The Bradley & Leila Barnes Victorian Gardens
DescriptionThe Bradley and Leila Barnes Grounds & Victorian Gardens are part of the historic Barnes Museum Homestead. Located in the heart of downtown Southington, Connecticut, the property was purchased in 1836 by Bradley Barnes’ grandparents, Amon and Sylvia Bradley. Three generations of the Bradley/Barnes family lived on the land for 137 years. During the early years, the one acre grounds were home to fruit trees, herb gardens and small vegetable patches. After inheriting the homestead from his grandfather, Bradley moved in with his young bride, Leila, in 1910. Bradley and Leila considered themselves amateur horticulturists and spent countless hours creating lush, flower-filled gardens in which stone paths meander under arched arbors. A large gazebo was erected where one could sit and enjoy some shade while admiring the design. Being so meticulously maintained, the grounds were featured in a 1922 Country Home magazine issue.
The Bradley homestead and accompanying grounds were willed to the Town of Southington in 1973. Over the years, the homestead has become a respected museum, documenting the history of Southington through the lens of one of the town’s most influential families. Today, the gardens are used by Southington residents for photographs and weddings. Guests enjoy blooming poppies, irises, several different types of roses, day lilies, hosta, and much more!
-Story contributed by Bonnie P.