The American gardens collection, a component of the Archives of American Gardens (AAG), includes holdings not associated with other major collections in the archives. The slides, photographs, plans, and files in this collection come from various private donors. Individual sub-units typically depict a single garden.
The Thomas Warren Sears Photograph Collection documents examples of the design work of Thomas Warren Sears (1880-1966), a landscape architect and amateur photographer from Brookline, Massachusetts. Sears, who was based for most of his career in Philadelphia, designed a variety of different types of landscapes ranging from private residences, schools, and playgrounds to parks, cemeteries, and urban housing developments located primarily in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York. In addition to some of Sears' design work, images in the collection document Sears' domestic and foreign travels, design inspirations, and family. The collection includes over 4,800 black and white negatives and glass lantern slides dated circa 1899 to 1930. While most images show private and public gardens, there are a significant number of unidentified views and views photographed in Europe during two trips he took there in 1906 and 1908. Few images are captioned or dated. In addition, there are over 50 plans and drawings, most notably for Balmuckety in Pikesville, Maryland and Reynolda in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and 3 monographs by or about Sears.
The Lois W. Poinier Collection documents the work of Lois W. Poinier, a self-taught garden designer who designed scores of gardens, most of them in New Jersey.
The Ken Druse Garden Photography Collection contains approximately 45,000 film transparency and 35mm slide images, dating from 1978 to 2005, of gardens, garden features, and flora photographed by garden writer and photographer Ken Druse. The photographic images document numerous private and public gardens throughout the United States and a few in Canada. Many have appeared in Druse's own books and articles as well as those by other writers. Approximately half of the collection is arranged according to specific garden, the other half by garden feature. A small portion of the collection consists of slide lectures given by Druse. Some images are identified with general captions and dates. Images documenting specific gardens are sometimes accompanied by handwritten notes, garden descriptions, and articles. Annotations appearing on certain images indicate the publication in which they appeared. The collection includes 'outtakes' or bracketed images that give insight into Druse's photo shooting process.
The Maida Babson Adams American Garden Collection documents the work of Molly Adams, a free-lance garden photographer who photographed hundreds of private and public gardens, many of them in the mid-Atlantic region, from the late 1950s through the mid-1990s. It includes slides, photographic prints, negatives and transparencies. A significant number of images document the work of landscape designers Nelva M. Weber, Alice Recknagel Ireys, and Friede Stege. Roughly 50 gardens do not have an identified location. Some images have captions and other information written on them.
The Bedman Brothers Company Records collection focuses primarily on the business and financial transactions of Bedman Brothers seed company of Rahway, New Jersey, and includes accounting ledgers, purchase orders, price lists, miscellaneous business and family correspondence, and various brochures, pamphlets and leaflets related to horticultural topics. Other holdings in the collection include World War II ration stamps and two scrapbooks, one of which contains many late nineteenth and early twentieth century chromo-lithographed trade cards (primarily from the sewing, clothing, and floral industries). The other scrapbook holds news clippings from the Civil War period. Seperated materials include seed gathering equipment used by field workers.
Correspondence, invoices, nursery and seed catalogs, estimates, planting plans, photocopies of blueprints, photographs, negatives, autochromes, and drawings relating to the gardens of The Chimneys, the home of Emma and Gardiner Martin Lane and their daughter Katharine Lane Weems in Manchester, Massachusetts. Also included are four garden journals (1903-1928), garden-related medals awarded to Emma Lane, index files of plant materials, photocopies of garden related library cards belonging to Gardiner M. Lane, a diascope and nursery and seed catalogs. The collection also includes architectural plans, invoices and specifications from, and a framed photograph of, Raleigh C. Gildersleeve, architect of The Chimneys and brother of Emma Lane.
The Corliss Knapp Engle slide collection contains 35mm slides of gardens, garden features, flower shows, and flora photographed by Corliss Engle, a self-taught photographer and horticulturalist. Much of the collection is comprised of photographic documentation of numerous private and public gardens that she visited throughout the United States. Of particular note are images of Engle's own garden in Brookline, Massachusetts, spanning three decades; they provide excellent insight into the development and evolution of a garden over time. Portions of the collection highlight Engle's involvement with the Garden Club of America and the GCA's Garden History and Design Committee. The collection also includes various notes, lecture scripts, brochures, programs and articles on garden and plant-related themes generated or compiled by Corliss Knapp Engle.
The Lewis & Valentine Company Collection contains records of the Lewis & Valentine Company dating from 1916 to 1971 including photographs, negatives, brochures, books, trade catalogs, company papers, letters from clients, customer lists and a history of the company written by Harold Carman Lewis. Photographs document the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, estates in Long Island, New York, and the properties of Hugh D. Auchincloss, Eugene du Pont, Walter P. Chrysler, Otto H. Kahn, F. W. Woolworth, Pierre S. du Pont (Longwood Gardens), Charles M. Schwab and Edward T. Stotesbury. This collection contains only a sampling of the records of Lewis & Valentine and should not be considered comprehensive.
The Robert M. Fletcher Collection contains 268 35mm color slides documenting Southern California gardens designed by landscape architect Robert M. Fletcher.