Explore the Backyard
When Llewellyn Bixby hired Ralph D. Cornell to design the estate garden he requested that as much of the historic fabric be integrated as possible. Cornell was able to incorporate a handful of trees from Temple’s 1841 garden as well as one significant tree from the Mr. Bixby’s ancestors. But times were different and the needs of Llewellyn and Avis required a changes to the garden. The prevalent garden style included vast greenswards, rose and cutting gardens, arbors, orchards and water features. All of these to a greater or lesser extent he managed to include in the backyard.
With the Virginia Country Club wrapped around the Bixby’s home, the proximity dictated some of the design needs. Llewellyn was the first member of the club and an avid golfer. Cornell designed a central brick path that curves its way to a private gate granting access to the club. He also planted layers of plant material to provide them privacy. The first layer was of trees along the brick wall with a second layer of trees and shrubs across the path in a perimeter bed surrounding the lawn.