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Cairn Croft Sculpture Garden

Michael Weishan recently visited Cairn Croft Sculpture Garden in Dover, Massachusetts, where owner Kevin Doyle took him on a tour of this labor of love — a charming marriage of garden and art.

Cairn Croft Sculpture Garden
Kevin Doyle led Michael on a tour of his sculpture garden.


Cairn Croft is a luscious 2 1/2-acre private garden located in the Boston suburb of Dover, Massachusetts. The garden was designed and built over a period of 24 years by its owner, veteran landscape designer Kevin Doyle, who has a dual passion for gardens and art in natural settings.

Pool and Wall
Kevin has placed various works of art, such as this urn, throughout Cairn Croft.


The grounds of Cairn Croft contain a variety of natural features that became individual garden rooms. There is open lawn, woodland path, a pond, wetland, a drumlin topped with a house, a formal parterre, and driveway courtyard — all wonderful settings for the placement of sculpture. The various sculptures Kevin has placed in these "rooms" throughout Cairn Croft — selected because they are exciting, inspiring, soothing or challenging — beautifully complement their natural surroundings in turn.

Cairn Croft Sculpture Garden
A bed of tulips makes a wonderful setting for a clay pot.


Kevin has enjoyed sharing his gardens at Cairn Croft with plant lovers for many years, and has more recently begun to publicize it as an attraction for those interested in alfresco art. As a private home and garden, Cairn Croft may be visited by appointment and on Open Days organized through the Garden Conservancy.

The Garden Conservancy

The Garden Conservancy is the only national not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of America's gardens. Through its Open Days Program the Conservancy invites the public to visit America's best and rarely seen private gardens. Its hope is to strengthen public commitment to garden preservation while encouraging the appreciation of gardens, in all their regional diversity, as living works of art.

Pool and Wall
One of Cairn Croft's "garden rooms" includes this serene pond.


In 1995, the Garden Conservancy published the first edition of its Open Days Directory, listing 110 private gardens in New York and Connecticut. Since then the Directory has evolved into a listing of hundreds of private gardens nationwide, with plans to continue its expansion. The Open Days Program is modeled after similar programs abroad, including England's popular "Yellow Book" and Australia's Open Garden Scheme. In 2003, nearly 400 private gardens in 22 states have opened their gates for the public's enjoyment. The Open Days Directory is available directly from The Garden Conservancy (see link below), as well as from book retailers throughout the country and on the Internet.

trowel icon For more information, including dates of upcoming Open Days, visit Cairn Croft online at www.cairncroftsculpture.com. trowel icon And for more details on the Garden Conservancy's nationwide Open Days Program, visit them online at www.gardenconservancy.org.

This segment appears in show #2815.

Informational material on Cairn Croft supplied courtesy of Kevin Doyle.

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Published August 31, 2007