Oldfields Gardens

In 1920, Hugh Landon and his second wife, Jessie Walker Landon, began to develop Oldfields' landscape and gardens. Inspired by a garden they visited in Maine that had been designed by Percival Gallagher, an associate of the famed landscape architecture firm Olmsted Brothers, the Landons hired Olmsted Brothers, working with Gallagher to refine their property. It was Gallagher's vision that transformed Oldfields into a fully developed American country estate, anchoring the house firmly in the landscape and providing dramatic views and pleasant garden walks.

Among Gallagher's designs for Oldfields were the tree-lined Allée at the front of the house, the estate entrance and redesign of the Formal Garden. The Ravine Garden, spread upon a hillside between the house and the Indianapolis Water Company Central Canal, was one of Gallagher's most significant contributions to the Oldfields landscape.

Tour the Gardens

  • Public Tours: During the warmer months of April through October, join us for a garden tour on Saturdays & Sundays. The tours leave from the Horticultural Society Overlook just outside of Deer Zink at 1 pm.
  • Group Tours: Also offered April through October, tours are available for private groups when requested three weeks in advance. Learn more about these tours and book one today.
  • Audio Tours: Audio Tours are available for both Lilly House and the Garden. Visit the Lilly House Guest Services Desk to rent a listening device, or visit imamuseum.org/gardentour on your smart phone to take the Garden Tour, or imamuseum.org/lillytour on your smart phone to take the Lilly House tour.

Ravine Garden

Located behind Lilly House, this garden descends more than 40 feet to the edge of the Indianapolis Water Company Central Canal.

Formal Garden

Featuring a historic fountain and lush plantings, the formal garden is an inviting location for a romantic stroll.

Allée & Border Gardens

The Allée and border gardens bring a combination of formality and intimacy to the landscape of the Oldfields estate.

The Orchard

Recently restored to its original state, The Orchard features fruit trees beside planting beds filled with vegetables.

Four Seasons Garden

Featuring a circular pool and original limestone statuary, the garden is a lovely spot for quiet conversation or private contemplation.

Rain Garden

Just off the parking area for the Madeline F. Elder Greenhouse, this utilitarian rain garden collects water as well as prevents flooding and erosion.