Pandemic prompts historic garden to move to mainland NH

July 10, 2021 GMT

An island garden that once inspired one of America’s foremost impressionist painters has been reconstructed on the New Hampshire mainland for a second summer because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the late 1880s, poet Celia Thaxter attracted members of Boston’s literary and artistic societies to her family’s hotel on Appledore Island off the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Artist Childe Hassam kept a studio there and featured Thaxter’s gardens in a series of paintings.

The island is now home to the Shoals Marine Laboratory, and hundreds of people visit a recreation of the garden each summer. But the tours have been canceled again this year because of the pandemic.

Instead, the garden has been recreated at Prescott Park in Portsmouth. Free guided tours are scheduled for July 16 and 30, and Aug. 6.