A photo tour of Carlisle’s Gardens at the Clock Barn
Maureen Ruettgers received her best birthday gift ever when she turned 40 — a truckload of manure. Nearly 30 years later, it remains her favorite present, with the stone mulch bins she received on her 60th a close second. Her daughter, Abby, says, “We’ve never been able to compete with that manure.” Maureen and her husband, Michael, bought the Carlisle property, which they call Gardens at the Clock Barn, in 1980. Its saltbox farmhouse, built in the early 1700s by Jonathan Blood, who operated the area’s first sawmill, sits on 3.5 acres. In the 1930s, James Patch purchased the property and, as part of the war effort, grew digitalis. Given the land’s fertile history, greenhouse, and other outbuildings, the Ruettgerses were immediately drawn in.