Gotta Garden

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Mary Washington House

Last year, I thought I would blog more about my time at the Mary Washington House. I did cover it initially, however, I didn't follow it through the seasons as I had intended.

Maybe this year, I'll do a better job. Last Thursday, we were busy weeding and noting the changes. I'll show you some of what I saw.

Here we are at Mary's House:


The Quince is in full bloom:


Let's go around to the back, where most of our work is done:


Look here. The Carolina Jessamine is blooming:


This is what you see standing in the back garden looking toward the Mary Washington House:

That is, by the way, Mary Washington's sundial.

This basket is woven with (among other things) fig cuttings and is lovingly maintained by a dedicated volunteer Mary's Gardener (one of our group):


It will change throughout the seasons. Right in front is our only bread seed poppy. Lonely thing, isn't it! If you look off to the right, that's Mary's vegetable garden. A few things are growing, but it's still a bit early for our area. The soil is quite rich as it is amended with homemade compost.

We'll end with a shot of Mary's herb garden. It sits right outside the door to her kitchen which is a separate building from the main house.


We'll be back at work this Thursday under the guidance of our trusty horticulturist leader. If you have the opportunity and the time, volunteering is a wonderful thing. There's something for all interests...mine happens to be gardening and I feel fortunate to be part of this group.

Until next Thursday....

5 comments:

Kate said...

That was a lovely tour - thank you for sharing that! I especially loved the woven basket.

Great that you volunteer as you do - I imagine your incredible gardening knowledge and skills are put to good use.

Kate ... who wonders how your drawing is going!! I hope you are enjoying it.

A wildlife gardener said...

Congratulations on being part of such a wonderful group.

Ki said...

The Japanese quince looks beautiful -not the usual red variety you see everywhere.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Lucky you GG to be working there. Do you know how old the house and garden are? Both are very pretty. I'm nuts about houses like that. How does the inside look or am I asking too much now? ;-)

BTW love all those daffodowndillies of yours, such cheerful little things, aren't they?

Gotta Garden said...

Oh, Kate...you had to ask! Ha. Not so well, mainly because I'm not just doing it...have to get on with it. Thanks for the gentle nudge.

Thanks for taking a look...the garden is more interesting than these pictures show...but that may be because of the people as well.

Hi A Wildlife Gardener: It started out as something I needed to do (for the hours for the master gardener program) but turned into something I really like and would do now, regardless.

Oh Ki...I wish. I'm afraid it probably is just the common one...it's around for a reason and this is a Colonial home.

Hey YE, George Washington purchased it for his mother in 1772. He was quite busy, as our first president, and the location was good. The property was larger (then) and the back led to Kenmore, Mary's daughter (George's sister's) and son-in-law's home...which was a very large estate.

Only one section of the home is original to her time...it was added on with subsequent owners. There are some of her belongings in there...and the sundial outside is hers. There are a few boxwoods surviving from her time still in the garden, but many have been replaced (boxwood decline is pretty wicked around here).

In the 50s, I think, the local Garden Club commissioned a Williamsburg landscape designer/architect to give the garden a colonial feel as it had been sadly neglected. So, there are things there that are thought to be period appropriate, but who knows. I can only guess if Mary had the ivy that is there, that she had a much larger crew of gardeners...lol!

The horticulturist there has a certain amount of freedom and the Garden Club has been wonderfully supportive (financially and otherwise, I think)...however, anything major must be approvied and occasionally, you go there and find new things have been installed that the Garden Club has decided to add. It keeps things interesting. We battle, besides the ivy, one of those ornamental onions that is terribly invasive. I didn't show any shots of it...it's blooming now and looks nice for that...but it goes everywhere and refuses to leave!

As usual, probably TMI...for someone such as yourself in Europe, the history probably isn't all that old...but for us here, it's pretty special.

Thanks, you guys, for the comments!

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