Sunday, September 20, 2015

Boston or BUST!

I recently returned from a whirlwind weekend in Boston to gather plants for the garden. I am so grateful to the Vonnegut family and to the folks at The Old Manse for their generosity and kindness!

I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it was to visit the site of Edie Vonnegut's famous photo of her father.

Dr. Melissa Talhelm and I worked hard to wrest some of these beautiful plants out of the ground.

They were deeply rooted with a gorgeous array of colors!

We are hopeful that the plants do not suffer terribly from root shock and are transplanted successfully to the garden this fall! You can read about Vonnegut's love for hydrangeas here.

We are so grateful to Edie Vonnegut for her support of our project!

After a tasty lunch, Melissa and I headed to Concord, MA, to visit The Old Manse. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne called The Old Manse home, and Henry David Thoreau planted a garden there for the newlywed Hawthornes. 

It was so exciting to meet our contact, Tom Beardsley, The Old Manse Site Manager, and Susan Adam, the groundskeeper.

Dr. Talhelm speaks with Tom Beardsley.

Susan Adam digs out a plant for us.
They kindly showered us with plants for the garden! Here are some highlights:

One of the more unusual plants we have acquired is purple-headed amaranth. Amaranth is an ancient grain that has been cultivated for thousands of years and has recently risen in popularity as consumers continue to search for gluten-free options.

The garden will also feature bloody butcher corn, a deep ruby colored corn most often seen in ornamental fall decorations.

In a nod to Concord's rich history, we are also hoping to propagate cuttings from a large Concord grapevine that drapes the side of The Old Manse.

We are deeply grateful to Tom and Susan for all of their help and generous plant donations!

We couldn't visit Concord without stopping by Sleepy Hollow Cemetery to visit the graves of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the Hawthornes, Henry David Thoreau, and Louisa May Alcott and her father, Bronson Alcott.

We also had to stop at Walden Pond for selfies with Thoreau...

and a glorious dusk at Walden Pond.

More to come as the plants arrive in the next few weeks!