments.

Also in the early 1930s, additional gardens were developed by Waldo and Clara Cummer, who inherited the majority of Ada Cummer’s estate upon her death. They engaged William Lyman Phillips, a partner in the Olmsted Brothers firm, to incorporate this new property into their existing gardens. These gardens were partially obliterated in the early 1960s, when both homes were demolished to make way for a new museum building to house Ninah Cummer's art collection, but plans are in place to restore this landscape to its former glory.

Adapted from A Legacy in Bloom: Celebrating a Century of Gardens at The Cummer by Judith Tankard.

Thank you to all of our donors, partners, sponsors and subcontractors in the Olmsted Garden Restoration and Landscape Beautification Project.

Olmsted Donors and Sponsors

Mrs. C. Kirby Alexander, Mr. and Mrs. Willis M. Ball III, Mr. and Mrs. William B. Barnett, Mr. and Mrs. James V.E. Bent, Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Commander, III, Mrs. Maria R. Cox, Ms. Cheryl S. Cummer and Mr. Jack Lyle, Ann and David Hicks, Monica and Bob Jacoby, Carolyn Marsh Lindsay, Mr. and Mrs. Billy Morris, Russell B Newton, Jr. and Joannie Newton, Mr. and Mrs. Russell B. Newton, III, Mrs. James H. Robbins, Ryan A. Schwartz, Mr. and Mrs. Robert T. Shircliff, Mrs. Bryan Simpson, Sandra Roe Smith, Mr. and Mrs. J, Frank Surface, Joan Van Vleck,  Delores Barr Weaver and J. Wayne Weaver, Edna Sproull Williams Foundation, State of Florida

Special thanks to the hundreds of individuals who have made this project possible through their support of special initiatives like Garden Month and the Dedicate a Brick Campaign.

This project has been financed in part with historic preservation grant assistance provided by the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, assisted by the Florida Historical Commission.

Project Partners

Elkins Constructors Inc.; CMS Group LLC; Connelly & Wicker Inc.; Atlantic Engineering Services; Sunscapes Landscape Design Inc.; Francois Goffinet Limited; and Richard Skinner & Associates, Architects.

Subcontractors

American Plumbing; B&L Landscape; Brown Enterprises; Childers Roofing & Sheet Metal; Coleman Construction Group; Cummings Masonry; Duval Fence; Ernest Carroll Tile; Frattle Stairs & Rails; Green Built Construction; H&H Landscaping; Harbinger Sign; Marietta Sand Corp.; Miller Electric; Nitelites Outdoor Lighting; S. David; Sole Design; Southeastern Ornamental; Supreme Stucco; Tabbystone; Taylor Cotton Riddley; Wes Peters Painting; and Wonderland Products.

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The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jacksonville boasts one of the most important and delightful gardens in Northeast Florida. Idyllically located on the banks of the St. Johns River, the gardens have a fascinating history stretching back over 100 years and bear the imprint of some of the foremost names in landscape design and horticulture, including Ossian Cole Simonds, Ellen Biddle Shipman, Thomas Meehan and Sons, and the fabled Olmsted firm. The involvement of these prestigious firms gives national importance to the gardens at The Cummer. Throughout the year, the gardens are ablaze with rare horticultural specimens nestled under a canopy of mature live oak trees. In addition to the lush plantings, features such as reflecting pools, fountains, arbors, antique ornaments, and sculptures help create a special outdoor space that provides a perfect complement to the museum's collections.

The gardens were created by one of Jacksonville's most prominent families, who settled in Florida in the early 1900s. Arthur Cummer and his brother, Waldo Cummer, came from a long line of Michigan lumber barons. They built their homes on either side of their parents, Ada and Wellington Cummer, on the banks of the St. Johns River. The brothers led the Cummer Lumber Company, while their wives, Ninah Cummer and Clara Cummer, masterminded the gardens surrounding their homes. Those gardens are now one of the glories of the museum and are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Simonds’s initial scheme, with naturalistic sweeps of native trees and shrubs, enhanced the stands of majestic live oaks along the riverfront property at the time of its development by the Cummer family. These plantings provided the backbone for later ornamental gardens, such as the formal English Garden designed in 1910 by Thomas Meehan and Sons for Arthur and Ninah Cummer. Today the English Garden boasts a magnificent wisteria-laden cypress arbor that peaks at Garden Week in March.

The jewel in the crown of The Cummer Gardens is the Italian Garden, one of only a handful of extant gardens designed by Ellen Biddle Shipman. Designed in 1931 on the site of Arthur and Ninah Cummer’s former garage, this garden was conceived as the ultimate display garden for Ninah’s large collection of Italian marble garden ornaments and hundreds of azaleas. Two long reflecting pools frame the view to the green, ficus-covered gloriette that resembles the famous water gardens at the Villa Gamberaia in Tuscany. These gardens reached their apogee in the late 1930s, when they were ablaze with hundreds of azaleas set amidst a stunning collection of garden ornaments.

Also in the early 1930s, additional gardens were developed by Waldo and Clara Cummer, who inherited the majority of Ada Cummer’s estate upon her death. They engaged William Lyman Phillips, a partner in the Olmsted Brothers firm, to incorporate this new property into their existing gardens. These gardens were partially obliterated in the early 1960s, when both homes were demolished to make way for a new museum building to house Ninah Cummer's art collection, but plans are in place to restore this landscape to its former glory.

Adapted from A Legacy in Bloom: Celebrating a Century of Gardens at The Cummer by Judith Tankard.

Thank you to all of our donors, partners, sponsors and subcontractors in the Olmsted Garden Restoration and Landscape Beautification Project.

Olmsted Donors and Sponsors

Mrs. C. Kirby Alexander, Mr. and Mrs. Willis M. Ball III, Mr. and Mrs. William B. Barnett, Mr. and Mrs. James V.E. Bent, Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Commander, III, Mrs. Maria R. Cox, Ms. Cheryl S. Cummer and Mr. Jack Lyle, Ann and David Hicks, Monica and Bob Jacoby, Carolyn Marsh Lindsay, Mr. and Mrs. Billy Morris, Russell B Newton, Jr. and Joannie Newton, Mr. and Mrs. Russell B. Newton, III, Mrs. James H. Robbins, Ryan A. Schwartz, Mr. and Mrs. Robert T. Shircliff, Mrs. Bryan Simpson, Sandra Roe Smith, Mr. and Mrs. J, Frank Surface, Joan Van Vleck,  Delores Barr Weaver and J. Wayne Weaver, Edna Sproull Williams Foundation, State of Florida

Special thanks to the hundreds of individuals who have made this project possible through their support of special initiatives like Garden Month and the Dedicate a Brick Campaign.

This project has been financed in part with historic preservation grant assistance provided by the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, assisted by the Florida Historical Commission.

Project Partners

Elkins Constructors Inc.; CMS Group LLC; Connelly & Wicker Inc.; Atlantic Engineering Services; Sunscapes Landscape Design Inc.; Francois Goffinet Limited; and Richard Skinner & Associates, Architects.

Subcontractors

American Plumbing; B&L Landscape; Brown Enterprises; Childers Roofing & Sheet Metal; Coleman Construction Group; Cummings Masonry; Duval Fence; Ernest Carroll Tile; Frattle Stairs & Rails; Green Built Construction; H&H Landscaping; Harbinger Sign; Marietta Sand Corp.; Miller Electric; Nitelites Outdoor Lighting; S. David; Sole Design; Southeastern Ornamental; Supreme Stucco; Tabbystone; Taylor Cotton Riddley; Wes Peters Painting; and Wonderland Products.

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The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jacksonville boasts one of the most important and delightful gardens in Northeast Florida. Idyllically located on the banks of the St. Johns River, the gardens have a fascinating history stretching back over 100 years and bear the imprint of some of the foremost names in landscape design and horticulture, including Ossian Cole Simonds, Ellen Biddle Shipman, Thomas Meehan and Sons, and the fabled Olmsted firm. The involvement of these prestigious firms gives national importance to the gardens at The Cummer. Throughout the year, the gardens are ablaze with rare horticultural specimens nestled under a canopy of mature live oak trees. In addition to the lush plantings, features such as reflecting pools, fountains, arbors, antique ornaments, and sculptures help create a special outdoor space that provides a perfect complement to the museum's collections.

The gardens were created by one of Jacksonville's most prominent families, who settled in Florida in the early 1900s. Arthur Cummer and his brother, Waldo Cummer, came from a long line of Michigan lumber barons. They built their homes on either side of their parents, Ada and Wellington Cummer, on the banks of the St. Johns River. The brothers led the Cummer Lumber Company, while their wives, Ninah Cummer and Clara Cummer, masterminded the gardens surrounding their homes. Those gardens are now one of the glories of the museum and are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Simonds’s initial scheme, with naturalistic sweeps of native trees and shrubs, enhanced the stands of majestic live oaks along the riverfront property at the time of its development by the Cummer family. These plantings provided the backbone for later ornamental gardens, such as the formal English Garden designed in 1910 by Thomas Meehan and Sons for Arthur and Ninah Cummer. Today the English Garden boasts a magnificent wisteria-laden cypress arbor that peaks at Garden Week in March.

The jewel in the crown of The Cummer Gardens is the Italian Garden, one of only a handful of extant gardens designed by Ellen Biddle Shipman. Designed in 1931 on the site of Arthur and Ninah Cummer’s former garage, this garden was conceived as the ultimate display garden for Ninah’s large collection of Italian marble garden ornaments and hundreds of azaleas. Two long reflecting pools frame the view to the green, ficus-covered gloriette that resembles the famous water gardens at the Villa Gamberaia in Tuscany. These gardens reached their apogee in the late 1930s, when they were ablaze with hundreds of azaleas set amidst a stunning collection of garden ornaments.

Also in the early 1930s, additional gardens were developed by Waldo and Clara Cummer, who inherited the majority of Ada Cummer’s estate upon her death. They engaged William Lyman Phillips, a partner in the Olmsted Brothers firm, to incorporate this new property into their existing gardens. These gardens were partially obliterated in the early 1960s, when both homes were demolished to make way for a new museum building to house Ninah Cummer's art collection, but plans are in place to restore this landscape to its former glory.

Adapted from A Legacy in Bloom: Celebrating a Century of Gardens at The Cummer by Judith Tankard.

Thank you to all of our donors, partners, sponsors and subcontractors in the Olmsted Garden Restoration and Landscape Beautification Project.

Olmsted Donors and Sponsors

Mrs. C. Kirby Alexander, Mr. and Mrs. Willis M. Ball III, Mr. and Mrs. William B. Barnett, Mr. and Mrs. James V.E. Bent, Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Commander, III, Mrs. Maria R. Cox, Ms. Cheryl S. Cummer and Mr. Jack Lyle, Ann and David Hicks, Monica and Bob Jacoby, Carolyn Marsh Lindsay, Mr. and Mrs. Billy Morris, Russell B Newton, Jr. and Joannie Newton, Mr. and Mrs. Russell B. Newton, III, Mrs. James H. Robbins, Ryan A. Schwartz, Mr. and Mrs. Robert T. Shircliff, Mrs. Bryan Simpson, Sandra Roe Smith, Mr. and Mrs. J, Frank Surface, Joan Van Vleck,  Delores Barr Weaver and J. Wayne Weaver, Edna Sproull Williams Foundation, State of Florida

Special thanks to the hundreds of individuals who have made this project possible through their support of special initiatives like Garden Month and the Dedicate a Brick Campaign.

This project has been financed in part with historic preservation grant assistance provided by the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, assisted by the Florida Historical Commission.

Project Partners

Elkins Constructors Inc.; CMS Group LLC; Connelly & Wicker Inc.; Atlantic Engineering Services; Sunscapes Landscape Design Inc.; Francois Goffinet Limited; and Richard Skinner & Associates, Architects.

Subcontractors

American Plumbing; B&L Landscape; Brown Enterprises; Childers Roofing & Sheet Metal; Coleman Construction Group; Cummings Masonry; Duval Fence; Ernest Carroll Tile; Frattle Stairs & Rails; Green Built Construction; H&H Landscaping; Harbinger Sign; Marietta Sand Corp.; Miller Electric; Nitelites Outdoor Lighting; S. David; Sole Design; Southeastern Ornamental; Supreme Stucco; Tabbystone; Taylor Cotton Riddley; Wes Peters Painting; and Wonderland Products.

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