On many estates like Oldfields it was common to have orchards, vegetable gardens, and some animals for additional food supplies. In the early 20th century, this property would have been well outside the city limits, making quick shopping trips relatively inconvenient. The food grown on the estate would not have been enough to fully sustain the family and its employees, but enough could be raised so that fresh produce could be enjoyed throughout the growing season.
Apples, brambles, greens, beans and peas, root vegetables, tomatoes, flowers for display in the home, and numerous other fresh treats were likely grown and stored in the root cellar to support the house and its staff. Mrs. Lilly was even known to have her chauffeur drive her to friends throughout the city to deliver flowers from the Oldfields cutting garden.
The Tanner Orchard started as a small collection of trees at the beginning of the Landon family’s time here but was redesigned by Percival Gallagher to prominently feature an allée of apples, creating an idealized image of a commercial farm in miniature.
The line of apple trees in the Tanner Orchard has long had a collection of perennial plantings underneath, and the space has changed its use over time. With the promise of re-creating a space for cut flowers and vegetables near the greenhouses, Newfields’ horticulturists have redesigned it into a romantic meadow with pops of bright flowers throughout the seasons.
Explore the meandering paths, and notice where the trees are in their production of fruit, or take a moment to sit under the shady seating area, Orchard Folly, and watch the birds and pollinators busily buzz around the meadow.