Yesterday, I visited the Beacon Hill house of a famous woman I’d never heard of: Rose Standish Nichols. According to Judith B. Tankard, Nichols was one of the first professional garden designers as well as many other things:
“Outspoken advocate of social reform, tireless promoter of international peace, intrepid traveler, connoisseur of antiques, and all-round enthusiast of the arts, Rose Standish Nichols (1872-1960) was for many decades a familiar institution to the denizens of Boston’s Beacon Hill. But she was also one of the country’s earliest professional garden designers and an accomplished writer of garden history and criticism. Her three books on historical gardens in England, Italy, and Spam, together with dozens of articles about gardens around the world, earned her a considerable reputation in her own lifetime.” (See Tankard article for more information about Nichols.)
To be honest, I went on the tour of the Nichols house so that I could see the inside of a classic Beacon Street home. I enjoy seeing older homes, furnishings and designs, and this tour was not a disappointment. For more information about the house, click here. I think what I liked most was the window seat surrounded by books. Had I lived in this house, I think I would have spent most of my time curled up in this nook, looking down on the view of the street, the view of which I tried to capture below.
Mostly, though, I was impressed by the life story of this prominent Bostonian I had never heard of. I plan to learn more about her in the future. Do you know about Rose Standish Nicols?