She grew up learning to ride in the Western Territories. At the end of her life, she owned houses in New Hampshire, New York City, and Bermuda, and had designed over six hundred gardens for America's rich and famous. Along the way, Ellen Biddle Shipman had become a mother, a divorcee, and a strong advocate for the role of women in American landscape design.
In 1924, Shipman was commissioned by the Reeves family to create a garden design for the property which is now Reeves-Reed Arboretum. For better or worse, the design was never implemented, although Shipman's lovely watercolor rendering of the plan now graces the Executive Director's office in Wisner House.
To mark Women's History Month, Reeves-Reed Director of Horticulture Marc Montefusco will explore the life of Ellen Biddle Shipman as an intersection between the great artistic trends of American culture and the history of the Arboretum.