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Landscape & Horticulture

A Gardener's Footprint on the Grounds

Shown here are some historical scenes of the grounds at the Reuel Smith House, as well as seasonal images from recent times, and an inventory of current plantings.


Architect A. J. Davis and Andrew Jackson Downing were collaborators on many noted projects before the 

latter's untimely demise in 1852, in a Hudson River boating accident. Although there is no evidence of Downing having a direct hand in Reuel Smith's landscape, the principles of creating an idyllic and natural setting for a country cottage were always part of Davis's and Downing's shared philosophies, and are evident in the plan for this home. From its first resident, who is said to have planted some of the giant trees still standing, to its most recent Copper Beech, nurtured from a sapling by Shirley Feldmann, the grounds have been meticulously maintained and carefully planted.


Shirley, an owner of Cobweb Cottage until her passing in 2015, was a talented gardener and lifelong member of the Skaneateles Garden Club. She was also the woman who brought the hanging floral baskets to the Village of Skaneateles, a tradition that continues to this day.



Current Plantings


Copper Beech (2)


Norway Spruce (6)


English Ivy & Bishop's Weed Purple and Juniper groundcovers, Lillies and Daisies, Seedums, Violets and Tulips


Pink Dogwood, White Dogwood


Red Barberries


Purple Clemetis Vine




Snowdrift Crabapple


Bradford Pear


White Spruce


Purple Lilac


Alberta Spruce


Hidrangia Bush


Forsythia Bush


Rolaty Pink Crabapple


Silver Maple


Pink Spiarheas




Wistaria vine on front porch


Purple Beech (2)


Norway Maple


Red Sunset Maple


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