Krider Gardens

A 1933 World's Fair Favorite

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The wonderful gardens on exhibit at the 1934 International Exposition in Chicago have disappeared with time, existing only in faint memory or in the black and white photos of long forgotten books.

But one exhibit, Krider’s Diversified Gardens, designed by Krider Nursery, a mainstay in Middlebury since the late 1800s, remains. Even now, almost 70 years later, visitors can stroll along the brick walkways, past beds of flowers, a windmill, a Rising Sun bench, an English Tea House, mushroom statuary and flowing fountains.

Founded by Vernon Krider, a schoolteacher who liked to raise plants, Krider Nursery opened in 1896 and gained fame with their patented thornless rose. At their peak, they were shipping plants and tress throughout the United States.

In 1933 Krider Nursery designed two dioramas, “A Mountain Stream” and “Picturesque Japan,” for an indoor exhibit at the exposition. They were asked to return the next year with an outdoor garden.

The resulting Diversified Gardens was a success and after the exposition closed, the gardens were returned to Middlebury. After the nursery closed in the 1990 the gardens began to wither but the volunteers brought them back to their beauty.

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