The Northwest Gardens of Lord & Schryver, by Valencia Libby | Oregon State University Press, 2021 | Published in cooperation with the Lord & Schryver Conservancy | Paperback, 220 pages | ISBN-13: 978-0870711527 | List price $29.95
Some SGHS members may have had the good fortune of visiting Gaiety Hollow, the home, garden, and studio of Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver in Salem, Oregon. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, this significant historic site is open to the public and is owned by the Lord & Schryver Conservancy, which restored the gardens based on the original plans.
Scholar, author, and SGHS member Valencia Libby makes visible to a wide audience the contributions of these two pioneering women in landscape architecture in the United States. Lord & Schryver were the first women in the Pacific Northwest to establish, own, and operate their landscape architecture firm.
Born into a prominent family in Salem, Oregon, in 1887, Elizabeth Lord enrolled at the Lowthrope School of Landscape Architecture in Groton, Massachusetts, in 1926. A year later, at the age of 39, she joined the school’s summer tour to Europe, where she met Edith Schryver. Born in Kingston, New York, in 1901, Schryver enrolled at Lowthrope in 1920 and later worked in the New York office of Ellen Shipman. Their 1927 meeting on the European study tour set in motion an enduring friendship and domestic partnership as well as the establishment of their firm.
Between 1929 and 1969, Lord & Schryver designed over 200 gardens and landscapes in Oregon and Washington. Their firm did not limit their work to residential gardens but also designed civic and institutional landscapes. Moreover, Lord and Schryver were educators, writers, and civic leaders, who ran a highly successful business in a male-dominated field and world, navigating contractors, nursery owners, and others to make their visions come to life.
Val Libby’s in-depth research and extensive knowledge of the history of American landscape architecture result in a complete and thoughtful story of Lord & Schryver. These remarkable women designed meaningful spaces for their clients and the public, with their own unique, invaluable character that endures today. The Northwest Gardens of Lord & Schryver will inspire you to visit Oregon and pay homage to these women.
The Garden Conservancy recently featured a webinar with the author for TGC members:
Val is a long-time SGHS member and occasional contributor to Magnolia. In 2015 and 2017 we published Val’s articles on the Kentucky historic site, Oxmoor Plantation House & Gardens, in Magnolia: