The Knowles Garden
In 1960, Virginia Knowles, a member of the Cohasset Garden Club (CGC), designed a series of gardens for the Cohasset Historical Society’s two museum buildings in the village center, the Captain John Wilson House (1810) and the Maritime Museum (dating from 1760). An enormous effort transformed the ledges and rubble around the houses into charming gardens with historically appropriate plantings. In subsequent years, the CGC added steps, walkways, fencing, and walls. In 1988, the Club voted to change the name from the Historic House Garden to the Virginia W. Knowles Garden, in honor of Mrs. Knowles. The Club’s earliest continuing project, the CGC has maintained The Knowles Garden for almost 60 years as part of its Civic Gardens program. During a major renovation of the buildings in 2006 and 2007, the original gardens were largely destroyed. The CGC then undertook an extensive redesign and replanting of the gardens focusing on period plantings for both buildings. The plantings included an herb garden and traditional 19th century flower varieties along with plantings appropriate for its seaside location. The garden is ornamented with an ancient anchor recovered years ago from the ocean off Cohasset’s coast by local divers. The final plantings for this project were completed in 2008.