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Introducing Miller House and Garden

Gardening

Marilyn: “Some day I want to have a house of my own with trees and grass and hedges all around, but never trim them at all - just let them grown any old way they want.”

Marilyn’s passion and empathy for all living creatures extended to plants. Living in Roxbury, Connecticut with Arthur Miller she dabbled in gardening. After she bought her house in Brentwood, she finally had her own green space to look after. Assisted by a gardener named Tataishi, she planted a herb garden and spent hours pottering around her flourishing creation; she was still buying plants for her garden in the week before her untimely death and the citrus trees and flowering plants she ordered from nearby Frank’s Nursery were delivered to her home the day before she died.

In a 1960 interview with Cosmopolitan she revealed: “I have a green thumb. I can even plant things without roots. I just transplant them and they grow. I planted some seeds, nasturtiums, I think, when they come up, you’re supposed to thin them out. What a pity, I thought, to throw out these little growing things, so I pulled them up and transplanted them very carefully; they had been so close together some didn’t even have roots. Arthur said, ‘That’s impossible, they can’t live.’ But all of them did. And it says on the cover of the seed packages that you can’t transplant them!”

- The Marilyn Encyclopedia by Adam Victor.

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In March 1986, a number of landscaping projects were completed at the Miller House. Among them was the replacement of both an American Beech tree and a tulip tree. The replacements were scouted out months in advance, and the selected trees that were transported to Columbus, IN both measured over 25 feet high!

Color photographs (3.5 x 5 in.) of tree arrival, March 1986, Miller House and Garden Collection, IMA Archives, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN. (MHG_II_B039_F015-029-030)

“Why doesn’t the bubbler bubble?”

Sometimes items in the Miller House and Garden Collection resemble surrealist poetry.

Note to Wayne Doede and redirected to Owen Hungerford, 1971, 7/62, Miller House and Garden Collection, IMA Archives, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana. (MHG_Ib_B007_f062_091)