Formal Gardens Restoration Project

  • The multi-phase, Formal Gardens Restoration Project was launched in 2007.
  • The complex Formal Gardens at the Inn included walls, stairs, pools, fountains, and colorful perennial beds reminiscent of English cottage gardens (photo c.1917).
  • The Gardens also included a balustrade overlooking the lake, which was once lined with bay trees (photo c.1920).
  • Despite restoration work in the 1980s, core structural features have deteriorated over the years, and sections of the balustrade lost to shoreline erosion (see top left of photo).
  • Phase 1 of the restoration, completed in 2007, stabilized the shoreline with a retaining wall, so that the balustrade could be rebuilt.
  • Phase 2, completed in 2012, repaired walls, stairs, and landings of the lower garden, as well as the lily pool and overlook balustrade.
  • With your support, Phase 3 is restoring the core structural features of the upper gardens, including walls, stairs, and landings.
  • Phase 4 will restore the pergola to the north end of the garden (photo, circa 1917).

Funds Raised To Date: $2,441,000

Total Project Goal: $3,350,000

Remaining to Raise: $909,000

Start Date: 2007

Completion Date:  2016



Restoring and maintaining the inn and the Formal Gardens is part of Shelburne Farms' ongoing commitment to stewarding our historic and cultural resources and sharing a landmark and landscape that will inspire generations to come.


Phase 1: $200,000

Shoreline stabilization. Completed winter 2007.

Phase 2: $1,180,000

Structural restoration of the Lily Pool area, including stairs, walls, landings, the lily pool, and the overlook balustrade. Completed in 2012.

Phase 3: est. $410,000

Structural restoration of the upper gardens, including stairs, walls, and landings of the grand allee. In progress 2013-14.

Phase 4: est. $660,000

Structural restoration of the north end of the garden and rebuilding the pergola. Planned 2015-16.

House and Garden Improvements: $400,000

For other building, garden area and landscape improvement needs within the Inn complex

Endowment: $500,000

For ongoing care and maintenance of the gardens.