THREE GARDENS by Gertrude B. Foster
To the gardener the most welcome part of winter’s coming is the promise of a new beginning next spring. While the snow piles high over the brown stalks of summer’s passing, in imagination we see greater triumphs of blossoming and thrifty growth, undaunted by insects and blights next year.
That is the way we regard the move to our own home on the other side of the village. (Falls Village, CT) It is on a south slope of land reaching down to the broad Housatonic river. There are situations for ideal garden spots, sheltered and sunny. During the winter, while finishing up the renovation of the eighteenth century house with its charming little cupboards, wide floor boards, and huge basement kitchen with stone fireplace and Dutch oven, we will plan the sunken garden, which is to be in the old barn foundation, and the rock garden on the limestone ledges west of the house.
In the past ten years we have made and left three gardens. Although we could only rent the places where we lived, we could not live without gardens. Now, as we turn our backs on this the third and loveliest garden of them all, why do we not have regrets for all the plant pets which must be left behind and the seedlings which will self-sow next year, only to be lost in weeds. We have no regrets because we have taken with us each time precious experience which far outweighs the work and material left behind. From this last and largest garden we take a way of life. A garden press has grown out of the plantings here which will preserve, through the magic of printing the joy of this garden as well as the story of great gardens made centuries ago.
Of course, there will be more work than we have ever had before. When we took care of three acres of herbs for drying, in Morristown, New Jersey, and Phil was doing war work, we thought we were busy all the time. But then we didn’t have the seed business, which occupied us the year around in our second home and for years after we moved to Connecticut. With the publication of the magazine and books now added to seed collecting and field growing of plants, we have decided that we must give up selling seed so this year we did not send out a seed catalogue.
Note by Rosemary F. Louden:
When Bunny (Gertrude B. Foster) wrote this message to the people who had subscribed to The Herb Grower Magazine, she was 31 years old. and I was six.
Now sixty-six years later I find her words reassuring because I recognize that some day I may move away from my “plant pets” knowing they will not come to a good end. Thankfully that event is not imminent.