In 1991 Nola Anderson and Jim Mullen took a leap of faith and purchased The Chimneys, a Georgian Colonial Revival estate on 28 acres of North Shore seaside property in Manchester, Massachusetts, landscaped by the Olmsted Brothers (sons of the legendary Frederick Law Olmsted Sr., creator of Central Park) between 1902 and 1914.
In their courting days, the couple marveled at this grand house as they fantasized about their future together and restoring the estate’s historic Italianate gardens, neglected for 40 years.
“We would make it beautiful,” Anderson writes in this account of her journey from naive plant lover to expert horticulturalist. Immersion: Living and Learning in an Olmsted Garden is the richly told story of her successes and failures, and the community of gardeners who fostered her growth.
Immersion: Living and Learning in an Olmsted Garden by Nola Anderson, with photographs by Clint Clemens (Damiani) is available now.