Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Old-Time Gardens - Newly Set Forth
Author: Earle, Alice Morse, 1851-1911
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Old-Time Gardens - Newly Set Forth" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



Old Time Gardens

[Illustration]



  OLD-TIME GARDENS

  _Newly set forth_
        _by_

  ALICE MORSE EARLE

    _A BOOK OF_
  THE SWEET O' THE YEAR

  "_Life is sweet, brother! There's day and night, brother!
  both sweet things: sun, moon and stars, brother! all
  sweet things: There is likewise a wind on the heath._"

  [Illustration]

        NEW YORK
    THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
  LONDON MACMILLAN & CO LTD
          MCMII

  _All rights reserved_



  COPYRIGHT, 1901,
  BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

     Set up and electrotyped November, 1901. Reprinted December, 1901;
     January, 1902.

  _Norwood Press_
  _J. S. Cushing & Co.--Berwick & Smith_
  _Norwood, Mass., U.S.A._



[Illustration: TO MY DAUGHTER

ALICE CLARY EARLE

TO WHOSE KNOWLEDGE OF FLOWERS

AND LOVE OF FLOWER LORE

I OWE MANY PAGES OF THIS BOOK....]



Contents


  CHAPTER                                        PAGE

      I. COLONIAL GARDEN-MAKING                     1

     II. FRONT DOORYARDS                           38

    III. VARIED GARDENS FAIR                       54

     IV. BOX EDGINGS                               91

      V. THE HERB GARDEN                          107

     VI. IN LILAC TIDE                            132

    VII. OLD FLOWER FAVORITES                     161

   VIII. COMFORT ME WITH APPLES                   192

     IX. GARDENS OF THE POETS                     215

      X. THE CHARM OF COLOR                       233

     XI. THE BLUE FLOWER BORDER                   252

    XII. PLANT NAMES                              280

   XIII. TUSSY-MUSSIES                            296

    XIV. JOAN SILVER-PIN                          309

     XV. CHILDHOOD IN A GARDEN                    326

    XVI. MEETIN' SEED AND SABBATH DAY POSIES      341

   XVII. SUN-DIALS                                353

  XVIII. GARDEN FURNISHINGS                       383

    XIX. GARDEN BOUNDARIES                        399

     XX. A MOONLIGHT GARDEN                       415

    XXI. FLOWERS OF MYSTERY                       433

   XXII. ROSES OF YESTERDAY                       459

         INDEX                                    479



List of Illustrations


The end papers of this book bear a design of the flower Ambrosia.

The vignette on the title-page is re-drawn from one in _The Compleat
Body of Husbandry_, Thomas Hale, 1756. It represents "Love laying out
the surface of the earth in a garden."

The device of the dedication is an ancient garden-knot for flowers, from
_A New Orchard and Garden_, William Lawson, 1608.

The chapter initials are from old wood-cut initials in the English
Herbals of Gerarde, Parkinson, and Cole.

                                                      PAGE

  _Garden of Johnson Mansion, Germantown. Photographed
    by Henry Troth_      facing 4

  _Garden at Grumblethorp, Home of Charles J. Wister, Esq.,
    Germantown, Pennsylvania_      7

  _Garden of Bartram House, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania_      9

  _Garden of Abigail Adams, Quincy, Massachusetts_      10

  _Garden at Mount Vernon-on-the-Potomac, Virginia. Home of
    George Washington_      facing 12

  _Gate and Hedge of Preston Garden, Columbia, South Carolina_      15

  _Fountain Path in Preston Garden, Columbia, South Carolina_      18

  _Door in Wall of Kitchen Garden at Van Cortlandt Manor.
    Croton-on-Hudson, New York. Photographed by J.
    Horace McFarland_      facing 20

  _Garden of Van Cortlandt Manor. Photographed by J. Horace
    McFarland_      facing 24

  _Garden at Prince Homestead, Flushing, Long Island_      28

  _Old Dutch Garden of Bergen Homestead, Bay Ridge, Long
    Island_      facing 32

  _Garden at Duck Cove, Narragansett, Rhode Island_      35

  _The Flowering Almond under the Window. Photographed by
    Eva E. Newell_      39

  _Peter's Wreath. Photographed by Eva E. Newell_      41

  _Peonies in Garden of John Robinson, Esq., Salem, Massachusetts.
    Photographed by Herschel F. Davis_      facing 42

  _White Peonies. Photographed by Mary F. C. Paschall_      42

  _Yellow Day Lilies. Photographed by Clifton Johnson_      facing 48

  _Orange Lilies. Photographed by Eva E. Newell_      50

  _Preston Garden, Columbia, South Carolina_      facing 54

  _Box-edged Parterre at Hampton, County Baltimore, Maryland.
    Home of Mrs. John Ridgely. Photographed by Elizabeth
    W. Trescot_      57

  _Parterre and Clipped Box at Hampton, County Baltimore,
    Maryland. Home of Mrs. John Ridgely. Photographed
    by Elizabeth W. Trescot_      60

  _Garden of Mrs. Mabel Osgood Wright, Waldstein, Fairfield,
    Connecticut. Photographed by Mabel Osgood Wright_      63

  _A Shaded Walk. In the Garden of Miss Harriet P. F. Burnside,
    Worcester, Massachusetts. Photographed by Herschel
    F. Davis_      facing 64

  _Roses and Larkspur in the Garden of Miss Harriet P. F.
    Burnside, Worcester, Massachusetts. Photographed by
    Herschel F. Davis_      65

  _The Homely Back Yard. Photographed by Henry Troth_      facing 66

  _Covered Well at Home of Bishop Berkeley, Whitehall, Newport,
    Rhode Island_      68

  _Kitchen Doorway and Porch at The Hedges, New Hope, County
    Bucks, Pennsylvania_      70

  _Greenwood, Thomasville, Georgia_      73

  _Roses and Violets in Garden of Greenwood, Thomasville,
    Georgia_      facing 74

  _Water Garden at Sylvester Manor, Shelter Island, New York.
    Home of Miss Cornelia Horsford_      75

  _Garden at Avonwood Court, Haverford, Pennsylvania. Country-seat
    of Charles E. Mather, Esq. Photographed by
    J. Horace McFarland_      facing 76

  _Terrace Wall at Drumthwacket, Princeton, New Jersey.
    Country-seat of M. Taylor Pyne, Esq._      76

  _Garden at Drumthwacket, Princeton, New Jersey. Country-seat
    of M. Taylor Pyne, Esq._      77

  _Sun-dial at Avonwood Court, Haverford, Pennsylvania.
    Country-seat of Charles E. Mather, Esq. Photographed
    by J. Horace McFarland_      facing 80

  _Entrance Porch and Gate to the Rose Garden at Yaddo, Saratoga,
    New York. Country-seat of Spencer Trask, Esq.
    Photographed by Gustave Lorey_      82

  _Pergola and Terrace Walk in Rose Garden at Yaddo, Saratoga,
    New York. Country-seat of Spencer Trask, Esq.
    Photographed by Gustave Lorey_      83

  _Statue of Christalan in Rose Garden at Yaddo, Saratoga, New
    York. Country-seat of Spencer Trask, Esq. Photographed
    by Gustave Lorey_      84

  _Sun-dial in Rose Garden at Yaddo, Saratoga, New York.
    Country-seat of Spencer Trask, Esq. Photographed by
    Gustave Lorey_      86

  _Bronze Dial-face in Rose Garden at Yaddo, Saratoga, New
    York. Country-seat of Spencer Trask, Esq. Photographed
    by Gustave Lorey_      87

  _Ancient Pine in Garden at Yaddo, Saratoga, New York.
    Country-seat of Spencer Trask, Esq. Photographed by
    Gustave Lorey_      89

  _House and Garden at Napanock, County Ulster, New York.
    Photographed by Edward Lamson Henry, N. A._      facing 92

  _Box Parterre at Hampton, County Baltimore, Maryland.
    Home of Mrs. John Ridgely. Photographed by Elizabeth
    W. Trescot_      95

  _Sun-dial in Box at Broughton Castle, Banbury, England.
    Garden of Lady Lennox_      98

  _Sun-dial in Box at Ascott, near Leighton Buzzard, England.
    Country-seat of Mr. Leopold Rothschild_      facing 100

  _Garden at Tudor Place, Georgetown, District of Columbia.
    Home of Mrs. Beverly Kennon. Photographed by Elizabeth
    W. Trescot_      103

  _Anchor-shaped Flower Beds, Kingston, Rhode Island. Photographed
    by Sarah P. Marchant_      104

  _Ancient Box at Tuckahoe, Virginia_      105

  _Herb Garden at White Birches, Elmhurst, Illinois_      108

  _Garden at White Birches, Elmhurst, Illinois_      111

  _Garden of Manning Homestead, Salem, Massachusetts_      facing 112

  _Under the Garret Eaves of Ward Homestead, Shrewsbury,
    Massachusetts_      116

  _A Gatherer of Simples. Photographed by Mary F. C.
    Paschall_      facing 120

  _Sage. Photographed by Mary F. C. Paschall_      126

  _Tansy. Photographed by Mary F. C. Paschall_      129

  _Garden of Mrs. Abraham Lansing, Albany, New York. Photographed
    by Gustave Lorey_      facing 130

  _Ladies' Delights. Photographed by Eva E. Newell_      133

  _Garden House and Long Walk in Garden of Hon. William
    H. Seward, Auburn, New York_      facing 134

  _Sun-dial in Garden of Hon. William H. Seward, Auburn,
    New York_      136

  _Lilacs in Midsummer. In Garden of Mrs. Abraham Lansing,
    Albany, New York. Photographed by Gustave
    Lorey_      facing 138

  _Lilacs at Craigie House, Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Home
    of Longfellow. Photographed by Arthur N. Wilmarth_      141

  _Box-edged Garden at Home of Longfellow, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
    Photographed by Arthur N. Wilmarth_      142

  _Joepye-weed and Queen Anne's Laces. Photographed by Mary
    F. C. Paschall_      145

  _Boneset. Photographed by Mary F. C. Paschall_      146

  _Magnolias in Garden of William Brown, Esq., Flatbush, Long
    Island_      facing 148

  _Lilacs at Hopewell_      149

  _Persian Lilacs and Peonies in Garden of Kimball Homestead,
    Portsmouth, New Hampshire_      151

  _Opyn-tide, the Thought of Spring. Garden of Mrs. Abraham
    Lansing, Albany, New York. Photographed by Pirie
    MacDonald_      facing 154

  _A Thought of Winter's Snows. Garden of Frederick J. Kingsbury,
    Esq., Waterbury, Connecticut_      157

  _Larkspur and Phlox. Garden of Miss Frances Clary Morse,
    Worcester, Massachusetts_      162

  _Sweet William and Foxglove_      163

  _Plume Poppy_      164

  _Meadow Rue_      167

  _Money-in-both-Pockets_      171

  _Box Walk in Garden of Frederick J. Kingsbury, Esq., Waterbury,
    Connecticut_      173

  _Lunaria in Garden of Mrs. Mabel Osgood Wright, Fairfield,
    Connecticut. Photographed by Mabel Osgood Wright_
        facing 174

  _Dahlia Walk at Ravensworth, County Fairfax, Virginia.
    Home of Mrs. W. R. Fitzhugh Lee. Photographed by
    Elizabeth W. Trescot_      177

  _Petunias_      180

  _Virgin's Bower, in Garden of Miss Frances Clary Morse,
    Worcester, Massachusetts_      184

  _Matrimony Vine at Van Cortlandt Manor. Photographed by
    J. Horace McFarland_      186

  _White Chinese Wistaria, in Garden of Mortimer Howell, Esq.,
    West Hampton Beach, Long Island_      188

  _Spiræa Van Houtteii. Photographed by J. Horace McFarland_
    facing 190

  _Old Apple Tree at Whitehall. Home of Bishop Berkeley,
    near Newport, Rhode Island_      194

  "_The valley stretching below
    Is white with blossoming Apple trees,
    As if touched with lightest snow._"
    _Photographed by T. E. M. and G. F. White_      197

  _Old Hand-power Cider Mill. Photographed by Mary F. C.
    Paschall_      198

  _Pressing out the Cider in Old Hand Mill_      200

  _Old Cider Mill with Horse Power. Photographed by T. E. M.
    and G. F. White_      203

  _Straining off the Cider into Barrels_      204

  _Drying Apples. Photographed by T. E. M. and G. F. White_
    facing 208

  _Ancient Apple Picker, Apple Racks, Apple Parers, Apple
    Butter Kettle, Apple Butter Paddle, Apple Butter Stirrer,
    Apple Butter Crocks. Photographed by Mary F. C.
    Paschall_      211

  _Making Apple Butter. Photographed by Mary F. C. Paschall_
    facing 214

  _Shakespeare Border in Garden at Hillside, Menand's, near
    Albany, New York. Photographed by Gustave Lorey_      216

  _Long Border at Hillside, Menand's, near Albany, New York.
    Photographed by Gustave Lorey_      facing 218

  _The Beauty of Winter Lilacs. In Garden of Mrs. Abraham
    Lansing, Albany, New York. Photographed by Pirie MacDonald_      220

  _Garden of Mrs. Frank Robinson, Wakefield, Rhode Island_      222

  _The Parson's Walk_      225

  _Garden of Mary Washington_      228

  _Box and Phlox. Garden of Sylvester Manor, Shelter Island,
    New York_      230

  _Within the Weeping Beech. Photographed by E. C. Nichols_
    facing 232

  _Spring Snowflake, Garden of Miss Frances Clary Morse,
    Worcester, Massachusetts. Photographed by Herschel F.
    Davis_      234

  _Star of Bethlehem, in Garden of Miss Frances Clary Morse,
    Worcester, Massachusetts. Photographed by Herschel F.
    Davis_      237

  _"The Pearl" Achillæa_      238

  _Pyrethrum. Photographed by Mary F. C. Paschall_      242

  _Terraced Garden of the Misses Nichols, Salem, Massachusetts.
    Photographed by Herschel F. Davis_      246

  _Arbor in a Salem Garden_      250

  _Scilla in Garden of Miss Frances Clary Morse, Worcester,
    Massachusetts_      254

  _Sweet Alyssum Edging of White Border at Indian Hill, Newburyport,
    Massachusetts_      256

  _Bachelor's Buttons in a Salem Garden. Home of Mrs. Edward
    B. Peirson_      258

  _A "Sweet Garden-side" in Salem, Massachusetts, Home of
    John Robinson, Esq._      facing 260

  _Salpiglossis in Garden at Indian Hill, Newburyport, Massachusetts.
    Photographed by Herschel F. Davis_      261

  _The Old Campanula, Garden of Miss Frances Clary Morse,
    Worcester, Massachusetts_      263

  _Chinese Bellflower. Photographed by Herschel F. Davis_      264

  _Garden at Tudor Place, Georgetown, District of Columbia.
    Home of Mrs. Beverly Kennon. Photographed by Elizabeth
    W. Trescot_      facing 266

  _Light as a Loop of Larkspur, in Garden of Judge Oliver Wendell
    Holmes, Beverly, Massachusetts_      269

  _Viper's Bugloss. Photographed by Henry Troth_      274

  _The Prim Precision of Leaf and Flower of Lupine. Photographed
    by Henry Troth_      276

  _The Garden's Friend. Photographed by Clifton Johnson_      281

  _Edging of Striped Lilies in a Salem Garden. Photographed by
    Herschel F. Davis_      283

  _Garden Seat at Avonwood Court. Photographed by J. Horace
    McFarland_      facing 286

  _Terraced Garden of the Misses Nichols, Salem, Massachusetts_      288

  _"A Running Ribbon of Perfumed Snow which the Sun is
    melting rapidly." At Marchant Farm, Kingston, Rhode
    Island. Photographed by Sarah F. Marchant_      292

  _Fountain Garden at Sylvester Manor, Shelter Island, New
    York_      facing 294

  _Hawthorn Arch at Holly House, Peace Dale, Rhode Island.
    Home of Rowland G. Hazard, Esq._      298

  _Thyme-covered Graves. Photographed by Mary F. C. Paschall_      301

  "_White Umbrellas of Elder_"      305

  _Lower Garden at Sylvester Manor, Shelter Island, New York_
    facing 308

  "_Black-heart Amorous Poppies_"      310

  _Valerian. Photographed by E. C. Nichols_      314

  _Old War Office in Garden at Salem, New Jersey_      319

  _Crown Imperial. Page from Gerarde's Herball_      facing 324

  _The Children's Garden_     facing 330

  _Foxgloves in a Narragansett Garden_      333

  _Hollyhocks in Garden of Kimball Homestead, Portsmouth, New
    Hampshire_      facing 334

  _Autumn View of an Old Worcester Garden_      facing 338

  _Hollyhocks at Tudor Place, Georgetown, District of Columbia.
    Home of Mrs. Beverly Kennon_      339

  _An Old Worcester Garden. Home of Edwin A. Fawcett, Esq._
    facing 340

  _Caraway_      342

  _Sun-dial of Jonathan Fairbanks, Esq., Dedham, Massachusetts_      344

  _Bronze Sun-dial on Dutch Reformed Church, West End
    Avenue, New York_      346

  _Sun-dial mounted on Boulder, Swiftwater, Pennsylvania_      347

  _Buckthorn Arch in Garden of Mrs. Edward B. Peirson,
    Salem, Massachusetts. Photographed by Herschel F.
    Davis_      facing 348

  _Sun-dial at Emery Place, Brightwood, District of Columbia.
    Photographed by William Van Zandt Cox_      349

  _Sun-dial at Travellers' Rest, Virginia. Home of Mrs. Bowie
    Gray. Photographed by Elizabeth W. Trescot_      350

  _Two Old Cronies; the Sun-dial and Bee skepe. Photographed
    by Eva E. Newell_      354

  _Portable Sun-dial from Collection of the Author_      356

  _Sun-dial in Garden of Frederick J. Kingsbury, Esq., Waterbury,
    Connecticut_      358

  _Sun-dial at Morristown, New Jersey. Designed by W. Gedney
    Beatty, Esq._      359

  "_Yes, Toby, it's Three o'clock._" _Judge Daly and his Sun-dial
    at Sag Harbor, Long Island. Drawn by Edward Lamson
    Henry, N.A._      361

  _Face of Dial at Sag Harbor, Long Island_      362

  _Sun-dial in Garden of Grace Church Rectory, New York.
    Photographed by J. W. Dow_      364

  _Fugio Bank-note_      365

  _Sun-dial at "Washington House," Little Brington, England_      367

  _Dial-face from Mount Vernon. Owned by William F. Havemeyer,
    Jr._      368

  _Sun-dial from Home of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg,
    Virginia. Photographed by Elizabeth W. Trescot_      369

  _Kenmore, the Home of Betty Washington Lewis, Fredericksburg,
    Virginia. Photographed by Elizabeth W. Trescot_      371

  _Sun-dial in Garden of Charles T. Jenkins, Esq., Germantown,
    Pennsylvania_      373

  _Sun-dial at Ophir Farm, White Plains, New York. Country-seat
    of Hon. Whitelaw Reid_      375

  _Sun-dial at Hillside, Menand's, near Albany, New York_      378

  _Old Brass and Pewter Dial-faces from Collection of Author_      379

  _Beata Beatrix_      facing 380

  _The Faithful Gardener_      381

  _A Garden Lyre at Waterford, Virginia_      facing 384

  _A Virginia Lyre with Vines_      386

  _Old Iron Gates at Westover-on-James, Virginia. Photographed
    by George S. Cook_      388

  _Ironwork in Court of Colt Mansion, Bristol, Rhode Island.
    Photographed by J. W. Dow_      390

  _Sharpening the Old Dutch Scythe. Photographed by Mary
    F. C. Paschall_      facing 392

  _Summer-house at Ravensworth, County Fairfax, Virginia.
    Home of Mrs. W. H. Fitzhugh Lee. Photographed by
    Elizabeth W. Trescot_      392

  _Beehives at Waterford, Virginia. Photographed by Henry
    Troth_      facing 394

  _Beehives under the Trees. Photographed by Henry Troth_      395

  _Spring House at Johnson Homestead, Germantown, Pennsylvania.
    Photographed by Henry Troth_      facing 396

  _Dovecote at Shirley-on-James, Virginia. From_ Some Colonial
    Mansions and Those who lived in Them. _Published by
    Henry T. Coates & Co., Philadelphia_      397

  _The Peacock in his Pride_      398

  _The Guardian of the Garden_      400

  _Brick Terrace Wall at Van Cortlandt Manor. Photographed
    by J. Horace McFarland_      facing 402

  _Rail Fence Corner_      403

  _Topiary Work at Levens Hall_      404

  _Oval Pergola at Arlington, Virginia. Photographed by Elizabeth
    W. Trescot_      facing 406

  _French Homestead, Kingston, Rhode Island, with Old Stone
    Terrace Wall. Photographed by Sarah F. Marchant_      407

  _Italian Garden at Wellesley, Massachusetts. Country-seat of
    Hollis H. Hunnewell, Esq._      facing 408

  _Marble Steps in Italian Garden at Wellesley, Massachusetts_      410

  _Topiary Work in California_      412

  _Serpentine Brick Wall at University of Virginia, Charlottesville,
    Virginia. Photographed by Elizabeth W. Trescot_      413

  _Chestnut Path in Garden at Indian Hill, Newburyport, Massachusetts.
    Photographed by Herschel F. Davis_      facing 418

  _Foxgloves in Lower Garden at Indian Hill, Newburyport,
    Massachusetts. Photographed by Herschel F. Davis_      421

  _Dame's Rocket. Photographed by Mary F. C. Paschall_      424

  _Snakeroot. Photographed by Mary F. C Paschall_      426

  _Title-page of Parkinson's_ Paradisi in Solis, _etc._
    facing 428

  _Yuccas, like White Marble against the Evergreens_      430

  _Fraxinella in Garden of Miss Frances Clary Morse, Worcester,
    Massachusetts_      facing 432

  _Love-in-a-Mist. Photographed by Henry Troth_      436

  _Spiderwort in an Old Worcester Garden. Photographed by
    Herschel F. Davis_      facing 438

  _Gardener's Garters at Van Cortlandt Manor. Photographed
    by J. Horace McFarland_      440

  _Garden Walk at The Manse, Deerfield, Massachusetts. Photographed
    by Clifton Johnson_      facing 442

  _London Pride. Photographed by Eva E. Newell_      445

  _White Fritillaria in Garden of Miss Frances Clary Morse,
    Worcester, Massachusetts_      448

  _Bouncing Bet_      451

  _Overgrown Garden at Llanerck, Pennsylvania. Photographed
    by Henry Troth_      facing 454

  _Fountain at Yaddo, Saratoga, New York. Country-seat of
    Spencer Trask, Esq._      455

  _Avenue of White Pines at Wellesley, Massachusetts. Country-seat
    of Hollis H. Hunnewell, Esq._      456

  _Violets in Silver Double Coaster_      461

  _York and Lancaster Rose at Van Cortlandt Manor. Photographed
    by J. Horace McFarland_      facing 462

  _Cinnamon Roses. Photographed by Mabel Osgood Wright_      465

  _Cottage Garden with Roses. Photographed by Mary F. C.
    Paschall_      facing 468

  _Madame Plantier Rose. Photographed by Mabel Osgood
    Wright_      474

  _Sun-dial and Roses at Van Cortlandt Manor. Photographed
    by J. Horace McFarland_      facing 476



Old Time Gardens



CHAPTER I

COLONIAL GARDEN-MAKING

     "There is not a softer trait to be found in the character of those
     stern men than that they should have been sensible of these
     flower-roots clinging among the fibres of their rugged hearts, and
     felt the necessity of bringing them over sea, and making them
     hereditary in the new land."

     --_American Note-book_, NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE.


After ten wearisome weeks of travel across an unknown sea, to an equally
unknown world, the group of Puritan men and women who were the founders
of Boston neared their Land of Promise; and their noble leader, John
Winthrop, wrote in his Journal that "we had now fair Sunshine Weather
and so pleasant a sweet Aire as did much refresh us, and there came a
smell off the Shore like the Smell of a Garden."

A _Smell of a Garden_ was the first welcome to our ancestors from their
new home; and a pleasant and perfect emblem it was of the life that
awaited them. They were not to become hunters and rovers, not to be
eager to explore quickly the vast wilds beyond; they were to settle down
in the most domestic of lives, as tillers of the soil, as makers of
gardens.

What must that sweet air from the land have been to the sea-weary
Puritan women on shipboard, laden to them with its promise of a garden!
for I doubt not every woman bore with her across seas some little
package of seeds and bulbs from her English home garden, and perhaps a
tiny slip or plant of some endeared flower; watered each day, I fear,
with many tears, as well as from the surprisingly scant water supply
which we know was on board that ship.

And there also came flying to the _Arbella_ as to the Ark, a Dove--a
bird of promise--and soon the ship came to anchor.

    "With hearts revived in conceit new Lands and Trees they spy,
     Scenting the Cædars and Sweet Fern from heat's reflection dry,"

wrote one colonist of that arrival, in his _Good Newes from New
England_. I like to think that Sweet Fern, the characteristic wild
perfume of New England, was wafted out to greet them. And then all went
on shore in the sunshine of that ineffable time and season,--a New
England day in June,--and they "gathered store of fine strawberries,"
just as their Salem friends had on a June day on the preceding year
gathered strawberries and "sweet Single Roses" so resembling the English
Eglantine that the hearts of the women must have ached within them with
fresh homesickness. And ere long all had dwelling-places, were they but
humble log cabins; and pasture lands and commons were portioned out; and
in a short time all had garden-plots, and thus, with sheltering
roof-trees, and warm firesides, and with gardens, even in this lonely
new world, they had _homes_. The first entry in the Plymouth Records is
a significant one; it is the assignment of "Meresteads and
Garden-Plotes," not meresteads alone, which were farm lands, but home
gardens: the outlines of these can still be seen in Plymouth town. And
soon all sojourners who bore news back to England of the New-Englishmen
and New-Englishwomen, told of ample store of gardens. Ere a year had
passed hopeful John Winthrop wrote, "My Deare Wife, wee are here in a
Paradise." In four years the chronicler Wood said in his _New England's
Prospect_, "There is growing here all manner of herbs for meat and
medicine, and that not only in planted gardens, but in the woods,
without the act and help of man." Governor Endicott had by that time a
very creditable garden.

And by every humble dwelling the homesick goodwife or dame, trying to
create a semblance of her fair English home so far away, planted in her
"garden plot" seeds and roots of homely English flowers and herbs, that
quickly grew and blossomed and smiled on bleak New England's rocky
shores as sturdily and happily as they had bloomed in the old gardens
and by the ancient door sides in England. What good cheer they must have
brought! how they must have been beloved! for these old English garden
flowers are such gracious things; marvels of scent, lavish of bloom,
bearing such genial faces, growing so readily and hardily, spreading so
quickly, responding so gratefully to such little care: what pure
refreshment they bore in their blossoms, what comfort in their seeds;
they must have seemed an emblem of hope, a promise of a new and happy
home. I rejoice over every one that I know was in those little colonial
gardens, for each one added just so much measure of solace to what seems
to me, as I think upon it, one of the loneliest, most fearsome things
that gentlewomen ever had to do, all the harder because neither by
poverty nor by unavoidable stress were they forced to it; they came
across-seas willingly, for conscience' sake. These women were not
accustomed to the thought of emigration, as are European folk to-day;
they had no friends to greet them in the new land; they were to
encounter wild animals and wild men; sea and country were unknown--they
could scarce expect ever to return: they left everything, and took
nothing of comfort but their Bibles and their flower seeds. So when I
see one of the old English flowers, grown of those days, blooming now in
my garden, from the unbroken chain of blossom to seed of nearly three
centuries, I thank the flower for all that its forbears did to comfort
my forbears, and I cherish it with added tenderness.

[Illustration: Garden of the Johnson Mansion, Germantown, Pennsylvania.]

We should have scant notion of the gardens of these New England
colonists in the seventeenth century were it not for a cheerful
traveller named John Josselyn, a man of everyday tastes and much
inquisitiveness, and the pleasing literary style which comes from
directness, and an absence of self-consciousness. He published in 1672 a
book entitled _New England's Rarities discovered_, etc., and in 1674
another volume giving an account of his two voyages hither in 1638 and
1663. He made a very careful list of vegetables which he found thriving
in the new land; and since his flower list is the earliest known, I will
transcribe it in full; it isn't long, but there is enough in it to make
it a suggestive outline which we can fill in from what we know of the
plants to-day, and form a very fair picture of those gardens.

  "Spearmint,
  Rew, will hardly grow
  Fetherfew prospereth exceedingly;
  Southernwood, is no Plant for this Country, Nor
  Rosemary. Nor
  Bayes.
  White-Satten groweth pretty well, so doth
  Lavender-Cotton. But
  Lavender is not for the Climate.
  Penny Royal
  Smalledge.
  Ground Ivey, or Ale Hoof.
  Gilly Flowers will continue two Years.
  Fennel must be taken up, and kept in a Warm Cellar all Winter
  Horseleek prospereth notably
  Holly hocks
  Enula Canpana, in two years time the Roots rot.
  Comferie, with White Flowers.
  Coriander, and
  Dill, and
  Annis thrive exceedingly, but Annis Seed, as also the seed of
  Fennel seldom come to maturity; the Seed of Annis is commonly eaten
    with a Fly.
  Clary never lasts but one Summer, the Roots rot with the Frost.
  Sparagus thrives exceedingly, so does
  Garden Sorrel, and
  Sweet Bryer or Eglantine
  Bloodwort but sorrily, but
  Patience and
  English Roses very pleasantly.
  Celandine, by the West Country now called Kenning Wort grows but slowly.
  Muschater, as well as in England
  Dittander or Pepperwort flourisheth notably and so doth
  Tansie."

These lists were published fifty years after the landing of the Pilgrims
at Plymouth; from them we find that the country was just as well stocked
with vegetables as it was a hundred years later when other travellers
made lists, but the flowers seem few; still, such as they were, they
formed a goodly sight. With rows of Hollyhocks glowing against the rude
stone walls and rail fences of their little yards; with clumps of
Lavender Cotton and Honesty and Gillyflowers blossoming freely; with
Feverfew "prospering" to sow and slip and pot and give to neighbors just
as New England women have done with Feverfew every year of the centuries
that have followed; with "a Rose looking in at the window"--a
Sweetbrier, Eglantine, or English Rose--these colonial dames might well
find "Patience growing very pleasantly" in their hearts as in their
gardens.

[Illustration: Garden at Grumblethorp, Germantown, Pennsylvania.]

They had plenty of pot herbs for their accustomed savoring; and plenty
of medicinal herbs for their wonted dosing. Shakespeare's "nose-herbs"
were not lacking. Doubtless they soon added to these garden flowers many
of our beautiful native blooms, rejoicing if they resembled any beloved
English flowers, and quickly giving them, as we know, familiar old
English plant-names.

And there were other garden inhabitants, as truly English as were the
cherished flowers, the old garden weeds, which quickly found a home and
thrived in triumph in the new soil. Perhaps the weed seeds came over in
the flower-pot that held a sheltered plant or cutting; perhaps a few
were mixed with garden seeds; perhaps they were in the straw or other
packing of household goods: no one knew the manner of their coming, but
there they were, Motherwort, Groundsel, Chickweed, and Wild Mustard,
Mullein and Nettle, Henbane and Wormwood. Many a goodwife must have
gazed in despair at the persistent Plantain, "the Englishman's foot,"
which seems to have landed in Plymouth from the Mayflower.

Josselyn made other lists of plants which he found in America, under
these headings:--

  "Such plants as are common with us in England.
  Such plants as are proper to the Country.
  Such plants as are proper to the Country and have no name.
  Such plants as have sprung up since the English planted, and kept cattle
    in New England."

In these lists he gives a surprising number of English weeds which had
thriven and rejoiced in their new home.

[Illustration: Garden of the Bartram House, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.]

Mr. Tuckerman calls Josselyn's list of the fishes of the new world a
poor makeshift; his various lists of plants are better, but they are the
lists of an herbalist, not of a botanist. He had some acquaintance with
the practice of physic, of which he narrates some examples; and an
interest in kitchen recipes, and included a few in his books. He said
that Parkinson or another botanist might have "found in New England a
thousand, at least, of plants never heard of nor seen by any Englishman
before," and adds that he was himself an indifferent observer. He
certainly lost an extraordinary opportunity of distinguishing himself,
indeed of immortalizing himself; and it is surprising that he was so
heedless, for Englishmen of that day were in general eager botanists.
The study of plants was new, and was deemed of such absorbing interest
and fascination that some rigid Puritans feared they might lose their
immortal souls through making their new plants their idols.

[Illustration: Garden of Abigail Adams.]

When Josselyn wrote, but few of our American flowers were known to
European botanists; Indian Corn, Pitcher Plant, Columbine, Milkweed,
Everlasting, and Arbor-vitæ had been described in printed books, and the
Evening Primrose. A history of Canadian and other new plants, by Dr.
Cornuti, had been printed in Europe, giving thirty-seven of our plants;
and all English naturalists were longing to add to the list; the ships
which brought over homely seeds and plants for the gardens of the
colonists carried back rare American seeds and plants for English physic
gardens.

In Pennsylvania, from the first years of the settlement, William Penn
encouraged his Quaker followers to plant English flowers and fruit in
abundance, and to try the fruits of the new world. Father Pastorius, in
his Germantown settlement, assigned to each family a garden-plot of
three acres, as befitted a man who left behind him at his death a
manuscript poem of many thousand words on the pleasures of gardening,
the description of flowers, and keeping of bees. George Fox, the founder
of the Friends, or Quakers, died in 1690. He had travelled in the
colonies; and in his will he left sixteen acres of land to the Quaker
meeting in the city of Philadelphia. Of these sixteen acres, ten were
for "a close to put Friends' horses in when they came afar to the
Meeting, that they may not be Lost in the Woods," while the other six
were for a site for a meeting-house and school-house, and "for a
Playground for the Children of the town to Play on, and for a Garden to
plant with Physical Plants, for Lads and Lasses to know Simples, and to
learn to make Oils and Ointments." Few as are these words, they convey a
positive picture of Fox's intent, and a pleasing picture it is. He had
seen what interest had been awakened and what instruction conveyed
through the "Physick-Garden" at Chelsea, England; and he promised to
himself similar interest and information from the study of plants and
flowers by the Quaker "lads and lasses" of the new world. Though
nothing came from this bequest, there was a later fulfilment of Fox's
hopes in the establishment of a successful botanic garden in
Philadelphia, and, in the planting, growth, and flourishing in the
province of Pennsylvania of the loveliest gardens in the new world;
there floriculture reached by the time of the Revolution a very high
point; and many exquisite gardens bore ample testimony to the "pride of
life," as well as to the good taste and love of flowers of Philadelphia
Friends. The garden at Grumblethorp, the home of Charles J. Wister,
Esq., of Germantown, Pennsylvania, shown on page 7, dates to colonial
days and is still flourishing and beautiful.

In 1728 was established, by John Bartram, in Philadelphia, the first
botanic garden in America. The ground on which it was planted, and the
stone dwelling-house he built thereon in 1731, are now part of the park
system of Philadelphia. A view of the garden as now in cultivation is
given on page 9. Bartram travelled much in America, and through his
constant correspondence and flower exchanges with distinguished
botanists and plant growers in Europe, many native American plants
became well known in foreign gardens, among them the Lady's Slipper and
Rhododendron. He was a Quaker,--a quaint and picturesque figure,--and
his example helped to establish the many fine gardens in the vicinity of
Philadelphia. The example and precept of Washington also had important
influence; for he was constant in his desire and his effort to secure
every good and new plant, grain, shrub, and tree for his home at
Mount Vernon. A beautiful tribute to his good taste and that of his wife
still exists in the Mount Vernon flower garden, which in shape, Box
edgings, and many details is precisely as it was in their day. A view of
its well-ordered charms is shown opposite page 12. Whenever I walk in
this garden I am deeply grateful to the devoted women who keep it in
such perfection, as an object-lesson to us of the dignity, comeliness,
and beauty of a garden of the olden times.

[Illustration: Garden at Mount Vernon-on-the-Potomac. Home of George
Washington.]

There is little evidence that a general love and cultivation of flowers
was as common in humble homes in the Southern colonies as in New England
and the Middle provinces. The teeming abundance near the tropics
rendered any special gardening unnecessary for poor folk; flowers grew
and blossomed lavishly everywhere without any coaxing or care. On
splendid estates there were splendid gardens, which have nearly all
suffered by the devastations of war--in some towns they were thrice thus
scourged. So great was the beauty of these Southern gardens and so vast
the love they provoked in their owners, that in more than one case the
life of the garden's master was merged in that of the garden. The
British soldiers during the War of the Revolution wantonly destroyed the
exquisite flowers at "The Grove," just outside the city of Charleston,
and their owner, Mr. Gibbes, dropped dead in grief at the sight of the
waste.

The great wealth of the Southern planters, their constant and
extravagant following of English customs and fashions, their fertile
soil and favorable climate, and their many slaves, all contributed to
the successful making of elaborate gardens. Even as early as 1682 South
Carolina gardens were declared to be "adorned with such Flowers as to
the Smell or Eye are pleasing or agreeable, as the Rose, Tulip, Lily,
Carnation, &c." William Byrd wrote of the terraced gardens of Virginia
homes. Charleston dames vied with each other in the beauty of their
gardens, and Mrs. Logan, when seventy years old, in 1779, wrote a
treatise called _The Gardener's Kalendar_. Eliza Lucas Pinckney of
Charleston was devoted to practical floriculture and horticulture. Her
introduction of indigo raising into South Carolina revolutionized the
trade products of the state and brought to it vast wealth. Like many
other women and many men of wealth and culture at that time, she kept up
a constant exchange of letters, seeds, plants, and bulbs with English
people of like tastes. She received from them valuable English seeds and
shrubs; and in turn she sent to England what were so eagerly sought by
English flower raisers, our native plants. The good will and national
pride of ship captains were enlisted; even young trees of considerable
size were set in hogsheads, and transported, and cared for during the
long voyage.

[Illustration: Gate and Hedge of Preston Garden.]

The garden at Mount Vernon is probably the oldest in Virginia still in
original shape. In Maryland are several fine, formal gardens which do
not date, however, to colonial days; the beautiful one at Hampton, the
home of the Ridgelys, in Baltimore County, is shown on pages 57, 60 and
95. In both North and South Carolina the gardens were exquisite. Many
were laid out by competent landscape gardeners, and were kept in order
by skilled workmen, negro slaves, who were carefully trained from
childhood to special labor, such as topiary work. In Camden and
Charleston the gardens vied with the finest English manor-house gardens.
Remains of their beauty exist, despite devastating wars and earthquakes.
Views of the Preston Garden, Columbia, South Carolina, are shown on
pages 15 and 18 and facing page 54. They are now the grounds of the
Presbyterian College for Women. The hedges have been much reduced
within a few years; but the garden still bears a surprising resemblance
to the Garden of the Generalife, Granada. The Spanish garden has fewer
flowers and more fountains, yet I think it must have been the model for
the Preston Garden. The climax of magnificence in Southern gardens has
been for years, at Magnolia-on-the-Ashley, the ancestral home of the
Draytons since 1671. It is impossible to describe the affluence of color
in this garden in springtime; masses of unbroken bloom on giant
Magnolias; vast Camellia Japonicas, looking, leaf and flower, thoroughly
artificial, as if made of solid wax; splendid Crape Myrtles, those
strange flower-trees; mammoth Rhododendrons; Azaleas of every Azalea
color,--all surrounded by walls of the golden Banksia Roses, and hedges
covered with Jasmine and Honeysuckle. The Azaleas are the special glory
of the garden; the bushes are fifteen to twenty feet in height, and
fifty or sixty feet in circumference, with rich blossoms running over
and crowding down on the ground as if color had been poured over the
bushes; they extend in vistas of vivid hues as far as the eye can reach.
All this gay and brilliant color is overhung by a startling contrast,
the most sombre and gloomy thing in nature, great Live-oaks heavily
draped with gray Moss; the avenue of largest Oaks was planted two
centuries ago.

I give no picture of this Drayton Garden, for a photograph of these many
acres of solid bloom is a meaningless thing. Even an oil painting of it
is confused and disappointing. In the garden itself the excess of color
is as cloying as its surfeit of scent pouring from the thousands of open
flower cups; we long for green hedges, even for scanter bloom and for
fainter fragrance. It is not a garden to live in, as are our
box-bordered gardens of the North, our cheerful cottage borders, and our
well-balanced Italian gardens, so restful to the eye; it is a garden to
look at and wonder at.

The Dutch settlers brought their love of flowering bulbs, and the bulbs
also, to the new world. Adrian Van der Donck, a gossiping visitor to New
Netherland when the little town of New Amsterdam had about a thousand
inhabitants, described the fine kitchen gardens, the vegetables and
fruits, and gave an interesting list of garden flowers which he found
under cultivation by the Dutch vrouws. He says:

     "OF THE FLOWERS. The flowers in general which the Netherlanders
     have introduced there are the white and red roses of different
     kinds, the cornelian roses, and stock roses; and those of which
     there were none before in the country, such as eglantine, several
     kinds of gillyflowers, jenoffelins, different varieties of fine
     tulips, crown imperials, white lilies, the lily frutularia,
     anemones, baredames, violets, marigolds, summer sots, etc. The
     clove tree has also been introduced, and there are various
     indigenous trees that bear handsome flowers, which are unknown in
     the Netherlands. We also find there some flowers of native growth,
     as, for instance, sunflowers, red and yellow lilies, mountain
     lilies, morning stars, red, white, and yellow maritoffles (a very
     sweet flower), several species of bell flowers, etc., to which I
     have not given particular attention, but _amateurs_ would hold
     them in high estimation and make them widely known."

[Illustration: Fountain Path in Preston Garden, Columbia, South
Carolina.]

I wish I knew what a Cornelian Rose was, and Jenoffelins, Baredames, and
Summer Sots; and what the Lilies were and the Maritoffles and Bell
Flowers. They all sound so cheerful and homelike--just as if they
bloomed well. Perhaps the Cornelian Rose may have been striped red and
white like cornelian stone, and like our York and Lancaster Rose.

Tulips are on all seed and plant lists of colonial days, and they were
doubtless in every home dooryard in New Netherland. Governor Peter
Stuyvesant had a fine farm on the Bouwerie, and is said to have had a
flower garden there and at his home, White Hall, at the Battery, for he
had forty or fifty negro slaves who were kept at work on his estate. In
the city of New York many fine formal gardens lingered, on what are now
our most crowded streets, till within the memory of persons now living.
One is described as full of "Paus bloemen of all hues, Laylocks, and
tall May Roses and Snowballs intermixed with choice vegetables and herbs
all bounded and hemmed in by huge rows of neatly-clipped Box-edgings."

An evidence of increase in garden luxury in New York is found in the
advertisement of one Theophilus Hardenbrook, in 1750, a practical
surveyor and architect, who had an evening school for teaching
architecture. He designed pavilions, summer-houses, and garden seats,
and "Green-houses for the preservation of Herbs with winding Funnels
through the walls so as to keep them warm." A picture of the green-house
of James Beekman, of New York, 1764, still exists, a primitive little
affair. The first glass-house in North America is believed to be one
built in Boston for Andrew Faneuil, who died in 1737.

Mrs. Anne Grant, writing of her life near Albany in the middle of the
eighteenth century, gives a very good description of the Schuyler
garden. Skulls of domestic animals on fence posts, would seem astounding
had I not read of similar decorations in old Continental gardens. Vines
grew over these grisly fence-capitals and birds built their nests in
them, so in time the Dutch housewife's peaceful kitchen garden ceased
to resemble the kraal of an African chieftain; to this day, in South
Africa, natives and Dutch Boers thus set up on gate posts the skulls of
cattle.

Mrs. Grant writes of the Dutch in Albany:--

     "The care of plants, such as needed peculiar care or skill to rear
     them, was the female province. Every one in town or country had a
     garden. Into this garden no foot of man intruded after it was dug
     in the Spring. I think I see yet what I have so often beheld--a
     respectable mistress of a family going out to her garden, on an
     April morning, with her great calash, her little painted basket of
     seeds, and her rake over her shoulder to her garden of labours. A
     woman in very easy circumstances and abundantly gentle in form and
     manners would sow and plant and rake incessantly."

We have happily a beautiful example of the old Dutch manor garden, at
Van Cortlandt Manor, at Croton-on-Hudson, New York, still in the
possession of the Van Cortlandt family. It is one of the few gardens in
America that date really to colonial days. The manor house was built in
1681; it is one of those fine old Dutch homesteads of which we still
have many existing throughout New York, in which dignity, comfort, and
fitness are so happily combined. These homes are, in the words of a
traveller of colonial days, "so pleasant in their building, and
contrived so delightful." Above all, they are so suited to their
surroundings that they seem an intrinsic part of the landscape, as they
do of the old life of this Hudson River Valley.

[Illustration: Door in Wall of Kitchen Garden at Van Cortlandt Manor.]

I do not doubt that this Van Cortlandt garden was laid out when the
house was built; much of it must be two centuries old. It has been
extended, not altered; and the grass-covered bank supporting the upper
garden was replaced by a brick terrace wall about sixty years ago. Its
present form dates to the days when New York was a province. The upper
garden is laid out in formal flower beds; the lower border is rich in
old vines and shrubs, and all the beloved old-time hardy plants. There
is in the manor-house an ancient portrait of the child Pierre Van
Cortlandt, painted about the year 1732. He stands by a table bearing a
vase filled with old garden flowers--Tulip, Convolvulus, Harebell, Rose,
Peony, Narcissus, and Flowering Almond; and it is the pleasure of the
present mistress of the manor, to see that the garden still holds all
the great-grandfather's flowers.

There is a vine-embowered old door in the wall under the piazza (see
opposite page 20) which opens into the kitchen and fruit garden; a
wall-door so quaint and old-timey that I always remind me of
Shakespeare's lines in _Measure for Measure_:--

    "He hath a garden circummured with brick,
     Whose western side is with a Vineyard back'd;
     And to that Vineyard is a planchéd gate
     That makes his opening with this bigger key:
     The other doth command a little door
     Which from the Vineyard to the garden leads."

The long path is a beautiful feature of this garden (it is shown in the
picture of the garden opposite page 24); it dates certainly to the
middle of the eighteenth century. Pierre Van Cortlandt, the son of the
child with the vase of flowers, and grandfather of the present
generation bearing his surname, was born in 1762. He well recalled
playing along this garden path when he was a child; and that one day he
and his little sister Ann (Mrs. Philip Van Rensselaer) ran a race along
this path and through the garden to see who could first "see the baby"
and greet their sister, Mrs. Beekman, who came riding to the manor-house
up the hill from Tarrytown, and through the avenue, which shows on the
right-hand side of the garden-picture. This beautiful young woman was
famed everywhere for her grace and loveliness, and later equally so for
her intelligence and goodness, and the prominent part she bore in the
War of the Revolution. She was seated on a pillion behind her husband,
and she carried proudly in her arms her first baby (afterward Dr.
Beekman) wrapped in a scarlet cloak. This is one of the home-pictures
that the old garden holds. Would we could paint it!

In this garden, near the house, is a never failing spring and well. The
house was purposely built near it, in those days of sudden attacks by
Indians; it has proved a fountain of perpetual youth for the old Locust
tree, which shades it; a tree more ancient than house or garden, serene
and beautiful in its hearty old age. Glimpses of this manor-house garden
and its flowers are shown on many pages of this book, but they cannot
reveal its beauty as a whole--its fine proportions, its noble
background, its splendid trees, its turf, its beds of bloom. Oh! How
beautiful a garden can be, when for two hundred years it has been loved
and cherished, ever nurtured, ever guarded; how plainly it shows such
care!

Another Dutch garden is pictured opposite page 32, the garden of the
Bergen Homestead, at Bay Ridge, Long Island. Let me quote part of its
description, written by Mrs. Tunis Bergen:--

     "Over the half-open Dutch door you look through the vines that
     climb about the stoop, as into a vista of the past. Beyond the
     garden is the great Quince orchard of hundreds of trees in pink and
     white glory. This orchard has a story which you must pause in the
     garden to hear. In the Library at Washington is preserved, in
     quaint manuscript, 'The Battle of Brooklyn,' a farce written and
     said to have been performed during the British occupation. The
     scene is partly laid in 'the orchard of one Bergen,' where the
     British hid their horses after the battle of Long Island--this is
     the orchard; but the blossoming Quince trees tell no tale of past
     carnage. At one side of the garden is a quaint little building with
     moss-grown roof and climbing hop-vine--the last slave kitchen left
     standing in New York--on the other side are rows of homely
     beehives. The old Locust tree overshadowing is an ancient
     landmark--it was standing in 1690. For some years it has worn a
     chain to bind its aged limbs together. All this beauty of tree and
     flower lived till 1890, when it was swept away by the growing city.
     Though now but a memory, it has the perfume of its past flowers
     about it."

The Locust was so often a "home tree" and so fitting a one, that I have
grown to associate ever with these Dutch homesteads a light-leaved
Locust tree, shedding its beautiful flickering shadows on the long roof.
I wonder whether there was any association or tradition that made the
Locust the house-friend in old New York!

The first nurseryman in the new world was stern old Governor Endicott of
Salem. In 1644 he wrote to Governor Winthrop, "My children burnt mee at
least 500 trees by setting the ground on fire neere them"--which was a
very pretty piece of mischief for sober Puritan children. We find all
thoughtful men of influence and prominence in all the colonies raising
various fruits, and selling trees and plants, but they had no
independent business nurseries.

[Illustration: Garden at Van Cortlandt Manor.]

If tradition be true, it is to Governor Endicott we owe an indelible dye
on the landscape of eastern Massachusetts in midsummer. The Dyer's-weed
or Woad-waxen (_Genista tinctoria_), which, in July, covers hundreds of
acres in Lynn, Salem, Swampscott, and Beverly with its solid growth and
brilliant yellow bloom, is said to have been brought to this country as
the packing of some of the governor's household belongings. It is far
more probable that he brought it here to raise it in his garden for
dyeing purposes, with intent to benefit the colony, as he did other
useful seeds and plants. Woadwaxen, or Broom, is a persistent thing; it
needs scythe, plough, hoe, and bitter labor to eradicate it. I cannot
call it a weed, for it has seized only poor rock-filled land, good for
naught else; and the radiant beauty of the Salem landscape for many
weeks makes us forgive its persistence, and thank Endicott for bringing
it here.

                      "The Broom,
    Full-flowered and visible on every steep,
    Along the copses runs in veins of gold."

The Broom flower is the emblem of mid-summer, the hottest yellow flower
I know--it seems to throw out heat. I recall the first time I saw it
growing; I was told that it was "Salem Wood-wax." I had heard of
"Roxbury Waxwork," the Bitter-sweet, but this was a new name, as it was
a new tint of yellow, and soon I had its history, for I find Salem
people rather proud both of the flower and its story.

Oxeye Daisies (Whiteweed) are also by vague tradition the children of
Governor Endicott's planting. I think it far more probable that they
were planted and cherished by the wives of the colonists, when their
beloved English Daisies were found unsuited to New England's climate and
soil. We note the Woad-waxen and Whiteweed as crowding usurpers, not
only because they are persistent, but because their great expanses of
striking bloom will not let us forget them. Many other English plants
are just as determined intruders, but their modest dress permits them to
slip in comparatively unobserved.

It has ever been characteristic of the British colonist to carry with
him to any new home the flowers of old England and Scotland, and
characteristic of these British flowers to monopolize the earth.
Sweetbrier is called "the missionary-plant," by the Maoris in New
Zealand, and is there regarded as a tiresome weed, spreading and
holding the ground. Some homesick missionary or his more homesick wife
bore it there; and her love of the home plant impressed even the savage
native. We all know the story of the Scotch settlers who carried their
beloved Thistles to Tasmania "to make it seem like home," and how they
lived to regret it. Vancouver's Island is completely overrun with Broom
and wild Roses from England.

The first commercial nursery in America, in the sense of the term as we
now employ it, was established about 1730 by Robert Prince, in Flushing,
Long Island, a community chiefly of French Huguenot settlers, who
brought to the new world many French fruits by seed and cuttings, and
also a love of horticulture. For over a century and a quarter these
Prince Nurseries were the leading ones in America. The sale of fruit
trees was increased in 1774 (as we learn from advertisements in the _New
York Mercury_ of that year), by the sale of "Carolina Magnolia flower
trees, the most beautiful trees that grow in America, and 50 large
Catalpa flower trees; they are nine feet high to the under part of the
top and thick as one's leg," also other flowering trees and shrubs.

The fine house built on the nursery grounds by William Prince suffered
little during the Revolution. It was occupied by Washington and
afterwards house and nursery were preserved from depredations by a guard
placed by General Howe when the British took possession of Flushing. Of
course, domestic nursery business waned in time of war; but an
excellent demand for American shrubs and trees sprung up among the
officers of the British army, to send home to gardens in England and
Germany. Many an English garden still has ancient plants and trees from
the Prince Nurseries.

The "Linnæan Botanic Garden and Nurseries" and the "Old American
Nursery" thrived once more at the close of the war, and William Prince
the second entered in charge; one of his earliest ventures of importance
was the introduction of Lombardy Poplars. In 1798 he advertises ten
thousand trees, ten to seventeen feet in height. These became the most
popular tree in America, the emblem of democracy--and a warmly hated
tree as well. The eighty acres of nursery grounds were a centre of
botanic and horticultural interest for the entire country; every tree,
shrub, vine, and plant known to England and America was eagerly sought
for; here the important botanical treasures of Lewis and Clark found a
home. William Prince wrote several notable horticultural treatises; and
even his trade catalogues were prized. He established the first
steamboats between Flushing and New York, built roads and bridges on
Long Island, and was a public-spirited, generous citizen as well as a
man of science. His son, William Robert Prince, who died in 1869, was
the last to keep up the nurseries, which he did as a scientific rather
than a commercial establishment. He botanized the entire length of the
Atlantic States with Dr. Torrey, and sought for collections of trees and
wild flowers in California with the same eagerness that others there
sought gold. He was a devoted promoter of the native silk industry,
having vast plantations of Mulberries in many cities; for one at
Norfolk, Virginia, he was offered $100,000. It is a curious fact that
the interest in Mulberry culture and the practice of its cultivation was
so universal in his neighborhood (about the year 1830), that cuttings of
the Chinese Mulberry (_Morus multicaulis_) were used as currency in all
the stores in the vicinity of Flushing, at the rate of 12-1/2 cents
each.

[Illustration: Garden at Prince Homestead, Flushing, Long Island.]

The Prince homestead, a fine old mansion, is here shown; it is still
standing, surrounded by that forlorn sight, a forgotten garden. This is
of considerable extent, and evidences of its past dignity appear in the
hedges and edgings of Box; one symmetrical great Box tree is fifty feet
in circumference. Flowering shrubs, unkempt of shape, bloom and beautify
the waste borders each spring, as do the oldest Chinese Magnolias in the
United States. Gingkos, Paulownias, and weeping trees, which need no
gardener's care, also flourish and are of unusual size. There are some
splendid evergreens, such as Mt. Atlas Cedars; and the oldest and finest
Cedar of Lebanon in the United States. It seemed sad, as I looked at the
evidences of so much past beauty and present decay, that this historic
house and garden should not be preserved for New York, as the house and
garden of John Bartram, the Philadelphia botanist, have been for his
native city.

While there are few direct records of American gardens in the eighteenth
century, we have many instructing side glimpses through old business
letter-books. We find Sir Harry Frankland ordering Daffodils and Tulips
for the garden he made for Agnes Surriage; and it is said that the first
Lilacs ever seen in Hopkinton were planted by him for her. The gay young
nobleman and the lovely woman are in the dust, and of all the beautiful
things belonging to them there remain a splendid Portuguese fan, which
stands as a memorial of that tragic crisis in their life--the great
Lisbon earthquake; and the Lilacs, which still mark the site of her
house and blossom each spring as a memorial of the shadowed romance of
her life in New England.

Let me give two pages from old letters to illustrate what I mean by side
glimpses at the contents of colonial gardens. The fine Hancock mansion
in Boston had a carefully-filled garden long previous to the Revolution.
Such letters as the following were sent by Mr. Hancock to England to
secure flowers for it:--

     "My Trees and Seeds for Capt. Bennett Came Safe to Hand and I like
     them very well. I Return you my hearty Thanks for the Plumb Tree
     and Tulip Roots you were pleased to make me a Present off, which
     are very Acceptable to me. I have Sent my friend Mr. Wilks a mmo.
     to procure for me 2 or 3 Doz. Yew Trees, Some Hollys and Jessamine
     Vines, and if you have Any Particular Curious Things not of a high
     Price, will Beautifye a flower Garden Send a Sample with the Price
     or a Catalogue of 'em, I do not intend to spare Any Cost or Pains
     in making my Gardens Beautifull or Profitable.

     "P.S. The Tulip Roots you were Pleased to make a present off to me
     are all Dead as well."

We find Richard Stockton writing in 1766 from England to his wife at
their beautiful home "Morven," in Princeton, New Jersey:--

     "I am making you a charming collection of bulbous roots, which
     shall be sent over as soon as the prospect of freezing on your
     coast is over. The first of April, I believe, will be time enough
     for you to put them in your sweet little flower garden, which you
     so fondly cultivate. Suppose I inform you that I design a ride to
     Twickenham the latter end of next month principally to view Mr.
     Pope's gardens and grotto, which I am told remain nearly as he left
     them; and that I shall take with me a gentleman who draws well, to
     lay down an exact plan of the whole."

The fine line of Catalpa trees set out by Richard Stockton, along the
front of his lawn, were in full flower when he rode up to his house on a
memorable July day to tell his wife that he had signed the Declaration
of American Independence. Since then Catalpa trees bear everywhere in
that vicinity the name of Independence trees, and are believed to be
ever in bloom on July 4th.

[Illustration: Old Box at Prince Homestead.]

In the delightful diary and letters of Eliza Southgate Bowne (_A Girl's
Life Eighty Years Ago_), are other side glimpses of the beautiful
gardens of old Salem, among them those of the wealthy merchants of the
Derby family. Terraces and arches show a formality of arrangement, for
they were laid out by a Dutch gardener whose descendants still live in
Salem. All had summer-houses, which were larger and more important
buildings than what are to-day termed summer-houses; these latter were
known in Salem and throughout Virginia as bowers. One summer-house had
an arch through it with three doors on each side which opened into
little apartments; one of them had a staircase by which you could ascend
into a large upper room, which was the whole size of the building. This
was constructed to command a fine view, and was ornamented with Chinese
articles of varied interest and value; it was used for tea-drinkings. At
the end of the garden, concealed by a dense Weeping Willow, was a
thatched hermitage, containing the life-size figure of a man reading a
prayer-book; a bed of straw and some broken furniture completed the
picture. This was an English fashion, seen at one time in many old
English gardens, and held to be most romantic. Apparently summer
evenings were spent by the Derby household and their visitors wholly in
the garden and summer-house. The diary keeper writes naïvely, "The moon
shines brighter in this garden than anywhere else."

[Illustration: Old Dutch Garden of Bergen Homestead.]

The shrewd and capable women of the colonies who entered so freely and
successfully into business ventures found the selling of flower seeds a
congenial occupation, and often added it to the pursuit of other
callings. I think it must have been very pleasant to buy packages of
flower seed at the same time and place where you bought your best
bonnet, and have all sent home in a bandbox together; each would
prove a memorial of the other; and long after the glory of the bonnet
had departed, and the bonnet itself was ashes, the thriving Sweet Peas
and Larkspur would recall its becoming charms. I have often seen the
advertisements of these seedswomen in old newspapers; unfortunately they
seldom gave printed lists of their store of seeds. Here is one list
printed in a Boston newspaper on March 30, 1760:--

  Lavender.
  Palma Christi.
  Cerinthe or Honeywort, loved of bees.
  Tricolor.
  Indian Pink.
  Scarlet Cacalia.
  Yellow Sultans.
  Lemon African Marigold.
  Sensitive Plants.
  White Lupine.
  Love Lies Bleeding.
  Patagonian Cucumber.
  Lobelia.
  Catchfly.
  Wing-peas.
  Convolvulus.
  Strawberry Spinage.
  Branching Larkspur.
  White Chrysanthemum.
  Nigaella Romano.
  Rose Campion.
  Snap Dragon.
  Nolana prostrata.
  Summer Savory.
  Hyssop.
  Red Hawkweed.
  Red and White Lavater.
  Scarlet Lupine.
  Large blue Lupine.
  Snuff flower.
  Caterpillars.
  Cape Marigold.
  Rose Lupine.
  Sweet Peas.
  Venus' Navelwort.
  Yellow Chrysanthemum.
  Cyanus minor.
  Tall Holyhock.
  French Marigold.
  Carnation Poppy.
  Globe Amaranthus.
  Yellow Lupine.
  Indian Branching Coxcombs.
  Iceplants.
  Thyme.
  Sweet Marjoram.
  Tree Mallows.
  Everlasting.
  Greek Valerian.
  Tree Primrose.
  Canterbury Bells.
  Purple Stock.
  Sweet Scabiouse.
  Columbine.
  Pleasant-eyed Pink.
  Dwarf Mountain Pink.
  Sweet Rocket.
  Horn Poppy.
  French Honeysuckle.
  Bloody Wallflower.
  Sweet William.
  Honesty (to be sold in small parcels that every one may have a little).
  Persicaria.
  Polyanthos.
  50 Different Sorts of mixed Tulip Roots.
  Ranunculus.
  Gladiolus.
  Starry Scabiouse.
  Curled Mallows.
  Painted Lady topknot peas.
  Colchicum.
  Persian Iris.
  Star Bethlehem.

This list is certainly a pleasing one. It gives opportunity for flower
borders of varied growth and rich color. There is a quality of some
minds which may be termed historical imagination. It is the power of
shaping from a few simple words or details of the faraway past, an ample
picture, full of light and life, of which these meagre details are but a
framework. Having this list of the names of these sturdy old annuals and
perennials, what do you perceive besides the printed words? I see that
the old mid-century garden where these seeds found a home was a cheerful
place from earliest spring to autumn; that it had many bulbs, and
thereafter a constant succession of warm blooms till the Coxcombs,
Marigolds, Colchicums and Chrysanthemums yielded to New England's
frosts. I know that the garden had beehives and that the bees were
loved; for when they sallied out of their straw bee-skepes, these happy
bees found their favorite blossoms planted to welcome them: Cerinthe,
dropping with honey; Cacalia, a sister flower; Lupine, Larkspur, Sweet
Marjoram, and Thyme--I can taste the Thyme-scented classic honey from
that garden! There was variety of foliage as well as bloom, the dovelike
Lavender, the glaucous Horned Poppy, the glistening Iceplants, the dusty
Rose Campion.

[Illustration: Old Garden at Duck Cove Farm in Narragansett.]

Stately plants grew from the little seed-packets; Hollyhocks, Valerian,
Canterbury Bells, Tree Primroses looked down on the low-growing herbs of
the border; and there were vines of Convolvulus and Honeysuckle. It was
a garden overhung by clouds of perfume from Thyme, Lavender, Sweet Peas,
Pleasant-eyed Pink, and Stock. The garden's mistress looked well after
her household; ample store of savory pot herbs grow among the finer
blossoms.

It was a garden for children to play in. I can see them; little boys
with their hair tied in queues, in knee breeches and flapped coats like
their stately fathers, running races down the garden path, as did the
Van Cortlandt children; and demure little girls in caps and sacques and
aprons, sitting in cubby houses under the Lilac bushes. I know what
flowers they played with and how they played, for they were my
great-grandmothers and grandfathers, and they played exactly what I did,
and sang what I did when I was a child in a garden. And suddenly my
picture expands, as a glow of patriotic interest thrills me in the
thought that in this garden were sheltered and amused the boys of one
hundred and forty years ago, who became the heroes of our American
Revolution; and the girls who were Daughters of Liberty, who spun and
wove and knit for their soldiers, and drank heroically their miserable
Liberty tea. I fear the garden faded when bitter war scourged the land,
when the women turned from their flower beds to the plough and the
field, since their brothers and husbands were on the frontier.

But when that winter of gloom to our country and darkness to the garden
was ended, the flowers bloomed still more brightly, and to the cheerful
seedlings of the old garden is now given perpetual youth and beauty;
they are fated never to grow faded or neglected or sad, but to live and
blossom and smile forever in the sunshine of our hearts through the
magic power of a few printed words in a time-worn old news-sheet.



CHAPTER II

FRONT DOORYARDS

     "There are few of us who cannot remember a front yard garden which
     seemed to us a very paradise in childhood. Whether the house was a
     fine one and the enclosure spacious, or whether it was a small
     house with only a narrow bit of ground in front, the yard was kept
     with care, and was different from the rest of the land
     altogether.... People do not know what they lose when they make way
     with the reserve, the separateness, the sanctity, of the front yard
     of their grandmothers. It is like writing down family secrets for
     any one to read; it is like having everybody call you by your first
     name, or sitting in any pew in church."

     --_Country Byways_, SARAH ORNE JEWETT, 1881.


Old New England villages and small towns and well-kept New England farms
had universally a simple and pleasing form of garden called the front
yard or front dooryard. A few still may be seen in conservative
communities in the New England states and in New York or Pennsylvania. I
saw flourishing ones this summer in Gloucester, Marblehead, and Ipswich.
Even where the front yard was but a narrow strip of land before a tiny
cottage, it was carefully fenced in, with a gate that was kept rigidly
closed and latched. There seemed to be a law which shaped and bounded
the front yard; the side fences extended from the corners of the house
to the front fence on the edge of the road, and thus formed naturally
the guarded parallelogram. Often the fence around the front yard was the
only one on the farm; everywhere else were boundaries of great stone
walls; or if there were rail fences, the front yard fence was the only
painted one. I cannot doubt that the first gardens that our foremothers
had, which were wholly of flowering plants, were front yards, little
enclosures hard won from the forest.

[Illustration: The Flowering Almond under the Window.]

The word yard, not generally applied now to any enclosure of elegant
cultivation, comes from the same root as the word garden. Garth is
another derivative, and the word exists much disguised in orchard. In
the sixteenth century yard was used in formal literature instead of
garden; and later Burns writes of "Eden's bonnie yard, Where yeuthful
lovers first were pair'd."

This front yard was an English fashion derived from the forecourt so
strongly advised by Gervayse Markham (an interesting old English writer
on floriculture and husbandry), and found in front of many a yeoman's
house, and many a more pretentious house as well in Markham's day.
Forecourts were common in England until the middle of the eighteenth
century, and may still be seen. The forecourt gave privacy to the house
even when in the centre of a town. Its readoption is advised with
handsome dwellings in England, where ground-space is limited,--and why
not in America, too?

[Illustration: Peter's Wreath.]

The front yard was sacred to the best beloved, or at any rate the most
honored, garden flowers of the house mistress, and was preserved by its
fences from inroads of cattle, which then wandered at their will and
were not housed, or even enclosed at night. The flowers were often of
scant variety, but were those deemed the gentlefolk of the flower world.
There was a clump of Daffodils and of the Poet's Narcissus in early
spring, and stately Crown Imperial; usually, too, a few scarlet and
yellow single Tulips, and Grape Hyacinths. Later came Phlox in
abundance--the only native American plant,--Canterbury Bells, and ample
and glowing London Pride. Of course there were great plants of white and
blue Day Lilies, with their beautiful and decorative leaves, and purple
and yellow Flower de Luce. A few old-fashioned shrubs always were seen.
By inflexible law there must be a Lilac, which might be the aristocratic
Persian Lilac. A Syringa, a flowering Currant, or Strawberry bush made
sweet the front yard in spring, and sent wafts of fragrance into the
house-windows. Spindling, rusty Snowberry bushes were by the gate, and
Snowballs also, or our native Viburnums. Old as they seem, the Spiræas
and Deutzias came to us in the nineteenth century from Japan; as did the
flowering Quinces and Cherries. The pink Flowering Almond dates back to
the oldest front yards (see page 39), and Peter's Wreath certainly seems
an old settler and is found now in many front yards that remain. The
lovely full-flowered shrub of Peter's Wreath, on page 41, which was
photographed for this book, was all that remained of a once-loved front
yard.

The glory of the front yard was the old-fashioned early red "Piny,"
cultivated since the days of Pliny. I hear people speaking of it with
contempt as a vulgar flower,--flaunting is the conventional derogatory
adjective,--but I glory in its flaunting. The modern varieties, of every
tint from white through flesh color, coral, pink, ruby color, salmon,
and even yellow, to deep red, are as beautiful as Roses. Some are
sweet-scented; and they have no thorns, and their foliage is ever
perfect, so I am sure the Rose is jealous.

I am as fond of the Peony as are the Chinese, among whom it is flower
queen. It is by them regarded as an aristocratic flower; and in old New
England towns fine Peony plants in an old garden are a pretty good
indication of the residence of what Dr. Holmes called New England
Brahmins. In Salem and Portsmouth are old "Pinys" that have a hundred
blossoms at a time--a glorious sight. A Japanese name is
"Flower-of-prosperity"; another name, "Plant-of-twenty-days," because
its glories last during that period of time.

[Illustration: Peonies in a Salem Garden.]

Rhododendrons are to the modern garden what the Peony was in the
old-fashioned flower border; and I am glad the modern flower cannot
drive the old one out. They are equally varied in coloring, but the
Peony is a much hardier plant, and I like it far better. It has no
blights, no bugs, no diseases, no running out, no funguses; it
doesn't have to be covered in winter, and it will bloom in the shade. No
old-time or modern garden is to me fully furnished without Peonies; see
how fair they are in this Salem garden. I would grow them in some corner
of the garden for their splendid healthy foliage if they hadn't a
blossom. The _Pæonia tenuifolia_ in particular has exquisite feathery
foliage. The great Tree Peony, which came from China, grows eight feet
or more in height, and is a triumph of the flower world; but it was not
known to the oldest front yards. Some of the Tree Peonies have finely
displayed leafage of a curious and very gratifying tint of green. Miss
Jekyll, with her usual felicity, compares its blue cast with pinkish
shading to the vari-colored metal alloys of the Japanese bronze
workers--a striking comparison. The single Peonies of recent years are
of great beauty, and will soon be esteemed here as in China.

Not the least of the Peony's charms is its exceeding trimness and
cleanliness. The plants always look like a well-dressed, well-shod,
well-gloved girl of birth, breeding, and of equal good taste and good
health; a girl who can swim, and skate, and ride, and play golf. Every
inch has a well-set, neat, cared-for look which the shape and growth of
the plant keeps from seeming artificial or finicky. See the white Peony
on page 44; is it not a seemly, comely thing, as well as a beautiful
one?

No flower can be set in our garden of more distinct antiquity than the
Peony; the Greeks believed it to be of divine origin. A green arbor of
the fourteenth century in England is described as set around with
Gillyflower, Tansy, Gromwell, and "Pyonys powdered ay betwene"--just as
I like to see Peonies set to this day, "powdered" everywhere between all
the other flowers of the border.

[Illustration: White Peonies.]

I am pleased to note of the common flowers of the New England front
yard, that they are no new things; they are nearly all Elizabethan of
date--many are older still. Lord Bacon in his essay on gardens names
many of them, Crocus, Tulip, Hyacinth, Daffodil, Flower de Luce, double
Peony, Lilac, Lily of the Valley.

A favorite flower was the yellow garden Lily, the Lemon Lily,
_Hemerocallis_, when it could be kept from spreading. Often its
unbounded luxuriance exiled it from the front yard to the kitchen
dooryard as befell the clump shown facing page 48. Its pretty
old-fashioned name was Liricon-fancy, given, I am told, in England to
the Lily of the Valley. I know no more satisfying sight than a good bank
of these Lemon Lilies in full flower. Below Flatbush there used to be a
driveway leading to an old Dutch house, set at regular intervals with
great clumps of Lemon Lilies, and their full bloom made them glorious.
Their power of satisfactory adaptation in our modern formal garden is
happily shown facing page 76, in the lovely garden of Charles E. Mather,
Esq., in Haverford, Pennsylvania.

The time of fullest inflorescence of the nineteenth century front yard
was when Phlox and Tiger Lilies bloomed; but the pinkish-orange colors
of the latter (the oddest reds of any flower tints) blended most vilely
and rampantly with the crimson-purple of the Phlox; and when London
Pride joined with its glowing scarlet, the front yard fairly ached.
Nevertheless, an adaptation of that front yard bloom can be most
effective in a garden border, when white Phlox only is planted, and the
Tiger Lily or cultivated stalks of our wild nodding Lily rise above the
white trusses of bloom. These wild Lilies grow very luxuriantly in the
garden, often towering above our heads and forming great candelabra
bearing two score or more blooms. It is no easy task to secure their
deep-rooted rhizomes in the meadow. I know a young man who won his
sweetheart by the patience and assiduity with which he dug for her all
one broiling morning to secure for her the coveted Lily roots, and
collapsed with mild sunstroke at the finish. Her gratitude and remorse
were equal factors in his favor.

The Tiger Lily is usually thought upon as a truly old-fashioned flower,
a veritable antique; it is a favorite of artists to place as an
accessory in their colonial gardens, and of authors for their
flower-beds of Revolutionary days, but it was not known either in formal
garden or front yard, until after "the days when we lived under the
King." The bulbs were first brought to England from Eastern Asia in 1804
by Captain Kirkpatrick of the East India Company's Service, and shared
with the Japan Lily the honor of being the first Eastern Lilies
introduced into European gardens. A few years ago an old gentleman, Mr.
Isaac Pitman, who was then about eighty-five years of age, told me that
he recalled distinctly when Tiger Lilies first appeared in our gardens,
and where he first saw them growing in Boston. So instead of being an
old-time flower, or even an old-comer from the Orient, it is one of the
novelties of this century. How readily has it made itself at home, and
even wandered wild down our roadsides!

The two simple colors of Phlox of the old-time front yard, white and
crimson-purple, are now augmented by tints of salmon, vermilion, and
rose. I recall with special pleasure the profuse garden decoration at
East Hampton, Long Island, of a pure cherry-colored Phlox, generally a
doubtful color to me, but there so associated with the white blooms of
various other plants, and backed by a high hedge covered solidly with
blossoming Honeysuckle, that it was wonderfully successful.

To other members of the Phlox family, all natives of our own continent,
the old front yard owed much; the Moss Pink sometimes crowded out both
Grass and its companion the Periwinkle; it is still found in our
gardens, and bountifully also in our fields; either in white or pink, it
is one of the satisfactions of spring, and its cheerful little blossom
is of wonderful use in many waste places. An old-fashioned bloom, the
low-growing _Phlox amoena_, with its queerly fuzzy leaves and bright
crimson blossoms, was among the most distinctly old-fashioned flowers of
the front yard. It was tolerated rather than cultivated, as was its
companion, the Arabis or Rock Cress--both crowding, monopolizing
creatures. I remember well how they spread over the beds and up the
grass banks in my mother's garden, how sternly they were uprooted, in
spite of the pretty name of the Arabis--"Snow in Summer."

Sometimes the front yard path had edgings of sweet single or lightly
double white or tinted Pinks, which were not deemed as choice as Box
edgings. Frequently large Box plants clipped into simple and natural
shapes stood at the side of the doorstep, usually in the home of the
well-to-do. A great shell might be on either side of the door-sill, if
there chanced to be seafaring men-folk who lived or visited under the
roof-tree. Annuals were few in number; sturdy old perennial plants of
many years' growth were the most honored dwellers in the front yard,
true representatives of old families. The Roses were few and poor, for
there was usually some great tree just without the gate, an Elm or
Larch, whose shadow fell far too near and heavily for the health of
Roses. Sometimes there was a prickly semidouble yellow Rose, called by
us a Scotch Rose, a Sweet Brier, or a rusty-flowered white Rose,
similar, though inferior, to the Madame Plantier. A new fashion of
trellises appeared in the front yard about sixty years ago, and crimson
Boursault Roses climbed up them as if by magic.

One marked characteristic of the front yard was its lack of weeds; few
sprung up, none came to seed-time; the enclosure was small, and it was a
mark of good breeding to care for it well. Sometimes, however, the earth
was covered closely under shrubs and plants with the cheerful little
Ladies' Delights, and they blossomed in the chinks of the bricked path
and under the Box edges. Ambrosia, too, grew everywhere, but these were
welcome--they were not weeds.

Our old New England houses were suited in color and outline to their
front yards as to our landscape. Lowell has given in verse a good
description of the kind of New England house that always had a front
dooryard of flowers.

[Illustration: Yellow Day Lilies.]

                        "On a grass-green swell
    That towards the south with sweet concessions fell,
    It dwelt retired, and half had grown to be
    As aboriginal as rock or tree.
    It nestled close to earth, and seemed to brood
    O'er homely thoughts in a half-conscious mood.
    If paint it e'er had known, it knew no more
    Than yellow lichens spattered thickly o'er
    That soft lead gray, less dark beneath the eaves,
    Which the slow brush of wind and weather leaves.
    The ample roof sloped backward to the ground
    And vassal lean-tos gathered thickly round,
    Patched on, as sire or son had felt the need.
    But the great chimney was the central thought.

           *       *       *       *       *

    It rose broad-shouldered, kindly, debonair,
    Its warm breath whitening in the autumn air."

Sarah Orne Jewett, in the plaint of _A Mournful Villager_, has drawn a
beautiful and sympathetic picture of these front yards, and she deplores
their passing. I mourn them as I do every fenced-in or hedged-in garden
enclosure. The sanctity and reserve of these front yards of our
grandmothers was somewhat emblematic of woman's life of that day: it was
restricted, and narrowed to a small outlook and monotonous likeness to
her neighbor's; but it was a life easily satisfied with small pleasures,
and it was comely and sheltered and carefully kept, and pleasant to the
home household; and these were no mean things.

The front yard was never a garden of pleasure; children could not play
in these precious little enclosed plots, and never could pick the
flowers--front yard and flowers were both too much respected. Only
formal visitors entered therein, visitors who opened the gate and closed
it carefully behind them, and knocked slowly with the brass knocker, and
were ushered in through the ceremonious front door and the little
ill-contrived entry, to the stiff fore-room or parlor. The parson and
his wife entered that portal, and sometimes a solemn would-be
sweetheart, or the guests at a tea party. It can be seen that every one
who had enough social dignity to have a front door and a parlor, and
visitors thereto, also desired a front yard with flowers as the external
token of that honored standing. It was like owning a pew in church; you
could be a Christian without having a pew, but not a respected one.
Sometimes when there was a "vendue" in the house, reckless folk opened
the front gate, and even tied it back. I attended one where the
auctioneer boldly set the articles out through the windows under the
Lilac bushes and even on the precious front yard plants. A vendue and a
funeral were the only gatherings in country communities when the entire
neighborhood came freely to an old homestead, when all were at liberty
to enter the front dooryard. At the sad time when a funeral took place
in the house, the front gate was fastened widely open, and solemn
men-neighbors, in Sunday garments, stood rather uncomfortably and
awkwardly around the front yard as the women passed into the house of
mourning and were seated within. When the sad services began, the men
too entered and stood stiffly by the door. Then through the front door,
down the mossy path of the front yard, and through the open front gate
was borne the master, the mistress, and then their children, and
children's children. All are gone from our sight, many from our memory,
and often too from our ken, while the Lilacs and Peonies and Flowers de
Luce still blossom and flourish with perennial youth, and still claim us
as friends.

At the side of the house or by the kitchen door would be seen many
thrifty blooms: poles of Scarlet Runners, beds of Portulacas and
Petunias, rows of Pinks, bunches of Marigolds, level expanses of Sweet
Williams, banks of cheerful Nasturtiums, tangles of Morning-glories and
long rows of stately Hollyhocks, which were much admired, but were
seldom seen in the front yard, which was too shaded for them. Weeds grew
here at the kitchen door in a rank profusion which was hard to conquer;
but here the winter's Fuchsias or Geraniums stood in flower pots in the
sunlight, and the tubs of Oleanders and Agapanthus Lilies.

The flowers of the front yard seemed to bear a more formal, a "company"
aspect; conventionality rigidly bound them. Bachelor's Buttons might
grow there by accident, but Marigolds never were tolerated,--they were
pot herbs. Sunflowers were not even permitted in the flower beds at the
side of the house unless these stretched down to the vegetable beds.
Outside the front yard would be a rioting and cheerful growth of pink
Bouncing Bet, or of purple Honesty, and tall straggling plants of a
certain small flowered, ragged Campanula, and a white Mallow with
flannelly leaves which, doubtless, aspired to inhabit the sacred bounds
of the front yard (and probably dwelt there originally), and often were
gladly permitted to grow in side gardens or kitchen dooryards, but which
were regarded as interloping weeds by the guardians of the front yard,
and sternly exiled. Sometimes a bed of these orange-tawny Day Lilies
which had once been warmly welcomed from the Orient, and now were not
wanted anywhere by any one, kept company with the Bouncing Bet, and
stretched cheerfully down the roadside.

[Illustration: Orange Day Lilies.]

When the fences disappeared with the night rambles of the cows, the
front yards gradually changed character; the tender blooms vanished,
but the tall shrubs and the Peonies and Flower de Luce sturdily grew and
blossomed, save where that dreary destroyer of a garden crept in--the
desire for a lawn. The result was then a meagre expanse of poorly kept
grass, with no variety, color, or change,--neither lawn nor front yard.
It is ever a pleasure to me when driving in a village street or a
country road to find one of these front yards still enclosed, or even to
note in front of many houses the traces of a past front yard still
plainly visible in the flourishing old-fashioned plants of many years'
growth.



CHAPTER III

VARIED GARDENS FAIR

    "And all without were walkes and alleys dight
     With divers trees enrang'd in even rankes;
     And here and there were pleasant arbors pight
     And shadie seats, and sundry flowering bankes
     To sit and rest the walkers wearie shankes."

    --_Faerie Queene_, EDMUND SPENSER.


Many simple forms of gardens were common besides the enclosed front
yard; and as wealth poured in on the colonies, the beautiful gardens so
much thought of in England were copied here, especially by wealthy
merchants, as is noted in the first chapter of this book, and by the
provincial governors and their little courts; the garden of Governor
Hutchinson, in Milford, Massachusetts, is stately still and little
changed.

[Illustration: Preston Garden.]

English gardens, at the time of the settlement of America, had passed
beyond the time when, as old Gervayse Markham said, "Of all the best
Ornaments used in our English gardens, Knots and Mazes are the most
ancient." A maze was a placing of low garden hedges of Privet, Box, or
Hyssop, usually set in concentric circles which enclosed paths, that
opened into each other by such artful contrivance that it was difficult
to find one's way in and out through these bewildering paths. "When well
formed, of a man's height, your friend may perhaps wander in gathering
berries as he cannot recover himself without your help."

The maze was not a thing of beauty, it was "nothing for sweetness and
health," to use Lord Bacon's words; it was only a whimsical notion of
gardening amusement, pleasing to a generation who liked to have hidden
fountains in their gardens to sprinkle suddenly the unwary. I doubt if
any mazes were ever laid out in America, though I have heard vague
references to one in Virginia. Knots had been the choice adornment of
the Tudor garden. They were not wholly a thing of the past when we had
here our first gardens, and they have had a distinct influence on garden
laying-out till our own day.

An Elizabethan poet wrote:--

    "My Garden sweet, enclosed with walles strong,
     Embanked with benches to sitt and take my rest;
     The knots so enknotted it cannot be expressed
     The arbores and alyes so pleasant and so dulce."

These garden knots were not flower beds edged with Box or Rosemary, with
narrow walks between the edgings, as were the parterres of our later
formal gardens. They were square, ornamental beds, each of which had a
design set in some close-growing, trim plant, clipped flatly across the
top, and the design filled in with colored earth or sand; and with no
dividing paths. Elaborate models in complicated geometrical pattern were
given in gardeners' books, for setting out these knots, which were first
drawn on paper and subdivided into squares; then the square of earth was
similarly divided, and set out by precise rules. William Lawson, the
Izaak Walton of gardeners, gave, as a result of forty-eight years of
experience, some very attractive directions for large "knottys" with
different "thrids" of flowers, each of one color, which made the design
appear as if "made of diverse colored ribands." One of his knots, from
_A New Orchard and Garden_ 1618, being a garden fashion in vogue when my
forbears came to America, I have chosen as a device for the dedication
of this book, thinking it, in Lawson's words, "so comely, and orderly
placed, and so intermingled, that one looking thereon cannot but
wonder." His knots had significant names, such as "Cinkfoyle; Flower de
Luce; Trefoyle; Frette; Lozenge; Groseboowe; Diamond; Ovall; Maze."

Gervayse Markham gives various knot patterns to be bordered with Box cut
eighteen inches broad at the bottom and kept flat at the top--with the
ever present thought for the fine English linen. He has a varied list of
circular, diamond-shaped, mixed, and "single impleated knots."

[Illustration: Box-edged Parterre at Hampton.]

These garden knots were mildly sneered at by Lord Bacon; he said, "they
be but toys, you see as good sights many times in tarts;" still I think
they must have been quaint, and I should like to see a garden laid out
to-day in these pretty Elizabethan knots, set in the old patterns, and
with the old flowers. Nor did Parkinson and other practical gardeners
look with favor on "curiously knotted gardens," though all gave designs
to "satisfy the desires" of their readers. "Open knots" were preferred;
these were made with borders of lead, tiles, boards, or even the
shankbones of sheep, "which will become white and prettily grace out the
garden,"--a fashion I saw a few years ago around flower beds in
Charlton, Massachusetts. "Round whitish pebble stones" for edgings were
Parkinson's own invention, and proud he was of it, simple as it seems to
us. These open knots were then filled in, but "thin and sparingly," with
"English Flowers"; or with "Out-Landish Flowers," which were flowers
fetched from foreign parts.

The parterre succeeded the knot, and has been used in gardens till the
present day. Parterres were of different combinations, "well-contriv'd
and ingenious." The "parterre of cut-work" was a Box-bordered formal
flower garden, of which the garden at Hampton, Maryland (pages 57, 60,
and 95), is a striking and perfect example; also the present garden at
Mount Vernon (opposite page 12), wherein carefully designed flower beds,
edged with Box, are planted with variety of flowers, and separated by
paths. Sometimes, of old, fine white sand was carefully strewn on the
earth under the flowers. The "parterre à l'Anglaise" had an elaborate
design of vari-shaped beds edged with Box, but enclosing grass instead
of flowers. In the "parterre de broderie" the Box-edged beds were filled
with vari-colored earths and sands. Black earth could be made of iron
filings; red earth of pounded tiles. This last-named parterre differed
from a knot solely in having the paths among the beds. The _Retir'd
Gard'ner_ gives patterns for ten parterres.

The main walks which formed the basis of the garden design had in
ancient days a singular name--forthrights; these were ever to be
"spacious and fair," and neatly spread with colored sands or gravel.
Parkinson says, "The fairer and larger your allies and walks be the more
grace your garden should have, the lesse harm the herbes and flowers
shall receive, and the better shall your weeders cleanse both the bed
and the allies." "Covert-walks," or "shade-alleys," had trees meeting in
an arch over them.

A curious term, found in references to old American flower beds and
garden designs, as well as English ones, is the "goose-foot." A
"goose-foot" consisted of three flower beds or three avenues radiating
rather closely together from a small semicircle; and in some places and
under some conditions it is still a charming and striking design, as you
stand at the heel of the design and glance down the three avenues.

[Illustration: Parterre and Clipped Box at Hampton.]

In all these flower beds Box was the favorite edging, but many other
trim edgings have been used in parterres and borders by those who love
not Box. Bricks were used, and boards; an edging of boards was not as
pretty as one of flowers, but it kept the beds trimly in place; a garden
thus edged is shown on page 63 which realizes this description of the
pleasure-garden in the _Scots Gard'ner_: "The Bordures box'd and planted
with variety of fine Flowers orderly Intermixt, Weeded, Mow'd, Rolled
and Kept all Clean and Handsome." Germander and Rosemary were old
favorites for edging. I have seen snowy edgings of Candy-tuft and Sweet
Alyssum, setting off well the vari-colored blooms of the border. One of
Sweet Alyssum is shown on page 256. Ageratum is a satisfactory edging.
Thyme is of ancient use, but rather unmanageable; one garden owner has
set his edgings of Moneywort, otherwise Creeping-jenny. I should be loth
to use Moneywort as an edging; I would not care for its yellow flowers
in that place, though I find them very kindly and cheerful on dull banks
or in damp spots, under the drip of trees and eaves, or better still,
growing gladly in the flower pot of the poor. I fear if Moneywort
thrived enough to make a close, suitable edging, that it would thrive
too well, and would swamp the borders with its underground runners. The
name Moneywort is akin to its older title Herb-twopence, or Twopenny
Grass. Turner (1548) says the latter name was given from the leaves all
"standying together of ech syde of the stalke lyke pence." The striped
leaves of one variety of Day Lily make pretty edgings. Those from a
Salem garden are here shown.

We often see in neglected gardens in New England, or by the roadside
where no gardens now exist, a dense gray-green growth of Lavender
Cotton, "the female plant of Southernwood," which was brought here by
the colonists and here will ever remain. It was used as an edging, and
is very pretty when it can be controlled. I know two or three old
gardens where it is thus employed.

Sometimes in driving along a country road you are startled by a
concentration of foliage and bloom, a glimpse of a tiny farm-house, over
which are clustered and heaped, and round which are gathered, close
enough to be within touch from door or window, flowers in a crowded
profusion ample to fill a large flower bed. Such is the mass of June
bloom at Wilbur Farm in old Narragansett (page 290)--a home of flowers
and bees. Often by the side of the farm-house is a little garden or
flower bed containing some splendid examples of old-time flowers. The
splendid "running ribbons" of Snow Pinks, on page 292, are in another
Narragansett garden that is a bower of blossoms. Thrift has been a
common edging since the days of the old herbalist Gerarde.

    "We have a bright little garden, down on a sunny slope,
     Bordered with sea-pinks and sweet with the songs and blossoms of
       hope."

The garden of Secretary William H. Seward (in Auburn, New York), so
beloved by him in his lifetime, is shown on page 146 and facing page
134. In this garden some beds are edged with Periwinkle, others with
Polyanthus, and some with Ivy which Mr. Seward brought from Abbotsford
in 1836. This garden was laid out in its present form in 1816, and the
sun-dial was then set in its place. The garden has been enlarged, but
not changed, the old "George II. Roses" and York and Lancaster Roses
still grow and blossom, and the lovely arches of single Michigan Roses
still flourish. In it are many flowers and fruits unusual in America,
among them a bed of Alpine strawberries.

King James I. of Scotland thus wrote of the garden which he saw from his
prison window in Windsor Castle:--

    "A Garden fair, and in the Corners set
     An Herbere greene, with Wandis long and small
     Railit about."

These wandis were railings which were much used before Box edgings
became universal. Sometimes they were painted the family colors, as at
Hampton Court they were green and white, the Tudor colors. These
"wandis" still are occasionally seen. In the Berkshire Hills I drove
past an old garden thus trimly enclosed in little beds. The rails were
painted a dull light brown, almost the color of some tree trunks; and
Larkspur, Foxglove, and other tall flowers crowded up to them and hung
their heads over the top rails as children hang over a fence or a gate.
I thought it a neat, trim fashion, not one I would care for in my own
garden, yet not to be despised in the garden of another.

[Illustration: Garden of Mrs. Mabel Osgood Wright, Waldstein, Fairfield,
Conn.]

A garden enclosed! so full of suggestion are these simple words to me,
so constant is my thought that an ideal flower garden must be an
enclosed garden, that I look with regret upon all beautiful flower beds
that are not enclosed, not shut in a frame of green hedges, or high
walls, or vine-covered fences and dividing trees. It may be selfish to
hide so much beauty from general view; but until our dwelling-houses are
made with uncurtained glass walls, that all the world may see
everything, let those who have ample grounds enclose at least a portion
for the sight of friends only.

In the heart of Worcester there is a fine old mansion with ample lawns,
great trees, and flowering shrubs that all may see over the garden fence
as they pass by. Flowers bloom lavishly at one side of the house; and
the thoughtless stroller never knows that behind the house, stretching
down between the rear gardens and walls of neighboring homes, is a long
enclosure of loveliness--sequestered, quiet, full of refreshment to the
spirits. We think of the "Old Garden" of Margaret Deland:--

                          "The Garden glows
    And 'gainst its walls the city's heart still beats.
    And out from it each summer wind that blows
    Carries some sweetness to the tired streets!"

[Illustration: Shaded Walk in Garden of Miss Harriet P. F. Burnside,
Worcester, Massachusetts.]

There is a shaded walk in this garden which is a thing of solace and
content to all who tread its pathway; a bit is shown opposite this page,
overhung with shrubs of Lilac, Syringa, Strawberry Bush, Flowering
Currant, all the old treelike things, so fair-flowered and sweet-scented
in spring, so heavy-leaved and cool-shadowing in midsummer: what
pleasure would there be in this shaded walk if this garden were
separated from the street only by stone curbing or a low rail? And there
is an old sun-dial too in this enclosed garden! I fear the street imps
of a crowded city would quickly destroy the old monitor were it in an
open garden; and they would make sad havoc, too, of the Roses and
Larkspurs (page 65) so tenderly reared by the two sisters who
together loved and cared for this "garden enclosed." Great trees are at
the edges of this garden, and the line of tall shrubs is carried out by
the lavish vines and Roses on fences and walls. Within all this border
of greenery glow the clustered gems of rare and beautiful flowers, till
the whole garden seems like some rich jewel set purposely to be worn in
honor over the city's heart--a clustered jewel, not one to be displayed
carelessly and heedlessly.

[Illustration: Roses and Larkspur in the Garden of Miss Harriet P. F.
Burnside, Worcester, Massachusetts.]

Salem houses and gardens are like Salem people. Salem houses present to
you a serene and dignified front, gracious yet reserved, not thrusting
forward their choicest treasures to the eyes of passing strangers; but
behind the walls of the houses, enclosed from public view, lie cherished
gardens, full of the beauty of life. Such, in their kind, are Salem
folk.

I know no more speaking, though silent, criticism than those old Salem
gardens afford upon the modern fashion in American towns of pulling down
walls and fences, removing the boundaries of lawns, and living in full
view of every passer-by, in a public grassy park. It is pleasant, I
suppose, for the passer-by; but homes are not made for passers-by. Old
Salem gardens lie behind the house, out of sight--you have to hunt for
them. They are terraced down if they stretch to the water-side; they are
enclosed with hedges, and set behind high vine-covered fences, and low
out-buildings; and planted around with great trees: thus they give to
each family that secluded centring of family life which is the very
essence and being of a home. I sat through a June afternoon in a Salem
garden whose gate is within a stone's throw of a great theatre, but a
few hundred feet from lines of electric cars and a busy street of trade,
scarce farther from lines of active steam cars, and with a great power
house for a close neighbor. Yet we were as secluded, as embowered in
vines and trees, with beehives and rabbit hutches and chicken coops for
happy children at the garden's end, as truly in beautiful privacy, as if
in the midst of a hundred acres. Could the sense of sound be as
sheltered by the enclosing walls as the sense of sight, such a garden
were a city paradise.

[Illustration: The Homely Back Yard.]

There is scant regularity in shape in Salem gardens; there is no search
for exact dimensions. Little narrow strips of flower beds run down from
the main garden in any direction or at any angle where the fortunate
owner can buy a few feet of land. Salem gardens do not change with the
whims of fancy, either in the shape or the planting. A few new flowers
find place there, such as the _Anemone Japonica_ and the Japanese
shrubs; for they are akin in flower sentiment, and consort well with the
old inhabitants. There are many choice flowers and fruits in these
gardens. In the garden of the Manning homestead (opposite page 112)
grows a flourishing Fig tree, and other rare fruits; for fifty years ago
this garden was known as the Pomological Garden. It is fitting it should
be the home of two Robert Mannings--both well-known names in the history
of horticulture in Massachusetts.

[Illustration: Covered Well at Home of Bishop Berkeley, Whitehall, Rhode
Island.]

The homely back yard of an old house will often possess a trim and
blooming flower border cutting off the close approach of the vegetable
beds (see opposite page 66). These back yards, with the covered Grape
arbors, the old pumps, and bricked paths, are cheerful, wholesome
places, generally of spotless cleanliness and weedless flower beds. I
know one such back yard where the pump was the first one set in the
town, and children were taken there from a distance to see the wondrous
sight. Why are all the old appliances for raising water so pleasing? A
well-sweep is of course picturesque, with its long swinging pole, and
you seem to feel the refreshment and purity of the water when you see it
brought up from such a distance; and an old roofed well with bucket,
such as this one still in use at Bishop Berkeley's Rhode Island home is
ever a homelike and companionable object. But a pump is really an
awkward-looking piece of mechanism, and hasn't a vestige of beauty in
its lines; yet it has something satisfying about it; it may be its
domesticity, its homeliness, its simplicity. We have gained infinitely
in comfort in our perfect water systems and lavish water of to-day, but
we have lost the gratification of the senses which came from the sight
and sound of freshly drawn or running water. Much of the delight in a
fountain comes, not only from the beauty of its setting and the graceful
shape of its jets, but simply from the sight of the water.

Sometimes a graceful and picturesque growth of vines will beautify gate
posts, a fence, or a kitchen doorway in a wonderfully artistic and
pleasing fashion. On page 70 is shown the sheltered doorway of the
kitchen of a fine old stone farm-house called, from its hedges of Osage
Orange, "The Hedges." It stands in the village of New Hope, County
Bucks, Pennsylvania. In 1718 the tract of which this farm of over two
hundred acres is but a portion was deeded by the Penns to their kinsman,
the direct ancestor of the present owner, John Schofield Williams, Esq.
This is but one of the scores of examples I know where the same estate
has been owned in one family for nearly two centuries, sometimes even
for two hundred and fifty years; and in several cases where the deed
from the Indian sachem to the first colonist is the only deed there has
ever been, the estate having never changed ownership save by direct
bequest. I have three such cases among my own kinsfolk.

[Illustration: Kitchen Doorway and Porch at the Hedges.]

Another form of garden and mode of planting which was in vogue in the
"early thirties" is shown facing page 92. This pillared house and the
stiff garden are excellent types; they are at Napanock, County Ulster,
New York. Such a house and grounds indicated the possession of
considerable wealth when they were built and laid out, for both were
costly. The semicircular driveway swept up to the front door, dividing
off Box-edged parterres like those of the day of Queen Anne. These
parterres were sparsely filled, the sunnier beds being set with Spring
bulbs; and there were always the yellow Day Lilies somewhere in the
flower beds, and the white and blue Day Lilies, the common Funkias.
Formal urns were usually found in the parterres and sometimes a great
cone or ball of clipped Box. These gardens had some universal details,
they always had great Snowball bushes, and Syringas, and usually white
Roses, chiefly Madame Plantiers; the piazza trellises had old climbing
Roses, the Queen of the Prairie or Boursault Roses. These gardens are
often densely overshadowed with great evergreen trees grown from the
crowded planting of seventy years ago; none are cut down, and if one
dies its trunk still stands, entwined with Woodbine. I don't know that
we would lay out and plant just such a garden to-day, any more than we
would build exactly such a house; but I love to see both, types of the
refinement of their day, and I deplore any changes. An old Southern
house of allied form is shown on page 72, and its garden facing page
70,--Greenwood, in Thomasville, Georgia; but of course this garden has
far more lavish and rich bloom. The decoration of this house is most
interesting--a conventionalized Magnolia, and the garden is surrounded
with splendid Magnolias and Crape Myrtles. The border edgings in this
garden are lines of bricks set overlapping in a curious manner. They
serve to keep the beds firmly in place, and the bricks are covered over
with an inner edging of thrifty Violets. Curious tubs and boxes for
plants are made of bricks set solidly in mortar. The garden is glorious
with Roses, which seem to consort so well with Magnolias and Violets.

[Illustration: Greenwood, Thomasville, Georgia.]

I love a Dutch garden, "circummured" with brick. By a Dutch garden, I
mean a small garden, oblong or square, sunk about three or four feet in
a lawn--so that when surrounded by brick walls they seem about two feet
high when viewed outside, but are five feet or more high from within the
garden. There are brick or stone steps in the middle of each of the four
walls by which to descend to the garden, which may be all planted with
flowers, but preferably should have set borders of flowers with a
grass-plot in the centre. On either side of the steps should be brick
posts surmounted by Dutch pots with plants, or by balls of stone.
Planted with bulbs, these gardens in their flowering time are, as old
Parkinson said, a "perfect fielde of delite." We have very pretty Dutch
gardens, so called, in America, but their chief claim to being Dutch is
that they are set with bulbs, and have Delft or other earthen pots or
boxes for formal plants or shrubs.

Sunken gardens should be laid out under the supervision of an
intelligent landscape architect; and even then should have a reason for
being sunken other than a whim or increase in costliness. I visited last
summer a beautiful estate which had a deep sunken Dutch garden with a
very low wall. It lay at the right side of the house at a little
distance; and beyond it, in full view of the peristyle, extended the
only squalid objects in the horizon. A garden on the level, well
planted, with distant edging of shrubbery, would have hidden every ugly
blemish and been a thing of beauty. As it is now, there can be seen from
the house nothing of the Dutch garden but a foot or two of the tops of
several clipped trees, looking like very poor, stunted shrubs. I must
add that this garden, with its low wall, has been a perfect man-trap. It
has been evident that often, on dark nights, workmen who have sought a
"short cut" across the grounds have fallen over the shallow wall, to the
gardener's sorrow, and the bulbs' destruction. Once, at dawn, the
unhappy gardener found an ancient horse peacefully feeding among the
Hyacinths and Tulips. He said he didn't like the grass in his new
pasture nor the sudden approach to it; that he was too old for such
new-fangled ways. I know another estate near Philadelphia, where the
sinking of a garden revealed an exquisite view of distant hills; such a
garden has reason for its form.

[Illustration: Roses and Violets in Garden at Greenwood, Thomasville,
Georgia.]

We have had few water-gardens in America till recent years; and there
are some drawbacks to their presence near our homes, as I was vividly
aware when I visited one in a friend's garden early in May this year.
Water-hyacinths were even then in bloom, and two or three exquisite
Lilies; and the Lotus leaves rose up charmingly from the surface of the
tank. Less charmingly rose up also a cloud of vicious mosquitoes, who
greeted the newcomer with a warm chorus of welcome. As our newspapers at
that time were filled with plans for the application of kerosene to
every inch of water-surface, such as I saw in these Lily tanks,
accompanied by magnified drawings of dreadful malaria-bearing insects, I
fled from them, preferring to resign both _Nymphæa_ and _Anopheles_.

[Illustration: Water Garden at Sylvester Manor, Shelter Island, New
York.]

After the introduction to English folk of that wonder of the world, the
Victoria Regia, it was cultivated by enthusiastic flower lovers in
America, and was for a time the height of the floral fashion. Never has
the glorious Victoria Regia and scarce any other flower been described
as by Colonel Higginson, a wonderful, a triumphant word picture. I was a
very little child when I saw that same lovely Lily in leaf and flower
that he called his neighbor; but I have never forgotten it, nor how
afraid I was of it; for some one wished to lift me upon the great leaf
to see whether it would hold me above the water. We had heard that the
native children in South America floated on the leaves. I objected to
this experiment with vehemence; but my mother noted that I was no more
frightened than was the faithful gardener at the thought of the possible
strain on his precious plant of the weight of a sturdy child of six or
seven years. I have seen the Victoria Regia leaves of late years, but
I seldom hear of its blossoming; but alas! we take less heed of the
blooming of unusual plants than we used to thirty or forty years ago.
Then people thronged a greenhouse to see a new Rose or Camellia
Japonica; even a Night-blooming Cereus attracted scores of visitors to
any house where it blossomed. And a fine Cactus of one of our neighbors
always held a crowded reception when in rich bloom. It was a part of the
"Flower Exchange," an interest all had for the beautiful flowers of
others, a part of the old neighborly life.

[Illustration: Terrace Wall at Drumthwacket, Princeton, New Jersey.]

Within the past five or six years there have been laid out in America,
at the country seats of men of wealth and culture, a great number of
formal gardens,--Italian gardens, some of them are worthily named, as
they have been shaped and planted in conformity with the best laws and
rules of Italian garden-making--that special art. On this page is shown
the finely proportioned terrace wall, and opposite the upper terrace and
formal garden of Drumthwacket, Princeton, New Jersey, the country seat
of M. Taylor Pyne, Esq. This garden affords a good example of the accord
which should ever exist between the garden and its surroundings. The
name, Drumthwacket--a wooded hill--is a most felicitous one; the place
is part of the original grant to William Penn, and has remained in the
possession of one family until late in the nineteenth century. From this
beautifully wooded hill the terrace-garden overlooks the farm buildings,
the linked ponds, the fertile fields and meadows; a serene pastoral
view, typical of the peaceful landscape of that vicinity--yet it was
once the scene of fiercest battle. For the Drumthwacket farm is the
battle-ground of that important encounter of 1777 between the British
and the Continental troops, known as the Battle of Princeton, the
turning point of the Revolution, in which Washington was victorious. To
this day, cannon ball and grape shot are dug up in the Drumthwacket
fields. The Lodge built in 1696 was, at Washington's request, the
shelter for the wounded British officers; and the Washington Spring in
front of the Lodge furnished water to Washington. The group of trees on
the left of the upper pond marks the sheltered and honored graves of the
British soldiers, where have slept for one hundred and twenty-four
years those killed at this memorable encounter. If anything could cement
still more closely the affections of the English and American peoples,
it would be the sight of the tenderly sheltered graves of British
soldiers in America, such as these at Drumthwacket and other historic
fields on our Eastern coast. At Concord how faithfully stand the
sentinel pines over the British dead of the Battle of Concord, who thus
repose, shut out from the tread of heedless feet yet ever present for
the care and thought of Concord people.

[Illustration: Garden at Avonwood Court, Haverford, Pennsylvania,
Country-seat of Charles E. Mather, Esq.]

We have older Italian gardens. Some of them are of great loveliness,
among them the unique and dignified garden of Hollis H. Hunnewell, Esq.,
but many of the newer ones, even in their few summers, have become of
surprising grace and beauty, and their exquisite promise causes a glow
of delight to every garden lover. I have often tried to analyze and
account for the great charm of a formal garden, to one who loves so well
the unrestrained and lavished blossoming of a flower border crowded with
nature-arranged and disarranged blooms. A chance sentence in the letter
of a flower-loving friend, one whose refined taste is an inherent
portion of her nature, runs thus:--

     "I have the same love, the same sense of perfect satisfaction, in
     the old formal garden that I have in the sonnet in poetry, in the
     Greek drama as contrasted with the modern drama; something within
     me is ever drawn toward that which is restrained and classic."

In these few words, then, is defined the charm of the formal garden--a
well-ordered, a classic restraint.

[Illustration: Garden at Drumthwacket, Princeton, New Jersey.]

Some of the new formal gardens seem imperfect in design and inadequate
in execution; worse still, they are unsuited to their surroundings; but
gracious nature will give even to these many charms of color, fragrance,
and shape through lavish plant growth. I have had given to me sets of
beautiful photographs of these new Italian gardens, which I long to
include with my pictures of older flower beds; but I cannot do so in
full in a book on Old-time Gardens, though they are copied from far
older gardens than our American ones. I give throughout my book
occasional glimpses of detail in modern formal gardens; and two examples
may be fitly illustrated and described in comparative fulness in this
book, because they are not only unusual in their beauty and promise, but
because they have in plan and execution some bearing on my special
presentation of gardens. These two are the gardens of Avonwood Court in
Haverford, Pennsylvania, the country-seat of Charles E. Mather, Esq., of
Philadelphia; and of Yaddo, in Saratoga, New York, the country-seat of
Spencer Trask, Esq., of New York.

[Illustration: Sun-dial at Avonwood Court, Haverford, Pennsylvania.]

The garden at Avonwood Court was designed and laid out in 1896 by Mr.
Percy Ash. The flower planting was done by Mr. John Cope; and the garden
is delightsome in proportions, contour, and aspect. Its claim to
illustrative description in this book lies in the fact that it is
planted chiefly with old-fashioned flowers, and its beds are laid out
and bordered with thriving Box in a truly old-time mode. It affords a
striking example of the beauty and satisfaction that can come from the
use of Box as an edging, and old-time flowers as a filling of these
beds. Among the two hundred different plants are great rows of yellow
Day Lilies shown in the view facing page 76; regular plantings of
Peonies; borders of Flower de Luce; banks of Lilies of the Valley; rows
of white Fraxinella and Lupine, beds of fringed Poppies, sentinels of
Yucca--scores of old favorites have grown and thriven in the cheery
manner they ever display when they are welcome and beloved. The sun-dial
in this garden is shown facing page 82; it was designed by Mr. Percy
Ash, and can be regarded as a model of simple outlines, good
proportions, careful placing, and symmetrical setting. By placing I mean
that it is in the right site in relation to the surrounding flower beds,
and to the general outlines of the garden; it is a dignified and
significant garden centre. By setting I mean its being raised to proper
prominence in the garden scheme, by being placed at the top of a
platform formed of three circular steps of ample proportion and suitable
height, that its pedestal is also of the right size and not so high but
one can, when standing on the top step, read with ease the dial's
response to our question, "What's the time o' the day?" The hedges and
walls of Honeysuckle, Roses, and other flowering vines that surround
this garden have thriven wonderfully in the five years of the garden's
life, and look like settings of many years. The simple but graceful wall
seat gives some idea of the symmetrical and simple garden
furnishings, as well as the profusion of climbing vines that form the
garden's boundaries.

[Illustration: Entrance Porch and Gate to the Rose Garden at Yaddo.]

This book bears on the title-page a redrawing of a charming old woodcut
of the eighteenth century, a very good example of the art thought and
art execution of that day, being the work of a skilful designer. It is
from an old stilted treatise on orchards and gardens, and it depicts a
cheerful little Love, with anxious face and painstaking care, measuring
and laying out the surface of the earth in a garden. On his either side
are old clipped Yews; and at his feet a spade and pots of garden
flowers, among them the Fritillary so beloved of all flower lovers and
herbalists of that day, a significant flower--a flower of meaning and
mystery. This drawing may be taken as an old-time emblem, and a happy
one, to symbolize the making of the beautiful modern Rose Garden at
Yaddo; where Love, with tenderest thought, has laid out the face of the
earth in an exquisite garden of Roses, for the happiness and recreation
of a dearly loved wife. The noble entrance gate and porch of this Rose
Garden formed a happy surprise to the garden's mistress when unveiled at
the dedication of the garden. They are depicted on page 81, and there
may be read the inscription which tells in a few well-chosen words the
story of the inspiration of the garden; but "between the lines," to
those who know the Rose Garden and its makers, the inscription speaks
with even deeper meaning the story of a home whose beauty is only
equalled by the garden's spirit. To all such readers the Rose Garden
becomes a fitting expression of the life of those who own it and care
for it. This quality of expression, of significance, may be seen in many
a smaller and simpler garden, even in a tiny cottage plot; you can
perceive, through the care bestowed upon it, and its responsive
blossoming, a _something_ which shows the life of the garden owners; you
know that they are thoughtful, kindly, beauty-loving, home-loving.

[Illustration: Pergola and Terrace Walk in Rose Garden at Yaddo.]

Behind the beautiful pergola of the Yaddo garden, set thickly with
Crimson Rambler, a screenlike row of poplars divides the Rose Garden
from a luxuriant Rock Garden, and an Old-fashioned Garden of large
extent, extraordinary profusion, and many years' growth. Perhaps the
latter-named garden might seem more suited to my pages, since it is more
advanced in growth and apparently more akin to my subject; but I wish to
write specially of the Rose Garden, because it is an unusual example of
what can be accomplished without aid of architect or landscape gardener,
when good taste, careful thought, attention to detail, a love of
flowers, and _intent to attain perfection_ guide the garden's makers. It
is happily placed in a country of most charming topography, but it must
not be thought that the garden shaped itself; its beautiful proportions,
contour, and shape were carefully studied out and brought to the present
perfection by the same force that is felt in the garden's smallest
detail, the power of Love. The Rose Garden is unusually large for a
formal garden; with its vistas and walks, the connected Daffodil Dell,
and the Rock Garden, it fills about ten acres. But the estate is over
eight hundred acres, and the house very large in ground extent, so the
garden seems well-proportioned. This Rose Garden has an unusual
attraction in the personal interest of every detail, such as is found in
few American gardens of great size, and indeed in few English gardens.
The gardens of the Countess Warwick, at Easton Lodge, in Essex, possess
the same charm, a personal meaning and significance in the statues and
fountains, and even in the planting of flower borders. The illustration
on page 83 depicts the general shape of the Yaddo Rose Garden, as seen
from the upper terrace; but it does not show how the garden stretches
down the fine marble steps, past the marble figures of Diana and Paris,
and along the paths of standard Roses, past the shallow fountain which
is not so large as to obscure what speaks the garden's story, the statue
of Christalan, that grand creation in one of Mrs. Trask's idyls, _Under
King Constantine_. This heroic figure, showing to full extent the genius
of the sculptor, William Ordway Partridge, also figures the genius of
the poet-creator, and is of an inexpressible and impressive nobility.
With hand and arm held to heaven, Christalan shows against the
background of rich evergreens as the true knight of this garden of
sentiment and chivalry.

[Illustration: Statue of Christalan in Rose Garden at Yaddo.]

    "The sunlight slanting westward through the trees
     Fell first upon his lifted, golden head,
     Making a shining helmet of his curls,
     And then upon the Lilies in his hand.
     His eyes had a defiant, fearless glow;
     Against the sombre background of the wood
     He looked scarce human."

The larger and more impressive fountain at Yaddo is shown on these
pages. It is one hundred feet long and seventy feet wide, and is in
front of the house, to the east. Its marble figures signify the Dawn;
it will be noted that on this site its beauties show against a suited
and ample background, and its grand proportions are not permitted to
obscure the fine statue of Christalan from the view of those seated on
the terrace or walking under the shade of the pergola.

[Illustration: Sun-dial in Rose Garden at Yaddo.]

Especially beautiful is the sun-dial on the upper terrace, shown on page
86. The metal dial face is supported by a marble slab resting on two
carved standards of classic design representing conventionalized lions,
these being copies of those two splendid standards unearthed at Pompeii,
which still may be seen by the side of the impluvium in the atrium or
main hall of the finest Græco-Roman dwelling-place which has been
restored in that wonderful city. These sun-dial standards at Yaddo were
made by the permission and under the supervision of the Italian
government. I can conceive nothing more fitting or more inspiring to the
imagination than that, telling as they do the story of the splendor of
ancient Pompeii and of the passing centuries, they should now uphold to
our sight a sun-dial as if to bid us note the flight of time and the
vastness of the past.

[Illustration: Bronze Face of Dial in Rose Garden at Yaddo.]

The entire sun-dial, with its beautiful adjuncts of carefully shaped
marble seats, stands on a semicircular plaza of marble at the head of
the noble flight of marble steps. The engraved metal dial face bears
two exquisite verses--the gift of one poet to another--of Dr. Henry Van
Dyke to the garden's mistress, Katrina Trask. These dial mottoes are
unusual, and perfect examples of that genius which with a few words can
shape a lasting gem of our English tongue. At the edge of the dial face
is this motto:

    "Hours fly,
     Flowers die,
     New Days,
     New Ways,
     Pass by;
     Love stays."

At the base of the gnomon is the second motto:--

            Time is
    Too Slow for those who Wait,
    Too Swift for those who Fear,
    Too Long for those who Grieve,
    Too Short for those who Rejoice;
    But for those who Love,
            Time is
            Eternity.

I have for years been a student of sun-dial lore, a collector of
sun-dial mottoes and inscriptions, of which I have many hundreds. I know
nowhere, either in English, on English or Scotch sun-dials, or in the
Continental tongues, any such exquisite dial legends as these two--so
slight of form, so simple in wording, so pure in diction, yet of
sentiment, of thought, how full! how impressive! They stamp themselves
forever on the memory as beautiful examples of what James Russell Lowell
called verbal magic; that wonderful quality which comes, neither from
chosen words, nor from their careful combination into sentences, but
from something which is as inexplicable in its nature as it is in its
charm.

[Illustration: Ancient Pine in Garden at Yaddo.]

To tree lovers the gardens and grounds at Yaddo have glorious charms in
their splendid trees; but one can be depicted here--the grand native
Pine, over eight feet in diameter, which, with other stately sentinels
of its race, stands a sombrely beautiful guard over all this
loveliness.



CHAPTER IV

BOX EDGINGS

     "They walked over the crackling leaves in the garden, between the
     lines of Box, breathing its fragrance of eternity; for this is one
     of the odors which carry us out of time into the abysses of the
     unbeginning past; if we ever lived on another ball of stone than
     this, it must be that there was Box growing on it."

     --_Elsie Venner_, OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, 1861.


To many of us, besides Dr. Holmes, the unique aroma of the Box, cleanly
bitter in scent as in taste, is redolent of the eternal past; it is
almost hypnotic in its effect. This strange power is not felt by all,
nor is it a present sensitory influence; it is an hereditary memory,
half-known by many, but fixed in its intensity in those of New England
birth and descent, true children of the Puritans; to such ones the Box
breathes out the very atmosphere of New England's past. I cannot see in
clear outline those prim gardens of centuries ago, nor the faces of
those who walked and worked therein; but I know, as I stroll to-day
between our old Box-edged borders, and inhale the beloved bitterness of
fragrance, and gather a stiff sprig of the beautiful glossy leaves, that
in truth the garden lovers and garden workers of other days walk beside
me, though unseen and unheard.

About thirty years ago a bright young Yankee girl went to the island of
Cuba as a governess to the family of a sugar planter. It was regarded as
a somewhat perilous adventure by her home-staying folk, and their
apprehensions of ill were realized in her death there five years later.
This was not, however, all that happened to her. The planter's wife had
died in this interval of time, and she had been married to the widower.
A daughter had been born, who, after her mother's death, was reared in
the Southern island, in Cuban ways, having scant and formal
communication with her New England kin. When this girl was twenty years
old, she came to the little Massachusetts town where her mother had been
reared, and met there a group of widowed and maiden aunts, and
great-aunts. After sitting for a time in her mother's room in the old
home, the reserve which often exists between those of the same race who
should be friends but whose lives have been widely apart, and who can
never have more than a passing sight of each other, made them in
semi-embarrassment and lack of resources of mutual interest walk out
into the garden. As they passed down the path between high lines of Box,
the girl suddenly stopped, looked in terror at the gate, and screamed
out in fright, "The dog, the dog, save me, he will kill me!" _No dog was
there_, but on that very spot, between those Box hedges, thirty years
before, her mother had been attacked and bitten by an enraged dog, to
the distress and apprehension of the aunts, who all recalled the
occurrence, as they reassured the fainting and bewildered girl. She, of
course, had never known aught of this till she was told it by the old
Box.

[Illustration: House and Garden at Napanock. County Ulster, New York.]

Many other instances of the hypnotic effect of Box are known, and also
of its strong influence on the mind through memory. I know of a man who
travelled a thousand miles to renew acquaintance and propose marriage to
an old sweetheart, whom he had not seen and scarcely thought of for
years, having been induced to this act wholly through memories of her,
awakened by a chance stroll in an old Box-edged garden such as those of
his youth; at the gate of one of which he had often lingered, after
walking home with her from singing-school. I ought to be able to add
that the twain were married as a result of this sentimental
memory-awakening through the old Box; but, in truth, they never came
very close to matrimony. For when he saw her he remained absolutely
silent on the subject of marriage; the fickle creature forgot the Box
scent and the singing-school, while she openly expressed to her friends
her surprise at his aged appearance, and her pity for his dulness. For
the sense of sight is more powerful than that of smell, and the Box
might prove a master hand at hinting, but it failed utterly in permanent
influence.

Those who have not loved the Box for centuries in the persons and with
the partial noses of their Puritan forbears, complain of its curious
scent, say, like Polly Peacham, that "they can't abear it," and declare
that it brings ever the thought of old graveyards. I have never seen
Box in ancient burying-grounds, they were usually too neglected to be
thus planted; but it was given a limited space in the cemeteries of the
middle of this century. Even those borders have now generally been dug
up to give place to granite copings.

The scent of Box has been aptly worded by Gabriel d'Annunzio, in his
_Virgin of the Rocks_, in his description of a neglected garden. He
calls it a "bitter sweet odor," and he notes its influence in making his
wanderers in this garden "reconstruct some memory of their far-off
childhood."

The old Jesuit poet Rapin writing in the seventeenth century tells a
fanciful tale that--

    "Gardens of old, nor Art, nor Rules obey'd,
     But unadorn'd, or wild Neglect betray'd;"

that Flora's hair hung undressed, neglected "in artless tresses," until
in pity another nymph "around her head wreath'd a Boxen Bough" from the
fields; which so improved her beauty that trim edgings were placed ever
after--"where flowers disordered once at random grew."

He then describes the various figures of Box, the way to plant it, its
disadvantages, and the associate flowers that should be set with it, all
in stilted verse.

Queen Anne was a royal enemy of Box. By her order many of the famous Box
hedges at Hampton Court were destroyed; by her example, many old
Box-edged gardens throughout England were rooted up. There are manifold
objections raised to Box besides the dislike of its distinctive odor:
heavy edgings and hedges of Box "take away the heart of the ground" and
flowers pine within Box-edged borders; the roots of Box on the inside of
the flower knot or bed, therefore, have to be cut and pulled out in
order to leave the earth free for flower roots. It is also alleged that
Box harbors slugs--and I fear it does.

[Illustration: Box Parterre at Hampton.]

We are told that it is not well to plant Box edgings in our gardens,
because Box is so frail, is so easily winter-killed, that it dies down
in ugly fashion. Yet see what great trees it forms, even when untrimmed,
as in the Prince Garden (page 31). It is true that Box does not always
flourish in the precise shape you wish, but it has nevertheless a
wonderfully tenacious hold on life. I know nothing more suggestive of
persistence and of sad sentiment than the view often seen in forlorn
city enclosures, as you drive past, or rush by in an electric car, of an
aged bush of Box, or a few feet of old Box hedge growing in the beaten
earth of a squalid back yard, surrounded by dirty tenement houses. Once
a fair garden there grew; the turf and flowers and trees are vanished;
but spared through accident, or because deemed so valueless, the Box
still lives. Even in Washington and other Southern cities, where the
negro population eagerly gather Box at Christmas-tide, you will see
these forlorn relics of the garden still growing, and their bitter
fragrance rises above the vile odors of the crowded slums.

Box formed an important feature of the garden of Pliny's favorite villa
in Tuscany, which he described in his letter to Apollinaris. How I
should have loved its formal beauty! On the southern front a terrace was
bordered with a Box hedge and "embellished with various figures in Box,
the representation of divers animals." Beyond was a circus formed around
by ranges of Box rising in walls of varied heights. The middle of this
circus was ornamented with figures of Box. On one side was a hippodrome
set with a plantation of Box trees backed with Plane trees; thence ran a
straight walk divided by Box hedges into alleys. Thus expanses were
enclosed, one of which held a beautiful meadow, another had "knots of
Plane tree," another was "set with Box a thousand different forms." Some
of these were letters expressing the name of the owner of all this
extravagance; or the initials of various fair Roman dames, a very
gallant pleasantry of young Pliny. Both Plane tree and Box tree of such
ancient gardens were by tradition nourished with wine instead of water.
Initials of Box may be seen to-day in English gardens, and heraldic
devices. French gardens vied with English gardens in curious patterns in
Box. The garden of Versailles during the reign of Louis XIV. had a stag
chase, in clipped Box, with greyhounds in chase. Globes, pyramids,
tubes, cylinders, cones, arches, and other shapes were cut in Box as
they were in Yew.

A very pretty conceit in Box was--

    "Horizontal dials on the ground
     In living Box by cunning artists traced."

Reference is frequent enough to these dials of Box to show that they
were not uncommon in fine old English gardens. There were sun-dials
either of Box or Thrift, in the gardens of colleges both at Oxford and
Cambridge, as may be seen in Loggan's _Views_. Two modern ones are
shown; one, on page 98, is in the garden of Lady Lennox, at Broughton
Castle, Banbury, England. Another of exceptionally fine growth and trim
perfection in the garden at Ascott, the seat of Mr. Leopold de
Rothschild (opposite page 100.) These are curious rather than beautiful,
but display well that quality given in the poet's term "the tonsile
Box."

[Illustration: Sun-dial in Box at Broughton Castle.]

Writing of a similar sun-dial, Lady Warwick says:--

     "Never was such a perfect timekeeper as my sun-dial, and the
     figures which record the hours are all cut out and trimmed in Box,
     and there again on its outer ring is a legend which read in
     whatever way you please: Les heures heureuses ne se comptent pas.
     They were outlined for me, those words, in baby sprigs of Box by a
     friend who is no more, who loved my garden and was good to it."

Box hedges were much esteemed in England--so says Parkinson, to dry
linen on, affording the raised expanse and even surface so much desired.
It can always be noted in all domestic records of early days that the
vast washing of linen and clothing was one of the great events of the
year. Sometimes, in households of plentiful supply, these washings were
done but once a year; in other homes, semi-annually. The drying and
bleaching linen was an unceasing attraction to rascals like Autolycus,
who had a "pugging tooth"--that is, a prigging tooth. These linen
thieves had a special name, they were called "prygmen"; they wandered
through the country on various pretexts, men and their doxies, and were
the bane of English housewives.

The Box hedges were also in constant use to hold the bleaching webs of
homespun and woven flaxen and hempen stuff, which were often exposed for
weeks in the dew and sunlight. In 1710 a reason given for the disuse and
destruction of "quicksetted arbors and hedges" was that they "agreed
very ill with the ladies' muslins."

Box was of little value in the apothecary shop, was seldom used in
medicine. Parkinson said that the leaves and dust of boxwood "boyld in
lye" would make hair to be "of an Aborne or Abraham color"--that is,
auburn. This was a very primitive hair dye, but it must have been a
powerful one.

Boxwood was a firm, beautiful wood, used to make tablets for
inscriptions of note. The mottled wood near the root was called dudgeon.
Holland's translation of Pliny says, "The Box tree seldome hath any
grain crisped damaske-wise, and never but about the root, the which is
dudgin." From its esteemed use for dagger hilts came the word
dudgeon-dagger, and the terms "drawn-dudgeon" and "high-dudgeon,"
meaning offence or discord.

I plead for the Box, not for its fragrance, for you may not be so
fortunate as to have a Puritan sense of smell, nor for its weird
influence, for that is intangible; but because it is the most becoming
of all edgings to our garden borders of old-time flowers. The clear
compact green of its shining leaves, the trim distinctness of its
clipped lines, the attributes that made Pope term it the "shapely Box,"
make it the best of all foils for the varied tints of foliage, the many
colors of bloom, and the careless grace in growth of the flowers within
the border.

Box edgings are pleasant, too, in winter, showing in grateful relief
against the tiresome monotony of the snow expanse. And they bear
sometimes a crown of lightest snow wreaths, which seem like a white
blossoming in promise of the beauties of the border in the coming
summer. Pick a bit of this winter Box, even with the mercury below zero.
Lo! you have a breath of the hot dryness of the midsummer garden.

Box grows to great size, even twenty feet in height. In Southern
gardens, where it is seldom winter-killed, it is often of noble
proportions. In the lovely garden of Martha Washington at Mount Vernon
the Box is still preserved in the beauty and interest of its original
form.

[Illustration: Sun-dial in Box at Ascott.]

The Box edgings and hedges of many other Southern gardens still are
in good condition; those of the old Preston homestead at Columbia, South
Carolina (shown on pages 15 and 18, and facing page 54), owe their
preservation during the Civil War to the fact that the house was then
the refuge of a sisterhood of nuns. The Ridgely estate, Hampton, in
County Baltimore, Maryland, has a formal garden in which the perfection
of the Box is a delight. The will of Captain Charles Ridgely, in 1787,
made an appropriation of money and land for this garden. The high
terrace which overlooks the garden and the shallow ones which break the
southern slope and mark the boundaries of each parterre are fine
examples of landscape art, and are said to be the work of Major Chase
Barney, a famous military engineer. By 1829 the garden was an object of
beauty and much renown. A part only of the original parterre remains,
but the more modern flower borders, through the unusual perspective and
contour of the garden, do not clash with the old Box-edged beds. These
edgings were reset in 1870, and are always kept very closely cut. The
circular domes of clipped box arise from stems at least a hundred years
old. The design of the parterre is so satisfactory that I give three
views of it in order to show it fully. (See pages 57, 60, and 95.)

A Box-edged garden of much beauty and large extent existed for some
years in the grounds connected with the County Jail in Fitchburg,
Massachusetts. It was laid out by the wife of the warden, aided by the
manual labor of convicted prisoners, with her earnest hope that working
among flowers would have a benefiting and softening influence on these
criminals. She writes rather dubiously: "They all enjoyed being out of
doors with their pipes, whether among the flowers or the vegetables; and
no attempt at escape was ever made by any of them while in the
comparative freedom of the flower-garden." She planted and marked
distinctly in this garden over seven hundred groups of annuals and hardy
perennials, hoping the men would care to learn the names of the flowers,
and through that knowledge, and their practise in the care of Box
edgings and hedges, be able to obtain positions as under-gardeners when
their terms of imprisonment expired.

The garden at Tudor Place, the home of Mrs. Beverley Kennon (page 103),
displays fine Box; and the garden of the poet Longfellow which is said
to have been laid out after the Box-edged parterres at Versailles.
Throughout this book are scattered several good examples of Box from
Salem and other towns; in a sweet, old garden on Kingston Hill, Rhode
Island (page 104) the flower-beds are anchor-shaped.

In favorable climates Box edgings may grow in such vigor as to entirely
fill the garden beds. An example of this is given on page 105, showing
the garden at Tuckahoe. The beds were laid out over a large space of
ground in a beautiful design, which still may be faintly seen by
examining the dark expanse beside the house, which is now almost solid
Box. The great hedges by the avenue are also Box; between similar ones
at Upton Court in Camden, South Carolina, riders on horseback cannot be
seen nor see over it. New England towns seldom show such growth of Box;
but in Hingham, Massachusetts, at the home of Mrs. Robbins, author of
that charming book, _The Rescue of an Old Place_, there is a Box bower,
with walls of Box fifteen feet in height. These walls were originally
the edgings of a flower bed on the "Old Place." Read Dr. John Brown's
charming account of the Box bower of the "Queen's Maries."

[Illustration: Garden at Tudor Place.]

Box grows on Long Island with great vigor. At Brecknock Hall, the family
residence of Mrs. Albert Delafield at Greenport, Long Island, the
hedges of plain and variegated Box are unusually fine, and the paths are
well laid out. Some of them are entirely covered by the closing together
of the two hedges which are often six or seven feet in height.

[Illustration: Anchor-shaped Flower-beds. Kingston, Rhode Island.]

In spite of the constant assertion of the winter-killing of Box in the
North, the oldest Box in the country is that at Sylvester Manor, Shelter
Island, New York. The estate is now owned by the tenth mistress of the
manor, Miss Cornelia Horsford; the first mistress of the manor, Grissel
Sylvester, who had been Grissel Gardiner, came there in 1652. It is
told, and is doubtless true, that she brought there the first Box
plants, to make, in what was then a far-away island, a semblance of her
home garden. It is said that this Box was thriving in Madam Sylvester's
garden when George Fox preached there to the Indians. The oldest Box is
fifteen or eighteen feet high; not so tall, I think, as the neglected
Box at Vaucluse, the old Hazard place near Newport, but far more massive
and thrifty and shapely. Box needs unusual care and judgment, an
instinct almost, for the removal of certain portions. It sends out tiny
rootlets at the joints of the sprays, and these grow readily. The
largest and oldest Box bushes at Sylvester Manor garden are a study in
their strong, hearty stems, their perfect foliage, their symmetry; they
show their care of centuries.

[Illustration: Ancient Box at Tuckahoe.]

The delightful Box-edged flower beds were laid out in their present form
about seventy years ago by the grandfather of the present owner. There
is a Lower Garden, a Terrace Garden, which are shown on succeeding
pages, a Fountain Garden, a Rose Garden, a Water Garden; a bit of the
latter is on page 75. In some portions of these gardens, especially on
the upper terrace, the Box is so high, and set in such quaint and
rambling figures, that it closely approaches an old English maze; and it
was a pretty sight to behold a group of happy little children running in
and out among these Box hedges that extended high over their heads,
searching long and eagerly for the central bower where their little tea
party was set.

Over these old garden borders hangs literally an atmosphere of the past;
the bitter perfume stimulates the imagination as we walk by the side of
these splendid Box bushes, and think, as every one must, of what they
have seen, of what they know; on this garden is written the history of
over two centuries of beautiful domestic home life. It is well that we
still have such memorials to teach us the nobility and beauty of such a
life.



CHAPTER V

THE HERB GARDEN

     "To have nothing here but Sweet Herbs, and those only choice ones
     too, and every kind its bed by itself."

     --DESIDERIUS ERASMUS, 1500.


In Montaigne's time it was the custom to dedicate special chapters of
books to special persons. Were it so to-day, I should dedicate this
chapter to the memory of a friend who has been constantly in my mind
while writing it; for she formed in her beautiful garden, near our
modern city, Chicago, the only perfect herb garden I know,--a garden
that is the counterpart of the garden of Erasmus, made four centuries
ago; for in it are "nothing but Sweet Herbs, and choice ones too, and
every kind its bed by itself." A corner of it is shown on page 108. This
herb garden is so well laid out that I will give directions therefrom
for a bed of similar planting. It may be placed at the base of a grass
bank or at the edge of a garden. Let two garden walks be laid out, one
at the lower edge, perhaps, of the bank, the other parallel, ten,
fifteen, twenty feet away. Let narrow paths be left at regular intervals
running parallel from walk to walk, as do the rounds of a ladder from
the two side bars. In the narrow oblong beds formed by these paths plant
solid rows of herbs, each variety by itself, with no attempt at
diversity of design. You can thus walk among them, and into them, and
smell them in their concentrated strength, and you can gather them at
ease. On the bank can be placed the creeping Thyme, and other
low-running herbs. Medicinal shrubs should be the companions of the
herbs; plant these as you will, according to their growth and habit,
making them give variety of outline to the herb garden.

[Illustration: Herb Garden at White Birches, Elmhurst, Illinois.]

There are few persons who have a strong enough love of leaf scents, or
interest in herbs, to make them willing to spend much time in working in
an herb garden. The beauty and color of flowers would compensate them,
but not the growth or scent of leafage. It is impossible to describe to
one who does not feel by instinct "the lure of green things growing,"
the curious stimulation, the sense of intoxication, of delight, brought
by working among such green-growing, sweet-scented things. The maker of
this interesting garden felt this stimulation and delight; and at her
city home on a bleak day in December we both revelled in holding and
breathing in the scent of tiny sprays of Rue, Rosemary, and Balm which,
still green, had been gathered from beneath fallen leaves and stalks in
her country garden, as a tender and grateful attention of one herb lover
to another. Thus did she prove Shakespeare's words true even on the
shores of Lake Michigan:--

    "Rosemary and Rue: these keep
     Seeming and savor all the winter long."

There is ample sentiment in the homely inhabitants of the herb garden.
The herb garden of the Countess of Warwick is called by her a Garden of
Sentiment. Each plant is labelled with a pottery marker, swallow-shaped,
bearing in ineradicable colors the flower name and its significance.
Thus there is Balm for sympathy, Bay for glory, Foxglove for sincerity,
Basil for hatred.

A recent number of _The Garden_ deplored the dying out of herbs in old
English gardens; so I think it may prove of interest to give the list of
herbs and medicinal shrubs and trees which grew in this friend's herb
garden in the new world across the sea.

     Arnica, Anise, Ambrosia, Agrimony, Aconite.

     Belladonna, Black Alder, Betony, Boneset or Thorough-wort, Sweet
     Basil, Bryony, Borage, Burnet, Butternut, Balm, _Melissa
     officinalis_, Balm (variegated), Bee-balm, or Oswego tea, mild,
     false, and true Bergamot, Burdock, Bloodroot, Black Cohosh,
     Barberry, Bittersweet, Butterfly-weed, Birch, Blackberry,
     Button-Snakeroot, Buttercup.

     Costmary, or Sweet Mary, Calamint, Choke-cherry, Comfrey,
     Coriander, Cumin, Catnip, Caraway, Chives, Castor-oil Bean,
     Colchicum, Cedronella, Camomile, Chicory, Cardinal-flower,
     Celandine, Cotton, Cranesbill, Cow-parsnip, High-bush Cranberry.

     Dogwood, Dutchman's-pipe, Dill, Dandelion, Dock, Dogbane.

     Elder, Elecampane, Slippery Elm.

     Sweet Fern, Fraxinella, Fennel, Flax, Fumitory, Fig, Sweet Flag,
     Blue Flag, Foxglove.

     Goldthread, Gentian, Goldenrod.

     Hellebore, Henbane, Hops, Horehound, Hyssop, Horseradish,
     Horse-chestnut, Hemlock, Small Hemlock or Fool's Parsley.

     American Ipecac, Indian Hemp, Poison Ivy, wild, false, and blue
     Indigo, wild yellow Indigo, wild white Indigo.

     Juniper, Joepye-weed.

     Lobelia, Lovage, Lavender Lemon Verbena, Lemon, Mountain Laurel,
     Yellow Lady's-slippers, Lily of the Valley, Liverwort, Wild
     Lettuce, Field Larkspur, Lungwort.

     Mosquito plant, Wild Mint, Motherwort, Mullein, Sweet Marjoram,
     Meadowsweet, Marshmallow, Mandrake, Mulberry, black and white
     Mustard, Mayweed, Mugwort, Marigold.

     Nigella.

     Opium Poppy, Orange, Oak.

     Pulsatilla, Pellitory or Pyrethrum, Red Pepper, Peppermint,
     Pennyroyal, False Pennyroyal, Pope-weed, Pine, Pigweed, Pumpkin,
     Parsley, Prince's-pine, Peony, Plantain.

     Rhubarb, Rue, Rosemary, Rosa gallica, Dog Rose.

     Sassafras, Saxifrage, Sweet Cicely, Sage (common blue), Sage (red),
     Summer Savory, Winter Savory, Santonin, Sweet Woodruff, Saffron,
     Spearmint, wild Sarsaparilla, Black Snakeroot, Squills, Senna,
     St.-John's-Wort, Sorrel, Spruce Fir, Self-heal, Southernwood.

     Thorn Apple, Tansy, Thyme, Tobacco, Tarragon.

     Valerian, Dogtooth Violet, Blue Violet.

     Witchhazel, Wormwood, Wintergreen, Willow, Walnut.

     Yarrow.

[Illustration: Garden at White Birches. Elmhurst, Illinois.]

It will be noted that some common herbs and medicinal plants are
missing; there is, for instance, no Box; it will not live in that
climate; and there are many other herbs which this garden held for a
short time, but which succumbed under the fierce winter winds from Lake
Michigan.

It is interesting to compare this list with one made in rhyme three
centuries ago, the garland of herbs of the nymph Lelipa in Drayton's
_Muse's Elyzium_.

    "A chaplet then of Herbs I'll make
       Than which though yours be braver,
     Yet this of mine I'll undertake
       Shall not be short in savour.
     With Basil then I will begin,
       Whose scent is wondrous pleasing:
     This Eglantine I'll next put in
       The sense with sweetness seizing.
     Then in my Lavender I lay
       Muscado put among it,
     With here and there a leaf of Bay,
       Which still shall run along it.
     Germander, Marjoram and Thyme,
       Which uséd are for strewing;
     With Hyssop as an herb most prime
       Here in my wreath bestowing.
     Then Balm and Mint help to make up
       My chaplet, and for trial
     Costmary that so likes the Cup,
       And next it Pennyroyal.
     Then Burnet shall bear up with this,
       Whose leaf I greatly fancy;
     Some Camomile doth not amiss
       With Savory and some Tansy.
     Then here and there I'll put a sprig
       Of Rosemary into it,
     Thus not too Little nor too Big,
       'Tis done if I can do it."

[Illustration: Garden of Manning Homestead, Salem, Massachusetts.]

Another name for the herb garden was the olitory; and the word herber,
or herbar, would at first sight appear to be an herbarium, an herb
garden; it was really an arbor. I have such satisfaction in herb
gardens, and in the herbs themselves, and in all their uses, all their
lore, that I am confirmed in my belief that I really care far less for
Botany than for that old-time regard and study of plants covered by the
significant name, Wort-cunning. Wort was a good old common English word,
lost now in our use, save as the terminal syllable of certain
plant-names; it is a pity we have given it up since its equivalent,
herb, seems so variable in application, especially in that very trying
expression of which we weary so of late--herbaceous border. This seems
an architect's phrase rather than a florist's; you always find it on the
plans of fine houses with gardens. To me it annihilates every
possibility of sentiment, and it usually isn't correct, since many of
the plants in these borders are woody perennials instead of annuals;
any garden planting that is not "bedding-out" is wildly named "an
herbaceous border."

Herb gardens were no vanity and no luxury in our grandmothers' day; they
were a necessity. To them every good housewife turned for nearly all
that gave variety to her cooking, and to fill her domestic
pharmacopoeia. The physician placed his chief reliance for supplies on
herb gardens and the simples of the fields. An old author says, "Many an
old wife or country woman doth often more good with a few known and
common garden herbs, than our bombast physicians, with all their
prodigious, sumptuous, far-fetched, rare, conjectural medicines." Doctor
and goodwife both had a rival in the parson. The picture of the country
parson and his wife given by old George Herbert was equally true of the
New England minister and his wife:--

     "In the knowledge of simples one thing would be carefully observed,
     which is to know what herbs may be used instead of drugs of the
     same nature, and to make the garden the shop; for home-bred
     medicines are both more easy for the parson's purse, and more
     familiar for all men's bodies. So when the apothecary useth either
     for loosing Rhubarb, or for binding Bolearmana, the parson useth
     damask or white Rose for the one, and Plantain, Shepherd's Purse,
     and Knot-grass for the other; and that with better success. As for
     spices, he doth not only prefer home-bred things before them, but
     condemns them for vanities, and so shuts them out of his family,
     esteeming that there is no spice comparable for herbs to Rosemary,
     Thyme, savory Mints, and for seeds to Fennel and Caraway.
     Accordingly, for salves, his wife seeks not the city, but prefers
     her gardens and fields before all outlandish gums."

Simples were medicinal plants, so called because each of these vegetable
growths was held to possess an individual virtue, to be an element, a
simple substance constituting a single remedy. The noun was generally
used in the plural.

You must not think that sowing, gathering, drying, and saving these
herbs and simples in any convenient or unstudied way was all that was
necessary. Not at all; many and manifold were the rules just when to
plant them, when to pick them, how to pick them, how to dry them, and
even how to keep them. Gervayse Markham was very wise in herb lore, in
the suited seasons of the moon, and hour of the day or night, for herb
culling. In the garret of every old house, such as that of the Ward
Homestead, shown on page 116, with the wreckage of house furniture, were
hung bunches of herbs and simples, waiting for winter use.

The still-room was wholly devoted to storing these herbs and
manufacturing their products. This was the careful work of the house
mistress and her daughters. It was not intrusted to servants. One book
of instruction was entitled, _The Vertuouse Boke of Distyllacyon of the
Waters of all Manner of Herbs_.

Thomas Tusser wrote:--

    "Good huswives provide, ere an sickness do come,
     Of sundrie good things in house to have some,
     Good aqua composita, vinegar tart,
     Rose water and treacle to comfort the heart,
     Good herbes in the garden for agues that burn,
     That over strong heat to good temper turn."

[Illustration: Under the Garret Eaves of the Ward Homestead. Shrewsbury,
Massachusetts.]

Both still-room and simple-closet of a dame of the time of Queen
Elizabeth or Queen Anne had crowded shelves. Many an herb and root,
unused to-day, was deemed then of sovereign worth. From a manuscript
receipt book I have taken names of ingredients, many of which are
seldom, perhaps never, used now in medicine. Unripe Blackberries, Ivy
berries, Eglantine berries, "Ashen Keys," Acorns, stones of Sloes,
Parsley seed, Houseleeks, unripe Hazelnuts, Daisy roots, Strawberry
"strings," Woodbine tops, the inner bark of Oak and of red Filberts,
green "Broom Cod," White Thorn berries, Turnips, Barberry bark, Dates,
Goldenrod, Gourd seed, Blue Lily roots, Parsnip seed, Asparagus roots,
Peony roots.

From herbs and simples were made, for internal use, liquid medicines
such as wines and waters, syrups, juleps; and solids, such as conserves,
confections, treacles, eclegms, tinctures. There were for external use,
amulets, oils, ointments, liniments, plasters, cataplasms, salves,
poultices; also sacculi, little bags of flowers, seeds, herbs, etc., and
pomanders and posies.

That a certain stimulus could be given to the brain by inhaling the
scent of these herbs will not be doubted, I think, by the herb lover
even of this century. In the _Haven of Health_, 1636, cures were
promised by sleeping on herbs, smelling of them, binding the leaves on
the forehead, and inhaling the vapors of their boiling or roasting. Mint
was "a good Posie for Students to oft smell." Pennyroyal "quickened the
brain by smelling oft." Basil cleared the wits, and so on.

The use of herbs in medicine is far from being obsolete; and when we
give them more stately names we swallow the same dose. Dandelion bitters
is still used for diseases caused by an ill-working liver. Wintergreen,
which was universally made into tea or oil for rheumatism, appears now
in prescriptions for the same disease under the name of Gaultheria.
Peppermint, once a sovereign cure for heartburn and "nuralogy," serves
us decked with the title of Menthol. "Saffern-tea" never has lost its
good standing as a cure for the "jarnders." In country communities
scores of old herbs and simples are used in vast amounts; and in every
village is some aged man or woman wise in gathering, distilling, and
compounding these "potent and parable medicines," to use Cotton Mather's
words. One of these gatherers of simples is shown opposite page 120, a
quaint old figure, seen afar as we drive through country by-roads, as
she bends over some dense clump of weeds in distant meadow or pasture.

In our large city markets bunches of sweet herbs are still sold; and
within a year I have seen men passing my city home selling great bunches
of Catnip and Mint, in the spring, and dried Sage, Marjoram, and other
herbs in the autumn. In one case I noted that it was the same man,
unmistakably a real countryman, whom I had noted selling quail on the
street, when he had about forty as fine quail as I ever saw. I never saw
him sell quail, nor herbs. I think his customers are probably all
foreigners--emigrants from continental Europe, chiefly Poles and
Italians.

The use of herbs as component parts of love philters and charms is a
most ancient custom, and lingered into the nineteenth century in country
communities. I knew but one case of the manufacture and administering
of a love philter, and it was by a person to whom such an action would
seem utterly incongruous. A very gentle, retiring girl in a New England
town eighty years ago was deeply in love with the minister whose church
she attended, and of which her father was the deacon. The parson was a
widower, nearly of middle age, and exceedingly sombre and reserved in
character--saddened, doubtless, by the loss of his two young children
and his wife through that scourge of New England, consumption; but he
was very handsome, and even his sadness had its charm. His house, had
burned down as an additional misfortune, and he lived in lodgings with
two elderly women of his congregation. Therefore church meetings and
various gatherings of committees were held at the deacon's house, and
the deacon's daughter saw him day after day, and grew more desperately
in love. Desperate certainly she was when she dared even to think of
giving a love philter to a minister. The recipe was clearly printed on
the last page of an old dream book; and she carried it out in every
detail. It was easy to introduce it into the mug of flip which was
always brewed for the meeting, and the parson drank it down
abstractedly, thinking that it seemed more bitter than usual, but
showing no sign of this thought. The philter was promised to have effect
in making the drinker love profoundly the first person of opposite sex
whom he or she saw after drinking it; and of course the minister saw
Hannah as she stood waiting for his empty tankard. The dull details of
parish work were talked over in the usual dragging way for half an
hour, when the minister became conscious of an intense coldness which
seemed to benumb him in every limb; and he tried to walk to the
fireplace. Suddenly all in the room became aware that he was very ill,
and one called out, "He's got a stroke." Luckily the town doctor was
also a deacon, and was therefore present; and he promptly said, "He's
poisoned," and hot water from the teakettle, whites of eggs, mustard,
and other domestic antidotes were administered with promptitude and
effect. It is useless to detail the days of agony to the wretched girl,
during which the sick man wavered between life and death, nor her
devoted care of him. Soon after his recovery he solemnly proposed
marriage to her, and was refused. But he never wavered in his love for
her; and every year he renewed his offer and told his wishes, to be met
ever with a cold refusal, until ten years had passed; when into his
brain there entered a perception that her refusal had some extraordinary
element in it. Then, with a warmth of determination worthy a younger
man, he demanded an explanation, and received a confession of the
poisonous love philter. I suppose time had softened the memory of his
suffering, at any rate they were married--so the promise of the love
charm came true, after all.

[Illustration: A Gatherer of Simples.]

Amos Bronson Alcott was another author of Concord, a sweet philosopher
whom I shall ever remember with deepest gratitude as the only person who
in my early youth ever imagined any literary capacity in me (and in that
he was sadly mistaken, for he fancied I would be a poet). I have read
very faithfully all his printed writings, trying to believe him a great
man, a seer; but I cannot, in spite of my gratitude for his flattering
though unfulfilled prophecy, discover in his books any profound signs of
depth or novelty of thought. In his _Tablets_ are some very pleasant, if
not surprisingly wise, essays on domestic subjects; one, on "Sweet
Herbs," tells cheerfully of the womanly care of the herb garden, but
shows that, when written--about 1850--borders of herbs were growing
infrequent.

One great delight of old English gardens is never afforded us in New
England; we do not grow Lavender beds. I have of course seen single
plants of Lavender, so easily winter-killed, but I never have seen a
Lavender bed, nor do I know of one. It is a great loss. A bed or hedge
of Lavender is pleasing in the same way that the dress of a Quaker lady
is pleasing; it is reposeful, refined. It has a soft effect at the edge
of a garden, like a blue-gray haze, and always reminds me of doves. The
power of association or some inherent quality of the plant, makes
Lavender always suggest freshness and cleanliness.

We may linger a little with a few of these old herb favorites. One of
the most balmy and beautiful of all the sweet breaths borne by leaves or
blossoms is that of Basil, which, alas! I see so seldom. I have always
loved it, and can never pass it without pressing its leaves in my hand;
and I cannot express the satisfaction, the triumph, with which I read
these light-giving lines of old Thomas Tusser, which showed me why I
loved it:--

    "Faire Basil desireth it may be hir lot
     To growe as the gilly flower trim in a pot
     That Ladies and Gentils whom she doth serve
     May help hir as needeth life to preserve."

An explanation of this rhyme is given by _Tusser Redivivus_: "Most
people stroak Garden Basil which leaves a grateful smell on the hand and
he will have it that Stroaking from a fair lady preserves the life of
the Basil."

This is a striking example of floral telepathy; you know what the Basil
wishes, and the Basil knows and craves your affection, and repays your
caress with her perfume and growth. It is a case of mutual attraction;
and I beg the "Gentle Reader" never to pass a pot or plant of Basil
without "stroaking" it; that it may grow and multiply and forever retain
its relations with fair women, as a type of the purest, the most
clinging, and grateful love.

One amusing use of Basil (as given in one of my daughter's old Herbals)
was intended to check obesity:--

     "TO MAKE THAT A WOMAN SHALL EAT OF NOTHING THAT IS SET UPON THE
     TABLE:--Take a little green Basil, and when Men bring the Dishes to
     the Table put it underneath them that the Woman perceive it not; so
     Men say that she will eat of none of that which is in the Dish
     whereunder the Basil lieth."

I cannot understand why so sinister an association was given to a pot of
Basil by Boccaccio, who makes the unhappy Isabella conceal the head of
her murdered lover in a flower pot under a plant of Basil; for in Italy
Basil is ever a plant of love, not of jealousy or crime. One of its
common names is _Bacia, Nicola_--Kiss me, Nicholas. Peasant girls always
place Basil in their hair when they go to meet their sweethearts, and an
offered sprig of Basil is a love declaration. It is believed that
Boccaccio obtained this tale from some tradition of ancient Greece,
where Basil is a symbol of hatred and despair. The figure of poverty was
there associated with a Basil plant as with rags. It had to be sown with
abuse, with cursing and railing, else it would not flourish. In India
its sanctity is above all other herbs. A pious Indian has at death a
leaf of Basil placed in his bosom as his reward. The house surrounded by
Basil is blessed, and all who cherish the plant are sure of heaven.

Mithridate was a favorite medicine of our Puritan ancestors; there were
various elaborate compound rules for its manufacture, in which Rue
always took a part. It was simple enough in the beginning, when King
Mithridates invented it as an antidote against poison: twenty leaves of
Rue pounded with two Figs, two dried Walnuts and a grain of salt; which
receipt may be taken _cum grano salis_. Rue also entered into the
composition of the famous "Vinegar of the Four Thieves." These four
rascals, at the time of the Plague in Marseilles, invented this vinegar,
and, protected by its power, entered infected houses and carried away
property without taking the disease. Rue had innumerable virtues. Pliny
says eighty-four remedies were made of it. It was of special use in case
of venomous bites, and to counteract "Head-Ach" from over indulgence in
wine, especially if a little Sage were added. It promoted love in man
and diminished it in woman; it was good for the ear-ache, eye-ache,
stomach-ache, leg-ache, back-ache; good for an ague, good for a surfeit;
indeed, it would seem wise to make Rue a daily article of food and thus
insure perpetual good health.

The scent of Rue seems never dying. A sprig of it was given me by a
friend, and it chanced to lie for a single night on the sheets of paper
upon which this chapter is written. The scent has never left them, and
indeed the odor of Rue hangs literally around this whole book.

Summer Savory and Sweet Marjoram are rarely employed now in American
cooking. They are still found in my kitchen, and are used in scant
amount as a flavoring for stuffing of fowl. Many who taste and like the
result know not the old-fashioned materials used to produce that flavor,
and "of the younger sort" the names even are wholly unrecognized.

Sage is almost the only plant of the English kitchen garden which is
ordinarily grown in America. I like its fresh grayness in the garden. In
the days of our friend John Gerarde, the beloved old herbalist, there
was no fixed botanical nomenclature; but he scarcely needed botanical
terms, for he had a most felicitous and dextrous use of words. "Sage
hath broad leaves, long, wrinkled, rough, and whitish, like in roughness
to woollen cloth threadbare." What a description! it is far more vivid
than the picture here shown. Sage has never lost its established place
as a flavoring for the stuffing for ducks, geese, and for sausages; but
its universal employment as a flavoring for Sage cheese is nearly
obsolete. In my childhood home, we always had Sage cheese with other
cheeses; it was believed to be an aid in digestion. I had forgotten its
taste; and I must say I didn't like it when I ate it last summer, in New
Hampshire.

[Illustration: Our Friend, John Gerarde.]

Tansy was highly esteemed in England as a medicine, a cosmetic, and a
flavoring and ingredient in cooking. It was rubbed over raw meat to keep
the flies away and prevent decay, for in those days of no refrigerators
there had to be strong measures taken for the preservation of all
perishable food. Its strong scent and taste would be deemed intolerable
to us, who can scarce endure even the milder Sage in any large quantity.
A good folk name for it is "Bitter Buttons." Gerarde wrote of Tansy, "In
the spring time, are made with the leaves hereof newly sprung up, and
with Eggs, cakes or Tansies, which be pleasant in Taste and goode for
the Stomach."

[Illustration: Sage.]

"To Make a Tansie the Best Way," I learn from _The Accomplisht Cook_,
was thus:--

     "Take twenty Eggs, and take away five whites, strain them with a
     quart of good sweet thick Cream, and put to it a grated nutmeg, a
     race of ginger grated, as much cinnamon beaten fine, and a penny
     white loaf grated also, mix them all together with a little salt,
     then stamp some green wheat with some tansie herbs, strain it into
     the cream and eggs and stir all together; then take a clean
     frying-pan, and a quarter of a pound of butter, melt it, and put in
     the tansie, and stir it continually over the fire with a slice,
     ladle, or saucer, chop it, and break it as it thickens, and being
     well incorporated put it out of the pan into a dish, and chop it
     very fine; then make the frying-pan very clean, and put in some
     more butter, melt it, and fry it whole or in spoonfuls; being
     finely fried on both sides, dish it up and sprinkle it with
     rose-vinegar, grape-verjuyce, elder-vinegar, cowslip-vinegar, or
     the juyce of three or four oranges, and strow on a good store of
     fine sugar."

To all of this we can say that it would certainly be a very good
dish--without the Tansy. Another mediæval recipe was of Tansy, Feverfew,
Parsley, and Violets mixed with eggs, fried in butter, and sprinkled
with sugar.

The Minnow-Tansie of old Izaak Walton, a "Tanzie for Lent," was made
thus:--

     "Being well washed with salt and cleaned, and their heads and tails
     cut off, and not washed after, they prove excellent for that use;
     that is being fried with the yolks of eggs, the flowers of cowslips
     and of primroses, and a little tansy, thus used they make a dainty
     dish."

The name Tansy was given afterward to a rich fruit cake which had no
Tansy in it. It was apparently a favorite dish of Pepys. A certain
derivative custom obtained in some New England towns--certainly in
Hartford and vicinity. Tansy was used to flavor the Fast Day pudding.
One old lady recalls that it was truly a bitter food to the younger
members of the family; Miss Shelton, in her entertaining book, _The Salt
Box House_, tells of Tansy cakes, and says children did not dislike
them. Tansy bitters were made of Tansy leaves placed in a bottle with
New England rum. They were a favorite spring tonic, where all physicians
and housewives prescribed "the bitter principle" in the spring time.

No doubt Tansy was among the earliest plants brought over by the
settlers; it was carefully cherished in the herb garden, then spread to
the dooryard and then to farm lanes. As early as 1746 the traveller Kalm
noted Tansy growing wild in hedges and along roads in Pennsylvania. Now
it extends its sturdy growth for miles along the country road, one of
the rankest of weeds. It still is used in the manufacture of proprietary
medicines, and for this purpose is cut with a sickle in great armfuls
and gathered in cartloads. I have always liked its scent; and its
leaves, as Gerarde said, "infinitely jagged and nicked and curled"; and
its cheerful little "bitter buttons" of gold. Some old flowers adapt
themselves to modern conditions and look up-to-date; but to me the
Tansy, wherever found, is as openly old-fashioned as a betty-lamp or a
foot-stove.

[Illustration: Tansy.]

On July 1, 1846, an old grave was opened in the ancient "God's Acre"
near the halls of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This
grave was a brick vault covered with irregularly shaped flagstones about
three inches thick. Over it was an ancient slab of peculiar stone,
unlike any others in the cemetery save those over the graves of two
presidents of the College, Rev. Dr. Chauncy and Dr. Oakes. As there were
headstones near this slab inscribed with the names of the
great-grandchildren of President Dunster, it was believed that this was
the grave of a third President, Dr. Dunster. He died in the year 1659;
but his death took place in midwinter; and when this coffin was opened,
the skeleton was found entirely surrounded with common Tansy, in seed, a
portion of which had been pulled up by the roots, and it was therefore
believed by many who thought upon the matter that it was the coffin and
grave of President Mitchell, who died in July, 1668, of "an extream
fever." The skeleton was found still wrapped in a cerecloth, and in the
record of the church is a memorandum of payment "for a terpauling to
wrap Mr. Mitchell." The Tansy found in this coffin, placed there more
than two centuries ago, still retained its shape and scent.

This use of Tansy at funerals lingered long in country neighborhoods in
New England, in some vicinities till fifty years ago. To many older
persons the Tansy is therefore so associated with grewsome sights and
sad scenes, that they turn from it wherever seen, and its scent to them
is unbearable. One elderly friend writes me: "I never see the leaves of
Tansy without recalling also the pale dead faces I have so often seen
encircled by the dank, ugly leaves. Often as a child have I been sent to
gather all the Tansy I could find, to be carried by my mother to the
house of mourning; and I gathered it, loathing to touch it, but not
daring to refuse, and I loathe it still."

Tansy not only retains its scent for a long period, but the "golden
buttons" retain their color; I have seen them in New England parlors
forming part of a winter posy; this, I suppose, in neighborhoods where
Tansy was little used at funerals.

[Illustration: Garden of Mrs. Abraham Lansing, Albany, New York.]

If an herb garden had no other reason for existence, let me commend it
to the attention of those of ample grounds and kindly hearts, for a
special purpose--as a garden for the blind. Our many flower-charities
furnish flowers throughout the summer to our hospitals, but what
sweet-scented flowers are there for those debarred from any sight of
beauty? Through the past summer my daughters sent several times a week,
by the generous carriage of the Long Island Express Company, boxes of
wild flowers to any hospital of their choice. What could we send to the
blind? The midsummer flowers of field and meadow gratified the sight,
but scent was lacking. A sprig of Sweet Fern or Bayberry was the only
resource. Think of the pleasure which could be given to the sightless by
a posy of sweet-scented leaves, by Southernwood, Mint, Balm, or Basil,
and when memory was thereby awakened in those who once had seen, what
tender thoughts! If this book could influence the planting of an herb
garden for the solace of those who cannot see the flowers of field and
garden, then it will not have been written in vain.



CHAPTER VI

IN LILAC TIDE

    "Ere Man is aware
     That the Spring is here
     The Flowers have found it out."

    --_Ancient Chinese Saying._


"A flower opens, and lo! another Year," is the beautiful and suggestive
legend on an old vessel found in the Catacombs. Since these words were
written, how many years have begun! how many flowers have opened! and
yet nature has never let us weary of spring and spring flowers. My
garden knows well the time o' the year. It needs no almanac to count the
months.

    "The untaught Spring is wise
     In Cowslips and Anemonies."

While I sit shivering, idling, wondering when I can "start the
garden"--lo, there are Snowdrops and spring starting up to greet me.

Ever in earliest spring are there days when there is no green in grass,
tree, or shrub; but when the garden lover is conscious that winter is
gone and spring is waiting. There is in every garden, in every
dooryard, as in the field and by the roadside, in some indefinable way a
look of spring. One hint of spring comes even before its flowers--you
can smell its coming. The snow is gone from the garden walks and some of
the open beds; you walk warily down the softened path at midday, and you
smell the earth as it basks in the sun, and a faint scent comes from
some twigs and leaves. Box speaks of summer, not of spring; and the
fragrance from that Cedar tree is equally suggestive of summer. But
break off that slender branch of Calycanthus--how fresh and welcome its
delightful spring scent. Carry it into the house with branches of
Forsythia, and how quickly one fills its leaf buds and the other
blossoms.

[Illustration: Ladies' Delights.]

For several years the first blossom of the new year in our garden was
neither the Snowdrop nor Crocus, but the Ladies' Delight, that laughing,
speaking little garden face, which is not really a spring flower, it is
a stray from summer; but it is such a shrewd, intelligent little
creature that it readily found out that spring was here ere man or other
flowers knew it. This dear little primitive of the Pansy tribe has
become wonderfully scarce save in cherished old gardens like those of
Salem, where I saw this year a space thirty feet long and several feet
wide, under flowering shrubs and bushes, wholly covered with the
everyday, homely little blooms of Ladies' Delights. They have the
party-colored petal of the existing strain of English Pansies, distinct
from the French and German Pansies, and I doubt not are the descendants
of the cherished garden children of the English settlers. Gerarde
describes this little English Pansy or Heartsease in 1587 under the name
of _Viola tricolor_:--

     "The flouers in form and figure like the Violet, and for the most
     part of the same Bignesse, of three sundry colours, purple, yellow
     and white or blew, by reason of the beauty and braverie of which
     colours they are very pleasing to the eye, for smel they have
     little or none."

In Breck's _Book of Flowers_, 1851, is the first printed reference
I find to the flower under the name Ladies' Delight. In my
childhood I never heard it called aught else; but it has a score
of folk names, all testifying to an affectionate intimacy: Bird's-eye;
Garden-gate; Johnny-jump-up; None-so-pretty; Kitty-come; Kit-run-about;
Three-faces under-a-hood; Come-and-cuddle-me; Pink-of-my-Joan;
Kiss-me; Tickle-my-fancy; Kiss-me-ere-I rise; Jump-up-and-kiss-me.
To our little flower has also been given this folk name,
Meet-her-in-the-entry-kiss-her-in-the-buttery, the longest
plant name in the English language, rivalled only by Miss
Jekyll's triumph of nomenclature for the Stonecrop, namely:
Welcome-home-husband-be-he-ever-so-drunk.

[Illustration: Garden House in Garden of Hon. William H. Seward, Auburn,
New York.]

These little Ladies' Delights have infinite variety of expression; some
are laughing and roguish, some sharp and shrewd, some surprised, others
worried, all are animated and vivacious, and a few saucy to a degree.
They are as companionable as people--nay, more; they are as
companionable as children. No wonder children love them; they recognize
kindred spirits. I know a child who picked unbidden a choice Rose, and
hid it under her apron. But as she passed a bed of Ladies' Delights
blowing in the wind, peering, winking, mocking, she suddenly threw the
Rose at them, crying out pettishly, "Here! take your old flower!"

The Dandelion is to many the golden seal of spring, but it blooms the
whole circle of the year in sly garden corners and in the grass. Of it
might have been written the lines:--

    "It smiles upon the lap of May,
       To sultry August spreads its charms,
     Lights pale October on its way,
       And twines December's arms."

I have picked both Ladies' Delights and Dandelions every month in the
year.

[Illustration: Sun-dial in Garden of Hon. William H. Seward, Auburn, New
York.]

I suppose the common Crocus would not be deemed a very great garden
ornament in midsummer, in its lowly growth; but in its spring blossoming
it is--to use another's words--"most gladsome of the early flowers." A
bed of Crocuses is certainly a keen pleasure, glowing in the sun, almost
as grateful to the human eye as to the honey-gathering bees that come
unerringly, from somewhere, to hover over the golden cups. How welcome
after winter is the sound of that humming.

In the garden's story, there are ever a few pictures which stand out
with startling distinctness. When the year is gone you do not recall
many days nor many flowers with precision; often a single flower seems
of more importance than a whole garden. In the day book of 1900 I have
but few pictures; the most vivid was the very first of the season. It
could have been no later than April, for one or two Snowdrops still
showed white in the grass, when a splendid ribbon of Chionodoxa--Glory
of the Snow--opened like blue fire burning from plant to plant, the
bluest thing I ever saw in any garden. It was backed with solid masses
of equally vivid yellow Alyssum and chalk-white Candy-tuft, both of
which had had a good start under glass in a temporary forcing bed. These
three solid masses of color surrounded by bare earth and showing little
green leafage made my eyes ache, but a picture was burnt in which will
never leave my brain. I always have a sense of importance, of actual
ownership of a plant, when I can recall its introduction--as I do of the
Chionodoxa, about 1871. It is said to come up and bloom in the snow, but
I have never seen it in blossom earlier than March, and never then
unless the snow has vanished. It has much of the charm of its relative,
the Scilla.

We all have flower favorites, and some of us have flower antipathies, or
at least we are indifferent to certain flowers; but I never knew any one
but loved the Daffodil. Not only have poets and dramatists sung it, but
it is a common favorite, as shown by its homely names in our everyday
speech. I am always touched in _Endymion_ that the only flowers named as
"a thing of beauty that is a joy forever" are Daffodils "with the green
world they live in."

In Daffodils I like the "old fat-headed sort with nutmeg and cinnamon
smell and old common English names--Butter-and-eggs, Codlins-and-cream,
Bacon and eggs." The newer ones are more slender in bud and bloom, more
trumpet-shaped, and are commonplace of name instead of common. In
Virginia the name of a variety has become applied to a family, and all
Daffodils are called Butter-and-eggs by the people.

On spring mornings the Tulips fairly burn with a warmth, which makes
them doubly welcome after winter. Emerson--ever able to draw a picture
in two lines--to show the heart of everything in a single sentence--thus
paints them:--

    "The gardens fire with a joyful blaze
     Of Tulips in the morning's rays."

"Tulipase do carry so stately and delightful a form, and do abide so
long in their bravery, that there is no Lady or Gentleman of any worth
that is not caught with this delight,"--wrote the old herbalist
Parkinson. Bravery is an ideal expression for Tulips.

[Illustration: Lilacs in Midsummer in Garden of Mrs. Abraham Lansing,
Albany, New York.]

It is with something of a shock that we read the words of Philip
Hamerton in _The Sylvan Year_, that nature is not harmonious in the
spring, but is only in the way of becoming so. He calls it the time of
crudities, like the adolescence of the mind. He says, "The green is
good for us, and we welcome it with uncritical gladness; but when we
think of painting, it may be doubted whether any season of the year is
less propitious to the broad and noble harmonies which are the secrets
of all grand effects in art." And he compares the season to the
uncomfortable hour in a household when the early risers are walking
about, not knowing what to do with themselves, while others have not yet
come down to breakfast.

I must confess that an undiversified country landscape in spring has
upon me the effect asserted by Hamerton. I recall one early spring week
in the Catskills, when I fairly complained, "Everything is so green
here." I longed for rocks, water, burnt fields, bare trees, anything to
break that glimmering green of new grass and new Birches. But in the
spring garden there is variety of shape and color; the Peony leaf buds
are red, some sprouting leaves are pink, and there are vast varieties of
brown and gray and gold in leaf.

Let me give the procession of spring in the garden in the words of a
lover of old New England flowers, Dr. Holmes. It is a vivid word picture
of the distinctive forms and colors of budding flowers and leaves.

    "At first the snowdrop's bells are seen,
       Then close against the sheltering wall
     The tulip's horn of dusky green,
       The peony's dark unfolding ball.

    "The golden-chaliced crocus burns;
       The long narcissus blades appear;
     The cone-beaked hyacinth returns
       To light her blue-flamed chandelier.

    "The willow's whistling lashes, wrung
       By the wild winds of gusty March,
     With sallow leaflets lightly strung,
       Are swaying by the tufted larch.

    "See the proud tulip's flaunting cup,
       That flames in glory for an hour,--
     Behold it withering, then look up--
       How meek the forest-monarchs flower!

    "When wake the violets, Winter dies;
       When sprout the elm buds, Spring is near;
     When lilacs blossom, Summer cries,
       'Bud, little roses, Spring is here.'"

The universal flower in the old-time garden was the Lilac; it was the
most beloved bloom of spring, and gave a name to Spring--Lilac tide. The
Lilac does not promise "spring is coming"; it is the emblem of the
_presence_ of spring. Dr. Holmes says, "When Lilacs blossom, Summer
cries, '_Spring is here_'" in every cheerful and lavish bloom. Lilacs
shade the front yard; Lilacs grow by the kitchen doorstep; Lilacs spring
up beside the barn; Lilacs shade the well; Lilacs hang over the spring
house; Lilacs crowd by the fence side and down the country road. In many
colonial dooryards it was the only shrub--known both to lettered and
unlettered folk as Laylock, and spelt Laylock too. Walter Savage Landor,
when Laylock had become antiquated, still clung to the word, and used it
with a stubborn persistence such as he alone could compass, and which
seems strange in the most finished classical scholar of his day.

[Illustration: Lilacs at Craigie House, the Home of Longfellow.]

"I shall not go to town while the Lilacs bloom," wrote Longfellow; and
what Lilac lover could have left a home so Lilac-embowered as Craigie
House! A view of its charms in Lilac tide is given in outline on this
page; the great Lilac trees seem wondrously suited to the fine old
Revolutionary mansion.

[Illustration: Box-edged Garden at the Home of Longfellow.]

There is in Albany, New York, a lovely garden endeared to those who know
it through the memory of a presence that lighted all places associated
with it with the beauty of a noble life. It is the garden of the home of
Mrs. Abraham Lansing, and was planted by her father and mother, General
and Mrs. Peter Gansevoort, in 1846, having been laid out with taste and
an art that has borne the test of over half a century's growth. In the
garden are scores of old-time favorites: Flower de Luce, Peonies,
Daffodils, and snowy Phlox; but instead of bending over the flower
borders, let us linger awhile in the wonderful old Lilac walk. It is a
glory of tender green and shaded amethyst and grateful hum of bees, the
very voice of Spring. Every sense is gratified, even that of touch, when
the delicate plumes of the fragrant Lilac blossoms brush your cheek as
you walk through its path; there is no spot of fairer loveliness than
this Lilac walk in May. It is a wonderful study of flickering light and
grateful shade in midsummer. Look at its full-leaf charms opposite page
138; was there ever anything lovelier in any garden, at any time, than
the green vista of this Lilac walk in July? But for the thoughtful
garden-lover it has another beauty still, the delicacy and refinement of
outline when the Lilac walk is bare of foliage, as is shown on page 220
and facing page 154. The very spirit of the Lilacs seems visible, etched
with a purity of touch that makes them sentient, speaking beings,
instead of silent plants. See the outlines of stem and branch against
the tender sky of this April noon. Do you care for color when you have
such beauty of outline? Surely this Lilac walk is loveliest in April,
with a sensitive etherealization beyond compare. How wonderfully these
pictures have caught the look of tentative spring--spring waiting for a
single day to burst into living green. There is an ancient Saxon name
for springtime--Opyn-tide--thus defined by an old writer, "Whenne that
flowres think on blowen"--when the flowers begin to think of budding and
blowing; and so I name this picture Opyn-tide, the Thought of Spring.

For many years Lilacs were planted for hedges; they were seldom
satisfactory if clipped, for the broad-spreading leaves were always gray
with dust, and they often had a "rust" which wholly destroyed their
beauty. The finest clipped Lilac hedge I ever saw is at Indian Hill,
Newburyport. It was set out about 1850, and is compact and green as
Privet; the leaves are healthy, and the growth perfect down to the
ground; it is an unusual example of Lilac growth--a perfect hedge. An
unclipped Lilac hedge is lovely in its blooming; a beautiful one grows
by the side of the old family home of Mr. Mortimer Howell at West
Hampton Beach, Long Island. To this hedge in May come a-begging dusky
city flower venders, who break off and carry away wagon loads of blooms.
As the fare from and to New York is four dollars, and a wagon has to be
hired to convey the flowers from the hedge two miles to the railroad
station, there must be a high price charged for these Lilacs to afford
any profit; but the Italian flower sellers appear year after year.

[Illustration: Joepye-weed and Queen Anne's Lace.]

Lilacs bloom not in our ancient literature; they are not named by
Shakespeare, nor do I recall any earlier mention of them than in the
essay of Lord Bacon on "Gardens," published about 1610, where he spelled
it Lelacke. Blue-pipe tree was the ancient name of the Lilac, a reminder
of the time when pipes were made of its wood; I heard it used in modern
speech once. An old Narragansett coach driver called out to me, "Ye set
such store on flowers, don't ye want to pick that Blue-pipe in Pender
Zeke's garden?"--a deserted garden and home at Pender Zeke's Corner.
This man had some of the traits of Mrs. Wright's delightful
"Time-o'-Day," and he knew well my love of flowers; for he had been my
charioteer to the woods where Rhododendron and Rhodora bloom, and he had
revealed to me the pond where grew the pink Water Lilies. And from a
chance remark of mine he had conveyed to me a wagon load of Joepye-weed
and Boneset, to the dismay of my younger children, who had apprehensions
of unlimited gallons of herb tea therefrom. Let me steal a few lines
from my spring Lilacs to write of these two "Sisters of Healing," which
were often planted in the household herb garden. From July to September
in the low lying meadows of every state from the Bay of Fundy to the
Gulf of Mexico, can be found Joepye-weed and Boneset. The dull pink
clusters of soft fringy blooms of Joepye-weed stand up three to eight
feet in height above the moist earth, catching our eye and the visit of
every passing butterfly, and commanding attention for their fragrance,
and a certain dignity of carriage notable even among the more striking
hues of the brilliant Goldenrod and vivid Sunflowers. Joe Pye was an
Indian medicine-man of old New England, famed among his white neighbors
for his skill in curing the devastating typhoid fevers which, in those
days of no drainage and ignorance of sanitation, vied with so-called
"hereditary" consumption in exterminating New England families. His
cure-all was a bitter tea decocted from leaves and stalks of this
_Eupatorium purpureum_, and in token of his success the plant bears
everywhere his name, but it is now wholly neglected by the simpler and
herb-doctor. The sister plant, the _Eupatorium perfoliatum_, known as
Thoroughwort, Boneset, Ague-weed, or Indian Sage, grows everywhere by
its side, and is also used in fevers. It was as efficacious in "break
bone fever" in the South a century ago as it is now for the grippe, for
it still is used, North and South, in many a country home. Neltje
Blanchan and Mrs. Dana Parsons call Thoroughwort or Boneset tea a
"nauseous draught," and I thereby suspect that neither has tasted it. I
have many a time, and it has a clear, clean bitter taste, no stronger
than any bitter beer or ale. Every year is Boneset gathered in old
Narragansett; but swamp edges and meadows that are easy of access have
been depleted of the stately growth of saw-edged wrinkled leaves, and
the Boneset gatherer must turn to remote brooksides and inaccessible
meadows for his harvest. The flat-topped terminal cymes of leaden white
blooms are not distinctive as seen from afar, and many flowers of
similar appearance lure the weary simpler here and there, until at last
the welcome sight of the connate perfoliate leaves, surrounding the
strong stalk, distinctive of the Boneset, show that his search is
rewarded.

[Illustration: Boneset.]

After these bitter draughts of herb tea, we will turn, as do children,
to sweets, to our beloved Lilac blooms. The Lilac has ever been a flower
welcomed by English-speaking folk since it first came to England by the
hand of some mariner. It is said that a German traveller named Busbeck
brought it from the Orient to the continent in the sixteenth century. I
know not when it journeyed to the new world, but long enough ago so that
it now grows cheerfully and plentifully in all our states of temperate
clime and indeed far south. It even grows wild in some localities,
though it never looks wild, but plainly shows its escape or exile from
some garden. It is specially beloved in New England, and it seems so
much more suited in spirit to New England than to Persia that it ought
really to be a native plant. Its very color seems typical of New
England; some parts of celestial blue, with more of warm pink, blended
and softened by that shading of sombre gray ever present in New England
life into a distinctive color known everywhere as lilac--a color
grateful, quiet, pleasing, what Thoreau called a "tender, civil,
cheerful color." Its blossoming at the time of Election Day, that
all-important New England holiday, gave it another New England
significance.

There is no more emblematic flower to me than the Lilac; it has an
association of old homes, of home-making and home interests. On the
country farm, in the village garden, and in the city yard, the lilac was
planted wherever the home was made, and it attached itself with deepest
roots, lingering sometimes most sadly but sturdily, to show where the
home once stood.

[Illustration: Magnolias.]

Let me tell of two Lilacs of sentiment. One of them is shown on page
149; a glorious Lilac tree which is one of a group of many
full-flowered, pale-tinted ones still growing and blossoming each spring
on a deserted homestead in old Narragansett. They bloom over the grave
of a fine old house, and the great chimney stands sadly in their midst
as a gravestone. "Hopewell," ill-suited of name, was the home of a
Narragansett Robinson famed for good cheer, for refinement and luxury,
and for a lovely garden, laid out with cost and care and filled with
rare shrubs and flowers. Perhaps these Lilacs were a rare variety in
their day, being pale of tint; now they are as wild as their
companions, the Cedar hedges.

[Illustration: Lilacs at Hopewell.]

Gathering in the front dooryard of a fallen farm-house some splendid
branches of flowering Lilac, I found a few feet of cellar wall and
wooden house side standing, and the sills of two windows. These window
sills, exposed for years to the bleaching and fading of rain and sun and
frost, still bore the circular marks of the flower pots which, filled
with houseplants, had graced the kitchen windows for many a winter under
the care of a flower-loving house mistress. A few days later I learned
from a woman over ninety years of age--an inmate of the "Poor
House"--the story of the home thus touchingly indicated by the Lilac
bushes and the stains of the flower pots. Over eighty years ago she had
brought the tiny Lilac-slip to her childhood's home, then standing in a
clearing in the forest. She carried it carefully in her hands as she
rode behind her father on a pillion after a visit to her grandmother.
She and her little brothers and sisters planted the tiny thing "of two
eyes only," as she said, in the shadow of the house, in the little front
yard. And these children watered it and watched it, as it rooted and
grew, till the house was surrounded each spring with its vivacious
blooms, its sweet fragrance. The puny slip has outlived the house and
all its inmates save herself, outlived the brothers and sisters, their
children and grandchildren, outlived orchard and garden and field. And
it will live to tell a story to every thoughtful passer-by till a second
growth of forest has arisen in pasture and garden and even in the
cellar-hole, when even then the cheerful Lilac will not be wholly
obliterated.

A bunch of early Lilacs was ever a favorite gift to "teacher," to be
placed in a broken-nosed pitcher on her desk. And Lilac petals made such
lovely necklaces, thrust within each other or strung with needle and
thread. And there was a love divination by Lilacs which we children
solemnly observed. There will occasionally appear a tiny Lilac flower,
usually a white Lilac, with five divisions of the petal instead of
four--this is a Luck Lilac. This must be solemnly swallowed. If it goes
down smoothly, the dabbler in magic cries out, "He loves me;" if she
chokes at her floral food, she must say sadly, "He loves me not." I
remember once calling out, with gratification and pride, "He loves me!"
"Who is he?" said my older companions. "Oh, I didn't know he had to be
somebody," I answered in surprise, to be met by derisive laughter at my
satisfaction with a lover in general and not in particular. It was a
matter of Lilac-luck-etiquette that the lover's name should be
pronounced mentally before the petal was swallowed.

[Illustration: Persian Lilacs and Peonies in Garden of the Kimball
Homestead, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.]

In the West Indies the Lilac is a flower of mysterious power; its
perfume keeps away evil spirits, ghosts, banshees. If it grows not in
the dooryard, its protecting branches are hung over the doorway. I think
of this when I see it shading the door of happy homes in New England.

In our old front yards we had only the common Lilacs, and occasionally
a white one; and as a rarity the graceful, but sometimes rather
spindling, Persian Lilacs, known since 1650 in gardens, and shown on
page 151. How the old gardens would have stared at the new double
Lilacs, which have luxuriant plumes of bloom twenty inches long.

The "pensile Lilac" has been sung by many poets; but the spirit of the
flower has been best portrayed in verse by Elizabeth Akers. I can quote
but a single stanza from so many beautiful ones.

    "How fair it stood, with purple tassels hung,
       Their hue more tender than the tint of Tyre;
     How musical amid their fragrance rung
       The bee's bassoon, keynote of spring's glad choir!
     O languorous Lilac! still in time's despite
     I see thy plumy branches all alight
       With new-born butterflies which loved to stay
       And bask and banquet in the temperate ray
     Of springtime, ere the torrid heats should be:
       For these dear memories, though the world grow gray,
     I sing thy sweetness, lovely Lilac tree!"

Another poet of the Lilac is Walt Whitman. He tells his delight in "the
Lilac tall and its blossoms of mastering odor." He sings: "with the
birds a warble of joy for Lilac-time." That noble, heroic dirge, the
_Burial Hymn of Lincoln_, begins:--

    "When Lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd."

The poet stood under the blossoming Lilacs when he learned of the death
of Lincoln, and the scent and sight of the flowers ever bore the sad
association. In this poem is a vivid description of--

    "The Lilac bush, tall growing, with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
     With many a pointed blossom, rising delicate with the perfume strong
       I love.
     With every leaf a miracle."

Thomas William Parsons could turn from his profound researches and
loving translations of Dante to write with deep sympathy of the Lilac.
His verses have to me an additional interest, since I believe they were
written in the house built by my ancestor in 1740, and occupied still by
his descendants. In its front dooryard are Lilacs still standing under
the windows of Dr. Parsons' room, in which he loved so to write.

Hawthorne felt a sort of "ludicrous unfitness in the idea of a
time-stricken and grandfatherly Lilac bush." He was dissatisfied with
aged Lilacs, though he knew not whether his heart, judgment, or rural
sense put him in that condition. He felt the flower should either
flourish in immortal youth or die. Apple trees could grow old and feeble
without his reproach, but an aged Lilac was improper.

I fancy no one ever took any care of Lilacs in an old garden. As soon
water or enrich the Sumach and Elder growing by the roadside! But care
for your Lilacs nowadays, and see how they respond. Make them a _garden_
flower, and you will never regret it. There be those who prefer grafted
Lilacs--the stock being usually a Syringa; they prefer the single trunk,
and thus get rid of the Lilac suckers. But compare a row of grafted
Lilacs to a row of natural fastigate growth, as shown on page 220, and I
think nature must be preferred.

"Methinks I see my contemplative girl now in the garden watching the
gradual approach of Spring," wrote Sterne. My contemplative girl lives
in the city, how can she know that spring is here? Even on those few
square feet of mother earth, dedicated to clotheslines and posts, spring
sets her mark. Our Lilacs seldom bloom, but they put forth lovely fresh
green leaves; and even the unrolling of the leaves of our Japanese ivies
are a pleasure.

Our poor little strips of back yard in city homes are apt to be too
densely shaded for flower blooms, but some things will grow, even there.
Some wild flowers will live, and what a delight they are in spring. We
have a Jack-in-the-pulpit who comes up just as jauntily there as in the
wild woods; Dog-tooth Violet and our common wild Violet also bloom. A
city neighbor has Trillium which blossoms each year; our Trillium shows
leaves, but no blossoms, and does not increase in spread of roots.
Bloodroot, a flower so shy when gathered in the woods, and ever loving
damp sites, flourishes in the dryest flower bed, grows coarser in leaf
and bloom, and blossoms earlier, and holds faster its snowy petals.
Corydalis in the garden seems so garden-bred that you almost forget the
flower was ever wild.

[Illustration: Opyn-tide, the Thought of Spring.]

The approach of spring in our city parks is marked by the appearance of
the Dandelion gatherers. It is always interesting to see, in May, on the
closely guarded lawns and field expanses of our city parks, the hundreds
of bareheaded, gayly-dressed Italian and Portuguese women and children
eagerly gathering the young Dandelion plants to add to their meagre
fare as a greatly-loved delicacy. They collect these "greens" in
highly-colored kerchiefs, in baskets, in squares of sheeting; I have
seen the women bearing off a half-bushel of plants; even their stumpy
little children are impressed to increase the welcome harvest, and with
a broken knife dig eagerly in the greensward. The thrifty park
commissioners, in Dandelion-time, relax their rigid rules, "Keep Off the
Grass," and turn the salad-loving Italians loose to improve the public
lawns by freeing them from weeds.

The earliest sign of spring in the fields and woods in my childhood was
the appearance of the Willow catkins, and was heralded by the cry of one
child to another,--"Pussy-willows are out." How eagerly did those who
loved the woods and fields turn, after the storm, whiteness, and chill
of a New England winter, to Pussy-willows as a promise of summer and
sunshine. Some of their charm ever lingers to us as we see them in the
baskets of swarthy street venders in New York.

Magnolia blossoms are sold in our city streets to remind city dwellers
of spring. "Every flower its own bow-kwet," is the call of the vender.
Bunches of Locust blossoms follow, awkwardly tied together. Though the
Magnolia is earlier, I do not find it much more splendid as a flowering
tree for the garden than our northern Dogwood; and the Dogwood when in
bloom seems just as tropical. It is then the glory of the landscape; and
its radiant starry blossoms turn into ideal beauty even our sombre
cemeteries.

The Magnolia has been planted in northern gardens for over a century.
Gardens on Long Island have many beautiful old specimens, doubtless
furnished by the Prince Nurseries. These seem thoroughly at home; just
as does the Locust brought from Virginia, a century ago, by one Captain
Sands of Sands Point, to please his Virginia bride with the presence of
the trees of her girlhood's home. These Locusts have spread over every
rood of Long Island earth, and seem as much at home as Birch or Willow.
The three Magnolia trees on Mr. Brown's lawn in Flatbush are as large as
any I know in the North, and were exceptionally full of bloom this year,
this photograph (shown facing page 148) being taken when they were past
their prime. I saw children eagerly gathering the waxy petals which had
fallen, and which show so plainly in the picture. But the flower is not
common enough here for northern children to learn the varied attractions
of the Magnolia.

The flower lore of American children is nearly all of English
derivation; but children invent as well as copy. In the South the lavish
growth of the Magnolia affords multiform playthings. The beautiful broad
white petals give a snowy surface for the inditing of messages or
valentines, which are written with a pin, when the letters turn dark
brown. The stamens of the flower--waxlike with red tips--make mock
illuminating matches. The leaves shape into wonderful drinking cups, and
the scarlet seeds give a glowing necklace.

[Illustration: A Thought of Winter's Snows.]

The glories of a spring garden are not in the rows of flowering bulbs,
beautiful as they are; but in the flowering shrubs and trees. The old
garden had few shrubs, but it had unsurpassed beauty in its rows of
fruit trees which in their blossoming give the spring garden, as here
shown, that lovely whiteness which seems a blending of the seasons--a
thought of winter's snows. The perfection of Apple blossoms I have told
in another chapter. Earlier to appear was the pure white, rather chilly,
blooms of the Plum tree, to the Japanese "the eldest brother of an
hundred flowers." They are faintly sweet-scented with the delicacy
found in many spring blossoms. A good example of the short verses of the
Japanese poets tells of the Plum blossom and its perfume.

    "In springtime, on a cloudless night,
       When moonbeams throw their silver pall
       O'er wooded landscapes, veiling all
     In one soft cloud of misty white,
     'Twere vain almost to hope to trace
       The Plum trees in their lovely bloom
       Of argent; 'tis their sweet perfume
     Alone which leads me to their place."

The lovely family of double white Plum blossoms which now graces our
gardens is varied by tinted ones; there are sixty in all which the
nineteenth century owes to Japan.

The Peach tree has a flower which has given name to one of the loveliest
colors in the world. The Peach has varieties with wonderful double
flowers of glorious color. Cherry trees bear a more cheerful white
flower than Plum trees.

    "The Cherry boughs above us spread
       The whitest shade was ever seen;
     And flicker, flicker came and fled
       Sun-spots between."

I do not recall the Judas tree in my childhood. I am told there were
many in Worcester; but there were none in our garden, nor in our
neighborhood, and that was my world. Orchids might have hung from the
trees a mile from my home, and would have been no nearer me than the
tropics. I had a small world, but it was large enough, since it was
bounded by garden walls.

Almond trees are seldom seen in northern gardens; but the Flowering
Almond flourishes as one of the purest and loveliest familiar shrubs.
Silvery pink in bloom when it opens, the pink darkens till when in full
flower it is deeply rosy. It was, next to the Lilac, the favorite shrub
of my childhood. I used to call the exquisite little blooms "fairy
roses," and there were many fairy tales relating to the Almond bush.
This made the flower enhaloed with sentiment and mystery, which charmed
as much as its beauty. The Flowering Almond seemed to have a special
place under a window in country yards and gardens, as it is shown on
page 39. A fitting spot it was, since it never grew tall enough to shade
the little window panes.

With Pussy-willows and Almond blossoms and Ladies' Delights, with
blossoming playhouse Apple trees and sweet-scented Lilac walks, spring
was certainly Paradise in our childhood. Would it were an equally happy
season in mature years; but who, garden-bred, can walk in the springtime
through the garden of her childhood without thought of those who cared
for the garden in its youth, and shared the care of their children with
the care of their flowers, but now are seen no more.

    "Oh, far away in some serener air,
     The eyes that loved them see a heavenly dawn:
     How can they bloom without her tender care?
     Why should they live when her sweet life is gone?"

I have written of the gladness of spring, but I know nothing more
overwhelming than the heartache of spring, the sadness of a
fresh-growing spring garden. Where is the dear one who planted it and
loved it, and he who helped her in the care, and the loving child who
played in it and left it in the springtime? All that is good and
beautiful has come again to us with the sunlight and warmth, save those
whom we still love but can see no more. By that very measure of
happiness poured for us in childhood in Lilac tide, is our cup of
sadness now filled.



CHAPTER VII

OLD FLOWER FAVORITES

    "God does not send us strange flowers every year.
     When the spring winds blow o'er the pleasant places
     The same dear things lift up the same fair faces;
       The Violet is here.

    "It all comes back; the odor, grace, and hue
     Each sweet relation of its life repeated;
     No blank is left, no looking-for is cheated;
       It is the thing we knew."

    --ADELINE D. T. WHITNEY, 1861.


Not only do I love to see the same dear things year after year, and to
welcome the same odor, grace, and hue; but I love to find them in the
same places. I like a garden in which plants have been growing in one
spot for a long time, where they have a fixed home and surroundings. In
our garden the same flowers shoulder each other comfortably and crowd
each other a little, year after year. They look, my sister says, like
long-established neighbors, like old family friends, not as if they had
just "moved in," and didn't know each other's names and faces. Plants
grow better when they are among flower friends. I suppose we have to
transplant some plants, sometimes; but I would try to keep old friends
together even in those removals. They would be lonely when they opened
their eyes after the winter's sleep, and saw strange flower forms and
unknown faces around them.

[Illustration: Larkspur and Phlox.]

For flowers have friendships, and antipathies as well. How Canterbury
Bells and Foxgloves love to grow side by side! And Sweet Williams, with
Foxgloves, as here shown. And in my sister's garden Larkspur always
starts up by white Phlox--see a bit of the border on this page. Whatever
may influence these docile alliances, it isn't a proper sense of fitness
of color; for Tiger Lilies dearly love to grow by crimson-purple Phlox,
a most inharmonious association, and you can hardly separate them. If a
flower dislikes her neighbor in the garden, she moves quietly away, I
don't know where or how. Sometimes she dies, but at any rate she is
gone. It is so queer; I have tried every year to make Feverfew grow in
this bed, and it won't do it, though it grows across the path. There is
some flower here that the pompous Feverfew doesn't care to associate
with. Not the Larkspur, for they are famous friends--perhaps it is the
Sweet William, who is rather a plain fellow. In general flowers are very
sociable with each other, but they have some preferences, and these are
powerful ones.

[Illustration: Sweet William and Foxglove.]

It is amusing to read in no less than five recent English
"garden-books," by flower-loving souls, the solemn advice that if you
wish a beautiful garden effect you "must plant the great Oriental Poppy
by the side of the White Lupine."

    "Thou say'st an undisputed thing
     In such a solemn way."

The truth is, you have very little to do with it. That Poppy chooses to
keep company with the White Lupine, and to that impulse you owe your
fine garden effect. The Poppy is the slyest magician of the whole
garden. He comes and goes at will. This year a few blooms, nearly all in
one corner; next year a blaze of color banded across the middle of the
garden like the broad sash of a court chamberlain. Then a single grand
blossom quite alone in the pansy bed, while another pushes up between
the tight close leaves of the box edging:--the Poppy is _queer_.

[Illustration: Plume Poppy.]

Some flowers have such a hatred of man they cannot breathe and live in
his presence, others have an equal love of human companionship. The
white Clover clings here to our pathway as does the English Daisy across
seas. And in our garden Ladies' Delights and Ambrosia tell us, without
words, of their love for us and longing to be by our side; just as
plainly as a child silently tells us his love and dependence on us by
taking our hand as we walk side by side. There is not another gesture of
childhood, not an affectionate word which ever touched my heart as did
that trustful holding of the hand. One of my children throughout his
brief life never walked by my side without clinging closely--I think
without conscious intent--with his little hand to mine. I can never
forget the affection, the trust of that vanished hand.

I find that my dearest flower loves are the old flowers,--not only old
to me because I knew them in childhood, but old in cultivation.

    "Give me the good old weekday blossoms
       I used to see so long ago,
     With hearty sweetness in their bosoms,
       Ready and glad to bud and blow."

Even were they newcomers, we should speedily care for them, they are so
lovable, so winning, so endearing. If I had seen to-day for the first
time a Fritillaria, a Violet, a Lilac, a Bluebell, or a Rose, I know it
would be a case of love at first sight. But with intimacy they have
grown dearer still.

The sense of long-continued acquaintance and friendship which we feel
for many garden flowers extends to a few blossoms of field and forest.
It is felt to an inexplicable degree by all New Englanders for the
Trailing Arbutus, our Mayflower; and it is this unformulated sentiment
which makes us like to go to the same spot year after year to gather
these beloved flowers. I am sensible of this friendship for Buttercups,
they seem the same flowers I knew last year; and I have a distinct
sympathy with Owen Meredith's poem:--

    "I pluck the flowers I plucked of old
     About my feet--yet fresh and cold
     The Buttercups do bend;
     The selfsame Buttercups they seem,
     Thick in the bright-eyed green, and such
     As when to me their blissful gleam
     Was all earth's gold--how much!"

We have little of the intense sentiment, the inspiration which filled
flower-lovers of olden times. We admire flowers certainly as beautiful
works of nature, as objects of wonder in mechanism and in the profusion
of growth, and we are occasionally roused to feelings of gratitude to
the Maker and Giver of such beauty; but it is not precisely the same
regard that the old gardeners and "flowerists" had, which is expressed
in this quotation from Gerarde of "the gallant grace of violets":--

     "They admonish and stir up a man to that which is comelie and
     honest; for flowers through their beautie, varietie of colour and
     exquisite forme doe bring to a liberall and gentlemanly mind, the
     remembrance of honestie, comelinesse and all kinds of virtues."

It was a virtue to be comely in those days; as it is indeed a virtue
now; and to the pious old herbalists it seemed an impossible thing that
any creation which was beautiful should not also be good.

[Illustration: Meadow Rue.]

All flowers cannot be loved with equal warmth; it is possible to have a
wholesome liking for a flower, a wish to see it around you, which would
make you plant it in your borders and treat it well, but which would not
be at all akin to love. For others you have a placid tolerance; others
you esteem--good, virtuous, worthy creatures, but you cannot warm toward
them. Sometimes they have been sung with passion by poets (Swinburne is
always glowing over very unresponsive flower souls) and they have been
painted with fervor by artists--and still you do not love them. I do not
love Tulips, but I welcome them very cordially in my garden. Others have
loved them; the Tulip has had her head turned by attention.

Some flowers we like at first sight, but they do not wear well. This is
a hard truth; and I shall not shame the garden-creatures who have done
their best to please by betraying them to the world, save in a single
case to furnish an example. In late August the Bergamot blossoms in
luxuriant heads of white and purplish pink bloom, similar in tint to the
abundant Phlox. Both grow freely in the garden of Sylvester Manor. When
the Bergamot has romped in your borders for two or three years, you may
wish to exile it to a vegetable garden, near the blackberry vines. Is
this because it is an herb instead of a purely decorative flower? You
never thus thrust out Phlox. A friend confesses to me that she exiled
even the splendid scarlet Bergamot after she had grown it for three
years in her flower-beds; such subtle influences control our
flower-loves.

Beautiful and noble as are the grand contributions of the nineteenth
century to us from the garden and fields of Japan and China, we seldom
speak of loving them. Thus the Chinese White Wistaria is similar in
shape of blossom to the Scotch Laburnum, though a far more elegant, more
lavish flower; but the Laburnum is the loved one. I used to read
longingly of the Laburnum in volumes of English poetry, especially in
Hood's verses, beginning:--

    "I remember, I remember,
     The house where I was born,"

Ella Partridge had a tall Laburnum tree at her front door; it peeped in
the second-story windows. It was so cherished, that I doubt whether its
blooms were ever gathered. She told us with conscious pride and
rectitude that it was a "yellow Wistaria tree which came from China"; I
saw no reason to doubt her words, and as I never chanced to speak to my
parents about it, I ever thought of it as a yellow Wistaria tree until I
went out into the world and found it was a Scotch Laburnum.

Few garden owners plant now the Snowberry, _Symphoricarpus racemosus_,
once seen in every front yard, and even used for hedges. It wasn't a
very satisfactory shrub in its habit; the oval leaves were not a
cheerful green, and were usually pallid with mildew. The flowers were
insignificant, but the clusters of berries were as pure as pearls. In
country homes, before the days of cheap winter flowers and omnipresent
greenhouses, these snowy clusters were cherished to gather in winter to
place on coffins and in hands as white and cold as the berries. Its
special offence in our garden was partly on account of this funereal
association, but chiefly because we were never permitted to gather its
berries to string into necklaces. They were rigidly preserved on the
stem as a garden decoration in winter; though they were too closely akin
in color to the encircling snowdrifts to be of any value.

In country homes in olden times were found several universal winter
posies. On the narrow mantel shelves of farm and village parlors, both
in England and America, still is seen a winter posy made of dried stalks
of the seed valves of a certain flower; they are shown on the opposite
page. Let us see how our old friend, Gerarde, describes this plant:--

     "The stalkes are loden with many flowers like the
     stocke-gilliflower, of a purple colour, which, being fallen, the
     seede cometh foorthe conteined in a flat thinne cod, with a sharp
     point or pricke at one end, in fashion of the moone, and somewhat
     blackish. This cod is composed of three filmes or skins whereof the
     two outermost are of an overworne ashe colour, and the innermost,
     or that in the middle whereon the seed doth hang or cleave, is thin
     and cleere shining, like a piece of white satten newly cut from the
     peece."

In the latter clause of this striking description is given the reason
for the popular name of the flower, Satin-flower or White Satin, for the
inner septum is a shining membrane resembling white satin. Another
interesting name is Pricksong-flower. All who have seen sheets of music
of Elizabethan days, when the notes of music were called pricks, and the
whole sheet a pricksong, will readily trace the resemblance to the seeds
of this plant.

Gerarde says it was named "Penny-floure, Money-floure, Silver-plate,
Sattin, and among our women called Honestie." The last name was commonly
applied at the close of the eighteenth century. It is thus named in
writings of Rev. William Hanbury, 1771, and a Boston seedsman then
advertised seeds of Honestie "in small quantities, that all might have
some." In 1665, Josselyn found White Satin planted and growing
plentifully in New England gardens, where I am sure it formed, in garden
and house, a happy reminder of their English homes to the wives of the
colonists. Since that time it has spread so freely in some localities,
especially in southern Connecticut, that it grows wild by the wayside.
It is seldom seen now in well-kept gardens, though it should be, for it
is really a lovely flower, showing from white to varied and rich light
purples. I was charmed with its fresh beauty this spring in the garden
of Mrs. Mabel Osgood Wright; a photograph of one of her borders
containing Honesty is shown opposite page 174.

[Illustration: Money-in-both-pockets.]

At Belvoir Castle in England, in the "Duchess's Garden," the
Satin-flower can be seen in full variety of tint, and fills an important
place. It is carefully cultivated by seed and division, all inferior
plants being promptly destroyed, while the superior blossoms are
cherished.

The flower was much used in charms and spells, as was everything
connected with the moon. Drayton's Clarinax sings of Lunaria:--

    "Enchanting lunarie here lies
     In sorceries excelling."

As a child this Lunaria was a favorite flower, for it afforded to us
juvenile money. Indeed, it was generally known among us as Money-flower
or Money-seed, or sometimes as Money-in-both-pockets. The seed valves
formed our medium of exchange and trade, passing as silver dollars.

Through the streets of a New England village there strolled, harmless
and happy, one who was known in village parlance as a "softy," one of
"God's fools," a poor addle-pated, simple-minded creature, witless--but
neither homeless nor friendless; for children cared for him, and
feeble-minded though he was, he managed to earn, by rush-seating chairs
and weaving coarse baskets, and gathering berries, scant pennies enough
to keep him alive; and he slept in a deserted barn, in a field full of
rocks and Daisies and Blueberry bushes,--a barn which had been built by
one but little more gifted with wits than himself. Poor Elmer never was
able to understand that the money which he and the children saved so
carefully each autumn from the money plants was not equal in value to
the great copper cents of the village store; and when he asked gleefully
for a loaf of bread or a quart of molasses, was just as apt to offer the
shining seed valves in payment as he was to give the coin of the land;
and it must be added that his belief received apparent confirmation in
the fact that he usually got the bread whether he gave seeds or cents.

[Illustration: Box Walk in Garden of Frederick J. Kingsbury, Esq.
Waterbury, Connecticut.]

He lost his life through his poor simple notion. In the village he was
kindly treated by all, clothed, fed, and warmed; but one day there came
skulking along the edge of the village what were then rare visitors, two
tramps, who by ill-chance met poor Elmer as he was gathering chestnuts.
And as the children lingered on their way home from school to take toll
of Elmer's store of nuts, they heard him boasting gleefully of his
wealth, "hundreds and hundreds of dollars all safe for winter." The
children knew what his dollars were, but the tramps did not. Three days
of heavy rain passed by, and Elmer did not appear at the store or any
house. Then kindly neighbors went to his barn in the distant field, and
found him cruelly beaten, with broken ribs and in a high fever, while
scattered around him were hundreds of the seeds of his autumnal store of
the money plant; these were all the silver dollars his assailants found.
He was carried to the almshouse and died in a few weeks, partly from the
beating, partly from exposure, but chiefly, I ever believed, from
homesickness in his enforced home. His old house has fallen down, but
his well still is open, and around it grows a vast expanse of Lunaria,
which has spread and grown from the seeds poor Elmer saved, and every
year shoots of the tender lilac blooms mingle so charmingly with the
white Daisies that the sterile field is one of the show-places of the
village, and people drive from afar to see it.

[Illustration: Lunaria in Garden at Waldstein.]

There grow in profusion in our home garden what I always called the
Mullein Pink, the Rose Campion (_Lychnis coronaria_). I never heard any
one speak of this plant with special affection or admiration; but as
a child I loved its crimson flower more than any other flower in the
garden. Perhaps I should say I loved the royal color rather than the
flower. I gathered tight bunches without foliage into a glowing mass of
color unequalled in richness of tint by anything in nature. I have seen
only in a stained glass window flooded with high sunlight a crimson
approaching that of the Mullein Pink. Gerarde calls the flower the
"Gardener's Delight or Gardner's Eie." It was known in French as the Eye
of God; and the Rose of Heaven. We used to rub our cheeks with the
woolly leaves to give a beautiful rosy blush, and thereby I once skinned
one cheek.

Snapdragons were a beloved flower--companions of my childhood in our
home garden, but they have been neglected a bit by nearly every one of
late years. Plant a clump of the clear yellow and one of pure white
Snapdragons, and see how beautiful they are in the garden, and how fresh
they keep when cut. We had such a satisfying bunch of them on the dinner
table to-day, in a milk-white glazed Chinese jar; yellow Snapdragons,
with "borrowed leaves" of Virgin's-bower (_Adlumia_) and a haze of
Gypsophila over all.

A flower much admired in gardens during the early years of the
nineteenth century was the Plume Poppy (_Bocconia_). It has a pretty
pinkish bloom in general shape somewhat like Meadow Rue (see page 164
and page 167). A friend fancied a light feathery look over certain of
her garden borders, and she planted plentifully Plume Poppy and Meadow
Rue; this was in 1895. In 1896 the effect was exquisite; in 1897 the
garden feathered out with far too much fulness; in 1901 all the combined
forces of all the weeds of the garden could not equal these two flowers
in utter usurpment and close occupation of every inch of that garden.
The Plume Poppy has a strong tap-root which would be a good symbol of
the root of the tree Ygdrassyl--the Tree of Life, that never dies. You
can go over the borders with scythe and spade and hoe, and even with
manicure-scissors, but roots of the Plume Poppy will still hide and send
up vigorous growth the succeeding year.

We have grown so familiar with some old doubled blossoms that we think
little of their being double. One such, symmetrical of growth, beautiful
of foliage, and gratifying of bloom, is the Double Buttercup. It is to
me distinctly one of our most old-fashioned flowers in aspect. A hardy
great clump of many years' growth is one of the ancient treasures of our
garden; its golden globes are known in England as Bachelor's Buttons,
and are believed by many to be the Bachelor's Buttons of Shakespeare's
day.

[Illustration: Dahlia Walk at Ravensworth.]

Dahlias afford a striking example of the beauty of single flowers when
compared to their doubled descendants. Single Dahlias are fine flowers,
the yellow and scarlet ones especially so. I never thought double
Dahlias really worth the trouble spent on them in our Northern gardens;
so much staking and tying, and fussing, and usually an autumn storm
wrenches them round and breaks the stem or a frost nips them just as
they are in bloom. A Dahlia hedge or a walk such as this one at
Ravensworth, Virginia, is most stately and satisfying. I like, in
moderation, many of the smaller single and double Sunflowers. Under the
reign of _Patience_, the Sunflower had a fleeting day of popularity, and
flaunted in garden and parlor. Its place was false. It was never a
garden flower in olden times, in the sense of being a flower of ornament
or beauty; its place was in the kitchen garden, where it belongs.

Peas have ever been favorites in English gardens since they were brought
to England. We have all seen the print, if not the portrait, of Queen
Elizabeth garbed in a white satin robe magnificently embroidered with
open pea-pods and butterflies. A "City of London Madam" had a delightful
head ornament of open pea-pods filled with peas of pearls; this was worn
over a hood of gold-embroidered muslin, and with dyed red hair, must
have been a most modish affair. Sweet Peas have had a unique history.
They have been for a century a much-loved flower of the people both in
England and America, and they were at home in cottage borders and fine
gardens; were placed in vases, and carried in nosegays and posies; were
loved of poets--Keats wrote an exquisite characterization of them. They
had beauty of color, and a universally loved perfume--but florists have
been blind to them till within a few years. A bicentenary exhibition of
Sweet Peas was given in London in July, 1900; now there is formed a
Sweet Pea Society. But no societies and no exhibitions ever will make
them a "florist's flower"; they are of value only for cutting; their
habit of growth renders them useless as a garden decoration.

We all take notions in regard to flowers, just as we do in regard to
people. I hear one friend say, "I love every flower that grows," but I
answer with emphasis, "I don't!" I have ever disliked the Portulaca,--I
hate its stems. It is my fate never to escape it. I planted it once to
grow under Sweet Alyssum in the little enclosure of earth behind my city
home; when I returned in the autumn, everything was covered, blanketed,
overwhelmed with Portulaca. Since then it comes up even in the grass,
and seems to thrive by being trampled upon. The Portulaca was not a
flower of colonial days; I am glad to learn our great-grandmothers were
not pestered with it; it was not described in the _Botanical Magazine_
till 1829.

I do not care for the Petunia close at hand on account of its sickish
odor. But in the dusky border the flowers shine like white stars (page
180), and make you almost forgive their poor colors in the daylight. I
never liked the Calceolaria. Every child in our town used to have a
Calceolaria in her own small garden plot, but I never wanted one. I care
little for Chrysanthemums; they fill in the border in autumn, and they
look pretty well growing, but I like few of the flowers close at hand.
By some curious twist of a brain which, alas! is apt not to deal as it
is expected and ought to, with sensations furnished to it, I have felt
this distaste for Chrysanthemums since I attended a Chrysanthemum Show.
Of course, I ought to love them far more, and have more eager interest
in them--but I do not. Their sister, the China Aster, I care little for.
The Germans call Asters "death-flowers." The Empress of Austria at the
Swiss hotel where she lodged just before she was murdered, found the
rooms decorated with China Asters. She said to her attendant that the
flowers were in Austria termed death-flowers--and so they proved. The
Aster is among the flowers prohibited in Japan for felicitous occasions,
as are the Balsam, Rhododendron, and Azalea.

[Illustration: Petunias.]

Those who read these pages may note perhaps that I say little of Lilies.
I do not care as much for them as most garden lovers do. I like all our
wild Lilies, especially the yellow Nodding Lily of our fields; and the
Lemon Lily of our gardens is ever a delight; but the stately Lilies
which are such general favorites, Madonna Lilies, Japan Lilies, the
Gold-banded Lilies, are not especially dear to me.

I love climbing vines, whether of delicate leaf or beautiful flower. In
a room I place all the decoration that I can on the walls, out of the
way, leaving thus space to move around without fear of displacement or
injury of fragile things; so in a limited garden space, grass room under
our feet, with flowering vines on the surrounding walls are better than
many crowded flower borders. A tiny space can quickly be made delightful
with climbing plants. The common Morning-glory, called in England the
Bell-bind, is frequently advertised by florists of more encouragement
than judgment, as suitable to plant freely in order to cover fences and
poor sandy patches of ground with speedy and abundant leafage and bloom.
There is no doubt that the Morning-glory will do all this and far more
than is promised. It will also spread above and below ground from the
poor strip of earth to every other corner of garden and farm. This it
has done till, in our Eastern states, it is now classed as a wild
flower. It will never look wild, however, meet it where you will. It is
as domestic and tame as a barnyard fowl, which, wandering in the wildest
woodland, could never be mistaken as game. The garden at Claymont, the
Virginia home of Mr. Frank R. Stockton, afforded a striking example of
the spreading and strangling properties of the Morning-glory, not under
encouragement, but simply under toleration. Mr. Stockton tells me that
the entire expanse of his yards and garden, when he first saw them, was
a solid mass of Morning-glory blooms. Every stick, every stem, every
stalk, every shrub and blade of grass, every vegetable growth, whether
dead or alive, had its encircling and overwhelming Morning-glory
companion, set full of tiny undersized blossoms of varied tints. It was
a beautiful sight at break of day,--a vast expanse of acres jewelled
with Morning-glories--but it wasn't the new owner's notion of a flower
garden.

In my childhood flower agents used to canvass country towns from house
to house. Sometimes they had a general catalogue, and sold many plants,
trees, and shrubs. Oftener they had but a single plant which they were
"booming." I suspect that their trade came through the sudden
introduction of so many and varied flowers and shrubs from China and
Japan. I am told that the first Chinese Wistarias and a certain Fringe
tree were sold in this manner; and I know the white Hydrangea was, for I
recall it, though I do not know that this was its first sale. I remember
too that suddenly half the houses in town, on piazza or trellis, had the
rich purple blooms of the _Clematis Jackmanni_; for a very persuasive
agent had gone through the town the previous year. Of course people of
means bought then, as now, at nurseries; but at many humble homes, whose
owners would never have thought of buying from a greenhouse, he sold his
plants. It gave an agreeable rivalry, when all started plants together,
to see whose flourished best and had the amplest bloom. Thoreau recalled
the pleasant emulation of many owners in Concord of a certain
Rhododendron, sold thus sweepingly by an agent. The purple Clematis
displaced an old climbing favorite, the Trumpet Honeysuckle, once seen
by every door. It was so beloved of humming-birds and so beautiful, I
wonder we could ever destroy it. Its downfall was hastened by its being
infested by a myriad of tiny green aphides, which proceeded from it to
our Roses. I recall well these little plant insects, for I was very fond
of picking the tubes of the Honeysuckle for the drop of pure honey
within, and I had to abandon reluctantly the sweet morsels.

We have in our garden, and it is shown on the succeeding page, a vine
which we carefully cherished in seedlings from year to year, and took
much pride in. It came to us with the Ambrosia from the Walpole garden.
It was not common in gardens in our neighborhood, and I always looked
upon it as something very choice, and even rare, as it certainly was
something very dainty and pretty. We called it Virgin's-bower. When I
went out into the world I found that it was not rare, that it grew wild
from Connecticut to the far West; that it was Climbing Fumitory, or
Mountain Fringe, _Adlumia_. When Mrs. Margaret Deland asked if we had
Alleghany Vine in our garden, I told her I had never seen it, when all
the while it was our own dear Virgin's-bower. It doesn't seem hardy
enough to be a wild thing; how could it make its way against the fierce
vines and thorns of the forest when it hasn't a bit of woodiness in its
stems and its leaves and flowers are so tender! I cannot think any
garden perfect without it, no matter what else is there, for its
delicate green Rue-like leaves lie so gracefully on stone or brick
walls, or on fences, and it trails its slender tendrils so lightly over
dull shrubs that are out of flower, beautifying them afresh with an
alien bloom of delicate little pinkish blossoms like tiny
Bleeding-hearts.

[Illustration: Virgin's-bower.]

Another old favorite was the Balloon-vine, sometimes called Heartseed
or Heart-pea, with its seeds like fat black hearts, with three lobes
which made them globose instead of flat. This, too, had pretty compound
leaves, and the whole vine, like our Virgin's-bower, lay lightly on what
it covered; but the Dutchman's-pipe had a leafage too heavy save to make
a thick screen or arch quickly and solidly. It did well enough in
gardens which had not had a long cultivated past, or made little
preparation for a cherished future; but it certainly was not suited to
our garden, where things were not planted for a day. These three are
native vines of rich woods in our Central and Western states. The
Matrimony-vine was an old favorite; one from the porch of the Van
Cortlandt manor-house, over a hundred years old, is shown on the next
page. Often you see a straggling, sprawling growth; but this one is as
fine as any vine could be.

Patient folk--as were certainly those of the old-time gardens, tried to
keep the Rose Acacia as a favorite. It was hardy enough, but so
hopelessly brittle in wood that it was constantly broken by the wind and
snow of our Northern winters, even though it was sheltered under some
stronger shrub. At the end of a lovely Salem garden, I beheld this June
a long row of Rose Acacias in full bloom. I am glad I possess in my
memory the exquisite harmony of their shimmering green foliage and rosy
flower clusters. Miss Jekyll, ever resourceful, trains the Rose Acacia
on a wall; and fastens it down by planting sturdy Crimson Ramblers by
its side; her skilful example may well be followed in America and thus
restore to our gardens this beautiful flower.

[Illustration: Matrimony-vine at Van Cortlandt Manor.]

One flower, termed old-fashioned by nearly every one, is really a recent
settler of our gardens. A popular historical novel of American life at
the time of the Revolution makes the hero and heroine play a very pretty
love scene over a spray of the Bleeding-heart, the Dielytra, or
Dicentra. Unfortunately for the truth of the novelist's picture, the
Dielytra was not introduced to the gardens of English-speaking folk
till 1846, when the London Horticultural Society received a single plant
from the north of China. How quickly it became cheap and abundant; soon
it bloomed in every cottage garden; how quickly it became beloved! The
graceful racemes of pendant rosy flowers were eagerly welcomed by
children; they have some inexplicable, witching charm; even young
children in arms will stretch out their little hands and attempt to
grasp the Dielytra, when showier blossoms are passed unheeded. Many tiny
playthings can be formed of the blossoms: only deft fingers can shape
the delicate lyre in the "frame." One of its folk names is "Lyre
flower"; the two wings can be bent back to form a gondola.

We speak of modern flowers, meaning those which have recently found
their way to our gardens. Some of these clash with the older occupants,
but one has promptly been given an honored place, and appears so allied
to the older flowers in form and spirit that it seems to belong by their
side--the _Anemone Japonica_. Its purity and beauty make it one of the
delights of the autumn garden; our grandmothers would have rejoiced in
it, and have divided the plants with each other till all had a row of it
in the garden borders. In its red form it was first pictured in the
_Botanical Magazine_, in 1847, but it has been commonly seen in our
gardens for only twenty or thirty years.

[Illustration: White Wistaria.]

These two flowers, the _Dielytra spectabilis_ and _Anemone Japonica_,
are among the valuable gifts which our gardens received through the
visits to China of that adventurous collector, Robert Fortune. He went
there first in 1842, and for some years constantly sent home fresh
treasures. Among the best-known garden flowers of his introducing are
the two named above, and _Kerria Japonica_, _Forsythia viridissima_,
_Weigela rosea_, _Gardenia Fortuniana_, _Daphne Fortunei_, _Berberis
Fortunei_, _Jasminum nudiflorum_, and many varieties of Prunus,
Viburnum, Spiræa, Azalea, and Chrysanthemum. The fine yellow Rose known
as Fortune's Yellow was acquired by him during a venturesome trip which
he took, disguised as a Chinaman. The white Chinese Wistaria is regarded
as the most important of his collections. It is deemed by some
flower-lovers the most exquisite flower in the entire world. The Chinese
variety is distinguished by the length of its racemes, sometimes three
feet long. The lower part of a vine of unusual luxuriance and beauty is
shown above. This special vine flowers in full richness of bloom every
alternate year, and this photograph was taken during its "poor year";
for in its finest inflorescence its photograph would show simply a mass
of indistinguishable whiteness. Mr. Howell has named it The Fountain,
and above the pouring of white blossoms shown in this picture is an
upper cascade of bloom. This Wistaria is not growing in an
over-favorable locality, for winter winds are bleak on the southern
shores of Long Island; but I know no rival of its beauty in far warmer
and more sheltered sites.

Many of the Deutzias and Spiræas which beautify our spring gardens were
introduced from Japan before Fortune's day by Thunberg, the great
exploiter of Japanese shrubs, who died in 1828. The Spiræa Van Houtteii
(facing page 190) is perhaps the most beautiful of all. Dean Hole names
the Spiræas, Deutzias, Weigelas, and Forsythias as having been brought
into his ken in English gardens within his own lifetime, that is within
fourscore years.

In New England gardens the Forsythia is called 'Sunshine Bush'--and
never was folk name better bestowed, or rather evolved. For in the eager
longing for spring which comes in the bitterness of March, when we cry
out with the poet, "O God, for one clear day, a Snowdrop and sweet air,"
in our welcome to fresh life, whether shown in starting leaf or frail
blossom, the Forsythia shines out a grateful delight to the eyes and
heart, concentrating for a week all the golden radiance of sunlight,
which later will be shared by sister shrubs and flowers. _Forsythia
suspensa_, falling in long sweeps of yellow bells, is in some favorable
places a cascade of liquid light. No shrub in our gardens is more
frequently ruined by gardeners than these Forsythias. It takes an
artist to prune the _Forsythia suspensa_. You can steal the sunshine for
your homes ere winter is gone by breaking long sprays of the Sunshine
Bush and placing them in tall deep jars of water. Split up the ends of
the stems that they may absorb plentiful water, and the golden plumes
will soon open to fullest glory within doors.

There is another yellow flowered shrub, the Corchorus, which seems as
old as the Lilac, for it is ever found in old gardens; but it proves to
be a Japanese shrub which we have had only a hundred years. The little,
deep yellow, globular blossoms appear in early spring and sparsely
throughout the whole summer. The plant isn't very adorning in its usual
ragged growth, but it was universally planted.

It may be seen from the shrubs of popular growth which I have named that
the present glory of our shrubberies is from the Japanese and Chinese
shrubs, which came to us in the nineteenth century through Thunberg,
Fortune, and other bold collectors. We had no shrub-sellers of
importance in the eighteenth century; the garden lover turned wholly to
the seedsman and bulb-grower for garden supplies, just as we do to-day
to fill our old-fashioned gardens. The new shrubs and plants from China
and Japan did not clash with the old garden flowers, they seemed like
kinsfolk who had long been separated and rejoiced in being reunited;
they were indeed fellow-countrymen. We owed scores of our older flowers
to the Orient, among them such important ones as the Lilac, Rose, Lily,
Tulip, Crown Imperial.

[Illustration: Spiræa Van Houtteii.]

We can fancy how delighted all these Oriental shrubs and flowers were to
meet after so many years of separation. What pleasant greetings all the
cousins must have given each other; I am sure the Wistaria was glad to
see the Lilac, and the Fortune's Yellow Rose was duly respectful to his
old cousin, the thorny yellow Scotch Rose. And I seem to hear a bit of
scandal passing from plant to plant! Listen! it is the Bleeding-heart
gossiping with the Japanese Anemone: "Well! I never thought that Lilac
girl would grow to be such a beauty. So much color! Do you suppose it
can be natural? Mrs. Tulip hinted to me yesterday that the girl used
fertilizers, and it certainly looks so. But she can't say much
herself--I never saw such a change in any creatures as in those Tulips.
You remember how commonplace their clothes were? Now such extravagance!
Scores of gowns, and all made abroad, and at _her_ age! Here are you and
I, my dear, both young, and we really ought to have more clothes. I
haven't a thing but this pink gown to put on. It's lucky you had a white
gown, for no one liked your pink one. Here comes Mrs. Rose! How those
Rose children have grown! I never should have known them."



CHAPTER VIII

COMFORT ME WITH APPLES

     "What can your eye desire to see, your eares to heare, your mouth
     to taste, or your nose to smell, that is not to be had in an
     Orchard? with Abundance and Variety? What shall I say? 1000 of
     Delights are in an Orchard; and sooner shall I be weary than I can
     reckon the least part of that pleasure which one, that hath and
     loves an Orchard, may find therein."

     --_A New Orchard_, WILLIAM LAWSON, 1618.


In every old-time garden, save the revered front yard, the borders
stretched into the domain of the Currant and Gooseberry bushes, and into
the orchard. Often a row of Crabapple trees pressed up into the garden's
precincts and shaded the Sweet Peas. Orchard and garden could scarcely
be separated, so closely did they grow up together. Every old garden
book had long chapters on orchards, written _con amore_, with a zest
sometimes lacking on other pages. How they loved in the days of Queen
Elizabeth and of Queen Anne to sit in an orchard, planted, as Sir Philip
Sidney said, "cunningly with trees of taste-pleasing fruits." How
charming were their orchard seats, "fachoned for meditacon!" Sometimes
these orchard seats were banks of the strongly scented Camomile, a
favorite plant of Lord Bacon's day. Wordsworth wrote in jingling
rhyme:--

    "Beneath these fruit-tree boughs that shed
     Their snow-white blossoms on my head,
     With brightest sunshine round me spread
       Of spring's unclouded weather,
     In this sequester'd nook how sweet
     To sit upon my orchard seat;
     And flowers and birds once more to greet,
       My last year's friends together."

The incomparable beauty of the Apple tree in full bloom has ever been
sung by the poets, but even their words cannot fitly nor fully tell the
delight to the senses of the close view of those exquisite pink and
white domes, with their lovely opalescent tints, their ethereal
fragrance; their beauty infinitely surpasses that of the vaunted Cherry
plantations of Japan. In the hand the flowers show a distinct ruddiness,
a promise of future red cheeks; but a long vista of trees in bloom
displays no tint of pink, the flowers seem purest white. Looking last
May across the orchard at Hillside, adown the valley of the Hudson with
its succession of blossoming orchards, we could paraphrase the words of
Longfellow's _Golden Legend_:--

                                    "The valley stretching below
    Is white with blossoming Apple trees, as if touched with lightest
      snow."

In the darkest night flowering Apple trees shine with clear radiance,
and an orchard of eight hundred acres, such as may be seen in Niagara
County, New York, shows a white expanse like a lake of quicksilver.
This county, and its neighbor, Orleans County, form an Apple
paradise--with their orchards of fifty and even a hundred thousand
trees.

[Illustration: Apple Trees at White Hall, the Home of Bishop Berkeley.]

The largest Apple tree in New England is in Cheshire, Connecticut. Its
trunk measures, one foot above all root enlargements, thirteen feet
eight inches in circumference.

Its age is traced back a hundred and fifty years. At White Hall, the
old home of Bishop Berkeley in the island of Rhode Island, still stand
the Apple trees of his day. A picture of them is shown on page 194.

The sedate and comfortable motherliness of old Apple trees is felt by
all Apple lovers. John Burroughs speaks of "maternal old Apple trees,
regular old grandmothers, who have seen trouble." James Lane Allen, amid
his apostrophes to the Hemp plant, has given us some beautiful glimpses
of Apple trees and his love for them. He tells of "provident old tree
mothers on the orchard slope, whose red-cheeked children are autumn
Apples." It is this motherliness, this domesticity, this homeliness that
makes the Apple tree so cherished, so beloved. No scene of life in the
country ever seems to me homelike if it lacks an Apple orchard--this
doubtless, because in my birthplace in New England they form a part of
every farm scene, of every country home. Apple trees soften and humanize
the wildest country scene. Even in a remote pasture, or on a mountain
side, they convey a sentiment of home; and after being lost in the mazes
of close-grown wood-roads Apple trees are inexpressibly welcome as
giving promise of a sheltering roof-tree. Thoreau wrote of wild Apples,
but to me no Apples ever look wild. They may be the veriest Crabs,
growing in wild spots, unbidden, and savage and bitter in their tang,
but even these seedling Pippins are domestic in aspect.

On the southern shores of Long Island, where meadow, pasture, and farm
are in soil and crops like New England, the frequent absence of Apple
orchards makes these farm scenes unsatisfying, not homelike. No other
fruit trees can take their place. An Orange tree, with its rich glossy
foliage, its perfumed ivory flowers and buds, and abundant golden fruit,
is an exquisite creation of nature; but an Orange grove has no ideality.
All fruit trees have a beautiful inflorescence--few have sentiment. The
tint of a blossoming Peach tree is perfect; but I care not for a Peach
orchard. Plantations of healthy Cherry trees are lovely in flower and
fruit time, whether in Japan or Massachusetts, and a Cherry tree is full
of happy child memories; but their tree forms in America are often
disfigured with that ugly fungous blight which is all the more
disagreeable to us since we hear now of its close kinship to disease
germs in the animal world.

I cannot see how they avoid having Apple trees on these Long Island
farms, for the Apple is fully determined to stand beside every home and
in every garden in the land. It does not have to be invited; it will
plant and maintain itself. Nearly all fruits and vegetables which we
prize, depend on our planting and care, but the Apple is as independent
as the New England farmer. In truth Apple trees would grow on these
farms if they were loved or even tolerated, for I find them forced into
Long Island hedge-rows as relentlessly as are forest trees.

The Indians called the Plantain the "white man's foot," for it sprung up
wherever he trod; the Apple tree might be called the white man's shadow.
It is the Vine and Fig tree of the temperate zone, and might be chosen
as the totem of the white settlers. Our love for the Apple is natural,
for it was the characteristic fruit of Britain; the clergy were its
chief cultivators; they grew Apples in their monastery gardens, prayed
for them in special religious ceremonies, sheltered the fruit by laws,
and even named the Apple when pronouncing the blessings of God upon
their princes and rulers.

[Illustration:

    "The valley stretching below
     Is white with blossoming Apple trees, as if touched with lightest
       snow."]

Thoreau described an era of luxury as one in which men cultivate the
Apple and the amenities of the garden. He thought it indicated relaxed
nerves to read gardening books, and he regarded gardening as a civil and
social function, not a love of nature. He tells of his own love for
freedom and savagery--and he found what he so deemed at Walden Pond. I
am told his haunts are little changed since the years when he lived
there; and I had expected to find Walden Pond a scene of much wild
beauty, but it was the mildest of wild woods; it seemed to me as
thoroughly civilized and social as an Apple orchard.

[Illustration: Old Hand-power Cider Mill.]

Thoreau christened the Apple trees of his acquaintance with appropriate
names in the _lingua vernacula_: the Truant's Apple, the Saunterer's
Apple, December Eating, Wine of New England, the Apple of the Dell in
the Wood, the Apple of the Hollow in the Pasture, the Railroad Apple,
the Cellar-hole Apple, the Frozen-thawed, and many more; these he loved
for their fruit; to them let me add the Playhouse Apple trees, loved
solely for their ingeniously twisted branches, an Apple tree of the
garden, often overhanging the flower borders. I recall their glorious
whiteness in the spring, but I cannot remember that they bore any fruit
save a group of serious little girls. I know there were no Apples on the
Playhouse Apple trees in my garden, nor on the one in Nelly Gilbert's or
Ella Partridge's garden. There is no play place for girls like an old
Apple tree. The main limbs leave the trunk at exactly the right height
for children to reach, and every branch and twig seems to grow and turn
only to form delightful perches for children to climb among and cling
to. Some Apple trees in our town had a copy of an Elizabethan garden
furnishing; their branches enclosed tree platforms about twelve feet
from the ground, reached by a narrow ladder or flight of steps. These
were built by generous parents for their children's playhouses, but
their approach of ladder was too unhazardous, their railings too
safety-assuring, to prove anything but conventional and uninteresting.
The natural Apple tree offered infinite variety, and a slight sense of
daring to the climber. Its possibility of accident was fulfilled; untold
number of broken arms and ribs--juvenile--were resultant from falls from
Apple trees.

[Illustration: Pressing out Cider in Old Hand Mill.]

One of Thoreau's Apples was the Green Apple (_Malus viridis_, or
_Cholera morbifera puerelis delectissima_). I know not for how many
centuries boys (and girls too) have eaten and suffered from green
apples. A description was written in 1684 which might have happened any
summer since; I quote it with reminiscent delight, for I have the same
love for the spirited relation that I had in my early youth when I
never, for a moment, in spite of the significant names, deemed the
entire book anything but a real story; the notion that _Pilgrim's
Progress_ was an allegory never entered my mind.

     "Now there was on the other side of the wall a _Garden_. And some
     of the Fruit-Trees that grew in the Garden shot their Branches over
     the Wall, and being mellow, they that found them did gather them up
     and oft eat of them to their hurt. So _Christiana's_ Boys, _as Boys
     are apt to do_, being _pleas'd_ with the Trees did _Plash_ them and
     began to eat. Their Mother did also chide them for so doing, but
     still the Boys went on. Now _Matthew_ the Eldest Son of
     _Christiana_ fell sick.... There dwelt not far from thence one Mr.
     _Skill_ an Ancient and well approved Physician. So Christiana
     desired it and they sent for him and he came. And when he was
     entered the Room and a little observed the Boy he concluded that he
     was sick of the Gripes. Then he said to his Mother, _What Diet has
     Matthew of late fed upon_? _Diet_, said Christiana, _nothing but
     which is wholesome_. The Physician answered, _This Boy has been
     tampering with something that lies in his Maw undigested_.... Then
     said Samuel, _Mother, Mother, what was that which my brother did
     gather up and eat. You know there was an Orchard and my Brother did
     plash and eat. True, my child_, said Christiana, _naughty boy as he
     was. I did chide him and yet he would eat thereof._"

The realistic treatment of Mr. Skill and Matthew's recovery thereby need
not be quoted.

An historic Apple much esteemed in Connecticut and Rhode Island, and
often planted at the edge of the flower garden, is called the Sapson, or
Early Sapson, Sapson Sweet, Sapsyvine, and in Pennsylvania, Wine-sap.
The name is a corruption of the old English Apple name, Sops-o'-wine. It
is a charming little red-cheeked Apple of early autumn, slightly larger
than a healthy Crab-apple. The clear red of its skin perfuses in
coral-colored veins and beautiful shadings to its very core. It has a
condensed, spicy, aromatic flavor, not sharp like a Crab-apple, but it
makes a better jelly even than the Crab-apple--jelly of a ruby color
with an almost wine-like flavor, a true Sops-of-wine. This fruit is
deemed so choice that I have known the sale of a farm to halt for some
weeks until it could be proved that certain Apple trees in the orchard
bore the esteemed Sapsyvines.

Under New England and New York farm-houses was a cellar filled with bins
for vegetables and apples. As the winter passed on there rose from these
cellars a curious, earthy, appley smell, which always seemed most
powerful in the best parlor, the room least used. How Schiller, who
loved the scent of rotten apples, would have rejoiced! The cellar also
contained many barrels of cider; for the beauty of the Apple trees, and
the use of their fruit as food, were not the only factors which
influenced the planting of the many Apple orchards of the new world;
they afforded a universal drink--cider. I have written at length, in my
books, _Home Life in Colonial Days_ and _Stage-Coach and Tavern Days_,
the history of the vogue and manufacture of cider in the new world. The
cherished Apple orchards of Endicott, Blackstone, Wolcott, and Winthrop
were so speedily multiplied that by 1670 cider was plentiful and cheap
everywhere. By the opening of the eighteenth century it had wholly
crowded out beer and metheglin; and was the drink of old and young on
all occasions.

[Illustration: Old Horse-lever Cider Mill.]

At first, cider was made by pounding the Apples by hand in wooden
mortars; then simple mills were formed of a hollowed log and a spring
board. Rude hand presses, such as are shown on pages 198 and 200, were
known in 1660, and lingered to our own day. Kalm, the Swedish
naturalist, saw ancient horse presses (like the one depicted on this
page) in use in the Hudson River Valley in 1749. In autumn the whole
country-side was scented with the sour, fruity smell from these cider
mills; and the gift of a draught of sweet cider to any passer-by was as
ample and free as of water from the brookside. The cider when barrelled
and stored for winter was equally free to all comers, as well it might
be, when many families stored a hundred barrels for winter use.

[Illustration: "Straining off" the Cider.]

The Washingtonian or Temperance reform which swept over this country
like a purifying wind in the first quarter of the nineteenth century,
found many temporizers who tried to exclude cider from the list of
intoxicating drinks which converts pledged themselves to abandon. Some
farmers who adopted this much-needed movement against the
all-prevailing vice of drunkenness received it with fanatic zeal. It
makes the heart of the Apple lover ache to read that in this spirit they
cut down whole orchards of flourishing Apple trees, since they could
conceive no adequate use for their apples save for cider. That any
should have tried to exclude cider from the list of intoxicating
beverages seems barefaced indeed to those who have tasted that most
potent of all spirits--frozen cider. I once drank a small modicum of
Jericho cider, as smooth as Benedictine and more persuasive, which made
a raw day in April seem like sunny midsummer. I afterward learned from
the ingenuous Long Island farmer whose hospitality gave me this liqueur
that it had been frozen seven times. Each time he had thrust a red-hot
poker into the bung-hole of the barrel, melted all the watery ice and
poured it out; therefore the very essence of the cider was all that
remained.

It is interesting to note the folk customs of Old England which have
lingered here, such as domestic love divinations. The poet Gay wrote:--

    "I pare this Pippin round and round again,
     My shepherd's name to flourish on the plain.
     I fling th' unbroken paring o'er my head,
     Upon the grass a perfect L. is read."

I have seen New England schoolgirls, scores of times, thus toss an
"unbroken paring." An ancient trial of my youth was done with Apple
seeds; these were named for various swains, then slightly wetted and
stuck on the cheek or forehead, while we chanted:--

    "Pippin! Pippin! Paradise!
     Tell me where my true love lies!"

The seed that remained longest in place indicated the favored and
favoring lover.

With the neglect in this country of Saints' Days and the Puritanical
frowning down of all folk customs connected with them, we lost the
delightful wassailing of the Apple trees. This, like many another
religious observance, was a relic of heathen sacrifice, in this case to
Pomona. It was celebrated with slight variations in various parts of
England; and was called an Apple howling, a wassailing, a youling, and
other terms. The farmer and his workmen carried to the orchard great
jugs of cider or milk pans filled with cider and roasted apples.
Encircling in turn the best bearing trees, they drank from
"clayen-cups," and poured part of the contents on the ground under the
trees. And while they wassailed the trees they sang:--

             "Here's to thee, old Apple tree!
    Whence thou mayst bud, and whence thou mayst blow,
    And whence thou mayst bear Apples enow!
              Hats full! caps full,
              Bushel--Bushel--sacks full,
              And my pockets full too."

Another Devonshire rhyme ran:--

    "Health to thee, good Apple tree!
     Well to bear pocket-fulls, hat-fulls,
     Peck-fulls, bushel bag-fulls."

The wassailing of the trees gave place in America to a jovial autumnal
gathering known as an Apple cut, an Apple paring, or an Apple bee. The
cheerful kitchen of the farm-house was set out with its entire array of
empty pans, pails, tubs, and baskets. Heaped-up barrels of apples stood
in the centre of the room. The many skilful hands of willing neighbors
emptied the barrels, and with sharp knives or an occasional Apple parer,
filled the empty vessels with cleanly pared and quartered apples.

When the work was finished, divinations with Apple parings and Apple
seeds were tried, simple country games were played; occasionally there
was a fiddler and a dance. An autumnal supper was served from the three
zones of the farm-house: nuts from the attic, Apples from the pantry,
and cider from the cellar. The apple-quarters intended for drying were
strung on homespun linen thread and hung out of doors on clear drying
days. A humble hillside home in New Hampshire thus quaintly festooned is
shown in the illustration opposite page 208--a characteristic New
Hampshire landscape. When thoroughly dried in sun and wind, these sliced
apples were stored for the winter by being hung from rafter to rafter of
various living rooms, and remained thus for months (gathering vast
accumulations of dust and germs for our blissfully ignorant and
unsqueamish grandparents) until the early days of spring, when Apple
sauce, Apple butter, and the stores of Apple bin and Apple pit were
exhausted, and they then afforded, after proper baths and soakings, the
wherewithal for that domestic comestible--dried Apple pie. The Swedish
parson, Dr. Acrelius, writing home to Sweden in 1758 an account of the
settlement of Delaware, said:--

     "Apple pie is used throughout the whole year, and when fresh Apples
     are no longer to be had, dried ones are used. It is the evening
     meal of children. House pie, in country places, is made of Apples
     neither peeled nor freed from their cores, and its crust is not
     broken if a wagon wheel goes over it."

I always had an undue estimation of Apple pie in my childhood, from an
accidental cause: we were requested by the conscientious teacher in our
Sunday-school to "take out" each week without fail from the "Select
Library" of the school a "Sabbath-school Library Book." The colorless,
albeit pious, contents of the books classed under that title are well
known to those of my generation; even such a child of the Puritans as I
was could not read them. There were two anchors in that sea of
despair,--but feeble holds would they seem to-day,--the first volumes of
_Queechy_ and _The Wide, Wide World_. With the disingenuousness of
childhood I satisfied the rules of the school and my own conscience by
carrying home these two books, and no others, on alternate Sundays for
certainly two years. The only wonder in the matter was that the
transaction escaped my Mother's eye for so long a time. I read only
isolated scenes; of these the favorite was the one wherein Fleda carries
to the woods for the hungry visitor, who was of the English nobility,
several large and toothsome sections of green Apple pie and cheese. The
prominence given to that Apple pie in that book and in my two years
of reading idealized it. On a glorious day last October I drove to New
Canaan, the town which was the prototype of Queechy. Hungry as ever in
childhood from the clear autumnal air and the long drive from Lenox, we
asked for luncheon at what was reported to be a village hostelry. The
exact counterpart of Miss Cynthia Gall responded rather sourly that she
wasn't "boarding or baiting" that year. Humble entreaties for provender
of any kind elicited from her for each of us a slice of cheese and a
large and truly noble section of Apple pie, the very pie of Fleda's
tale, which we ate with a bewildered sense as of a previous existence.
This was intensified as we strolled to the brook under the Queechy Sugar
Maples, and gathered there the great-grandchildren of Fleda's
Watercresses, and heard the sound of Hugh's sawmills.

[Illustration: Drying Apples.]

Six hundred years ago English gentlewomen and goodwives were cooking
Apples just as we cook them now--they even had Apple pie. A delightful
recipe of the fourteenth century was for "Appeluns for a Lorde, in
opyntide." Opyntide was springtime; this was, therefore, a spring dish
fit for a lord.

Apple-moy and Apple-mos, Apple Tansy, and Pommys-morle were delightful
dishes and very rich food as well. The word pomatum has now no
association with _pomum_, but originally pomatum was made partly of
Apples. In an old "Dialog between Soarness and Chirurgi," written by one
Dr. Bulleyne in the days of Queen Elizabeth, is found this question and
its answer:--

     "_Soarness._ How make you pomatum?

     "_Chirurgi._ Take the fat of a yearly kyd one pound, temper it with
     the water of musk-roses by the space of foure dayes, then take five
     apples, and dresse them, and cut them in pieces, and lard them with
     cloves, then boyl them altogeather in the same water of roses in
     one vessel of glasse set within another vessel, let it boyl on the
     fyre so long tyll it all be white, then wash them with the same
     water of muske-roses, this done kepe it in a glasse and if you will
     have it to smell better, then you must put in a little civet or
     musk, or both, or ambergrice. Gentil women doe use this to make
     theyr faces fayr and smooth, for it healeth cliftes in the lippes,
     or in any places of the hands and face."

With the omission of the civet or musk I am sure this would make to-day
a delightful cream; but there is one condition which the "gentil woman"
of to-day could scarcely furnish--the infinite patience and leisure
which accompanied and perfected all such domestic work three centuries
ago. A pomander was made of "the maste of a sweet Apple tree being
gathered betwixt two Lady days," mixed with various sweet-scented drugs
and gums and Rose leaves, and shaped into a ball or bracelet.

The successor of the pomander was the Clove Apple, or "Comfort Apple,"
an Apple stuck solidly with cloves. In country communities, one was
given as an expression of sympathy in trouble or sorrow. Visiting a
country "poorhouse" recently, we were shown a "Comfort-apple" which had
been sent to one of the inmates by a friend; for even paupers have
friends.

"Taffaty tarts" were of paste filled with Apples sweetened and seasoned
with Lemon, Rose-water, and Fennel seed. Apple-sticklin',
Apple-stucklin, Apple-twelin, Apple-hoglin, are old English provincial
names of Apple pie; Apple-betty is a New England term. The Apple Slump
of New England homes was not the "slump-pye" of old England, which was a
rich mutton pie flavored with wine and jelly, and covered with a rich
confection of nuts and fruit.

[Illustration: Ancient Apple Picker, Apple Racks, Apple Parers,
Apple-butter Kettle, Apple-butter Paddle, Apple-butter Stirrer,
Apple-butter Crocks.]

In Pennsylvania, among the people known as the Pennsylvania Dutch, the
Apple frolic was universal. Each neighbor brought his or her own Apple
parer. This people make great use of Apples and cider in their food, and
have many curious modes of cooking them. Dr. Heilman in his paper on
"The Old Cider Mill" tells of their delicacy of "cider time" called
cider soup, made of equal parts of cider and water, boiled and thickened
with sweet cream and flour; when ready to serve, bits of bread or toast
are placed in it. "Mole cider" is made of boiling cider thickened to a
syrup with beaten eggs and milk. But of greatest importance, both for
home consumption and for the market, is the staple known as Apple
butter. This is made from sweet cider boiled down to about one-third its
original quantity. To this is added an equal weight of sliced Apples,
about a third as much of molasses, and various spices, such as cloves,
ginger, mace, cinnamon or even pepper, all boiled together for twelve or
fifteen hours. Often the great kettle is filled with cider in the
morning, and boiled and stirred constantly all day, then the sliced
Apples are added at night, and the monotonous stirring continues till
morning, when the butter can be packed in jars and kegs for winter use.
This Apple butter is not at all like Apple sauce; it has no granulated
appearance, but is smooth and solid like cheese and dark red in color.
Apple butter is stirred by a pole having upon one end a perforated blade
or paddle set at right angles. Sometimes a bar was laid from rim to rim
of the caldron, and worked by a crank that turned a similar paddle. A
collection of ancient utensils used in making Apple butter is shown on
page 211; these are from the collections of the Bucks County Historical
Society. Opposite page 214 is shown an ancient open-air fireplace and an
old couple making Apple butter just as they have done for over half a
century.

In New England what the "hired man" on the farm called "biled cider
Apple sass," took the place of Apple butter. Preferably this was made in
the "summer kitchen," where three kettles, usually of graduated sizes,
could be set over the fire; the three kettles could be hung from a
crane, or trammels. All were filled with cider, and as the liquid boiled
away in the largest kettle it was filled from the second and that from
the third. The fresh cider was always poured into the third kettle, thus
the large kettle was never checked in its boiling. This continued till
the cider was as thick as molasses. Apples (preferably Pound Sweets or
Pumpkin Sweets) had been chosen with care, pared, cored, and quartered,
and heated in a small kettle. These were slowly added to the thickened
cider, in small quantities, in order not to check the boiling. The rule
was to cook them till so softened that a rye straw could be run into
them, and yet they must retain their shape. This was truly a critical
time; the slightest scorched flavor would ruin the whole kettleful. A
great wooden, long-handled, shovel-like ladle was used to stir the sauce
fiercely until it was finished in triumph. Often a barrel of this was
made by our grandmothers, and frozen solid for winter use. The farmer
and "hired men" ate it clear as a relish with meats; and it was suited
to appetites and digestions which had been formed by a diet of salted
meats, fried breads, many pickles, and the drinking of hot cider
sprinkled with pepper.

Emerson well named the Apple the social fruit of New England. It ever
has been and is still the grateful promoter and unfailing aid to
informal social intercourse in the country-side; but the Apple tree is
something far nobler even than being the sign of cheerful and cordial
acquaintance; it is the beautiful rural emblem of industrious and
temperate home life. Hence, let us wassail with a will:--

            "Here's to thee, old Apple tree!
    Whence thou mayst bud, and whence thou mayst blow,
    And whence thou mayst bear Apples enow!"

[Illustration: Making Apple Butter.]



CHAPTER IX

GARDENS OF THE POETS

     "The chief use of flowers is to illustrate quotations from the
     poets."


All English poets have ever been ready to sing English flowers until
jesters have laughed, and to sing garden flowers as well as wild
flowers. Few have really described a garden, though the orderly
distribution of flowers might be held to be akin to the restraint of
rhyme and rhythm in poetry.

[Illustration: Shakespeare Border at Hillside.]

It has been the affectionate tribute and happy diversion of those who
love both poetry and flowers to note the flowers beloved of various
poets, and gather them together, either in a book or a garden. The pages
of Milton cannot be forced, even by his most ardent admirers, to
indicate any intimate knowledge of flowers. He certainly makes some very
elegant classical allusions to flowers and fruits, and some amusingly
vague ones as well. "The Flowers of Spenser," and "A Posy from Chaucer,"
are the titles of most readable chapters in _A Garden of Simples_, but
the allusions and quotations from both authors are pleasing and
interesting, rather than informing as to the real variety and
description of the flowers of their day. Nearly all the older English
poets, though writing glibly of woods and vales, of shepherds and
swains, of buds and blossoms, scarcely allude to a flower in a natural
way. Herrick was truly a flower lover, and, as the critic said, "many
flowers grow to illustrate quotations from his works." The flowers named
of Shakespeare have been written about in varied books, _Shakespeare's
Garden_, _Shakespeare's Bouquet_, _Flowers from Stratford-on-Avon_, etc.
These are easily led in fulness of detail, exactness of information, and
delightful literary quality by that truly perfect book, beloved of all
garden lovers, _The Plant Lore and Garden Craft of Shakespeare_, by
Canon Ellacombe. Of it I never weary, and for it I am ever grateful.

Shakespeare Gardens, or Shakespeare Borders, too, are laid out and set
with every tree, shrub, and flower named in Shakespeare, and these are
over two hundred in number. A distinguishing mark of the Shakespeare
Border of Lady Warwick is the peculiar label set alongside each plant.
This label is of pottery, greenish-brown in tint, shaped like a
butterfly, bearing on its wings a quotation of a few words and the play
reference relating to each special plant. Of course these words have
been fired in and are thus permanent. Pretty as they are in themselves
they must be disfiguring to the borders--as all labels are in a garden.

In the garden at Hillside, near Albany, New York, grows a green and
flourishing Shakespeare Border, gathered ten years ago by the mistress
of the garden. I use the terms green and flourishing with exactness in
this connection, for a great impression made by this border is of its
thriving health, and also of the predominance of green leafage of every
variety, shape, manner of growth, and oddness of tint. In this latter
respect it is infinitely more beautiful than the ordinary border,
varying from silvery glaucous green through greens of yellow or brownish
shade to the blue-black greens of some herbs; and among these green
leaves are many of sweet or pungent scent, and of medicinal qualities,
such as are seldom grown to-day save in some such choice and chosen
spot. There is less bloom in this Shakespeare Border than in our modern
flower beds, and the flowers are not so large or brilliant as our
modern favorites; but, quiet as they are, they are said to excel the
blossoms of the same plants of Shakespeare's own day, which we learn
from the old herbalists were smaller and less varied in color and of
simpler tints than those of their descendants. At the first glance this
Shakespeare Border shines chiefly in the light of the imagination, as
stirred by the poet's noble words; but do not dwell on this border as a
whole, as something only to be looked at; read the pages of this garden,
dwell on each leafy sentence, and you are entranced with its beautiful
significance. It was not gathered with so much thought, and each plant
and seed set out and watched and reared like a delicate child, to become
a show place; it appeals for a more intimate regard; and we find that
its detail makes its charm.

Such a garden as this appeals warmly to anyone who is sensitive to the
imaginative element of flower beauty. Many garden makers forget that a
flower bed is a group of living beings--perhaps of sentient beings--as
well as a mass of beautiful color. Modern gardens tend far too much
toward the display of the united effect of growing plants, to a striving
for universal brilliancy, rather than attention to and love for separate
flowers. There was refreshment of spirit as well as of the senses in the
old-time garden of flowers, such as these planted in this Shakespeare
Border, and it stirred the heart of the poet as could no modern flower
gardens.

[Illustration: Long Border at Hillside.]

The scattering inflorescence and the tiny size of the blossoms give to
this Shakespeare Border an unusual aspect of demureness and delicacy,
and the plants seem to cling with affection and trust to the path of
their human protector; they look simple and confiding, and seem close
both to nature and to man. This homelike and modest quality is shown, I
think, even in the presentation in black and white given on page 216 and
opposite page 218, though it shows still more in the garden when the
wide range of tint of foliage is added.

A most appropriate companion of the old flowers in this Shakespeare
Border is the sun-dial, which is an exact copy of the one at Abbotsford,
Scotland. It bears the motto [Greek: ERCHETAI GAR NYX] meaning, "For
the night cometh." It was chosen by Sir Walter Scott, for his sun-dial,
as a solemn monitor to himself of the hour "when no man can work." It
was copied from a motto on the dial-plate of the watch of the great Dr.
Samuel Johnson; and it is curious that in both cases the word [Greek:
GAR] should be introduced, for it is not in the clause in the New
Testament from which the motto was taken. It is a beautiful motto and
one of singular appropriateness for a sun-dial. The pedestal of this
sun-dial is of simple lines, but it is dignified and pleasing, aside
from the great interest of association which surrounds it.

[Illustration: The Beauty of Winter Lilacs.]

I had a happy sense, when walking through this garden, that, besides my
congenial living companionship, I had the company of some noble
Elizabethan ghosts; and I know that if Shakespeare and Jonson and
Herrick were to come to Hillside, they would find the garden so familiar
to them; they would greet the plants like old friends, they would note
how fine grew the Rosemary this year, how sweet were the Lady's-smocks,
how fair the Gillyflowers. And Gerarde and Parkinson would ponder, too,
over all the herbs and simples of their own Physick Gardens, and compare
notes. Above all I seemed to see, walking soberly by my side, breathing
in with delight the varied scents of leaf and blossom, that lover and
writer of flowers and gardens, Lord Bacon--and not in the disguise of
Shakespeare either. For no stronger proofs can be found of the existence
of two individualities than are in the works of each of these men, in
their sentences and pages which relate to gardens and flowers.

This fair garden and Shakespeare Border are loveliest in the cool of the
day, in the dawn or at early eve; and those who muse may then remember
another Presence in a garden in the cool of the day. And then I recall
that gem of English poesy which always makes me pitiful of its author;
that he could write this, and yet, in his hundreds of pages of English
verse, make not another memorable line:--

    "A Garden is a lovesome thing, God wot;
       Rose plot,
     Fringed pool,
       Ferned grot,
     The veriest school of Peace;
     And yet the fool
       Contends that God is not in gardens.
     Not in gardens! When the eve is cool!
       Nay, but I have a sign.
     'Tis very sure God walks in mine."

Shakespeare Borders grow very readily and freely in England, save in the
case of the few tropical flowers and trees named in the pages of the
great dramatist; but this Shakespeare Border at Hillside needs much
cherishing. The plants of Heather and Broom and Gorse have to be
specially coddled by transplanting under cold frames during the long
winter months in frozen Albany; and thus they find vast contrast to
their free, unsheltered life in Great Britain.

[Illustration: Garden of Mrs. Frank Robinson, Wakefield, Rhode Island.]

Persistent efforts have been made to acclimate both Heather and Gorse in
America. We have seen how Broom came uninvited and spread unasked on the
Massachusetts coast; but Gorse and Heather have proved shy creatures. On
the beautiful island of Naushon the carefully planted Gorse may be found
spread in widely scattered spots and also on the near-by mainland, but
it cannot be said to have thrived markedly. The Scotch Heather, too, has
been frequently planted, and watched and pushed, but it is slow to
become acclimated. It is not because the winters are too cold, for it is
found in considerable amount in bitter Newfoundland; perhaps it prefers
to live under a crown.

Modern authors have seldom given their names to gardens, not even
Tennyson with his intimate and extended knowledge of garden flowers. A
Mary Howitt Garden was planned, full of homely old blooms, such as she
loves to name in her verse; but it would have slight significance save
to its maker, since no one cares to read Mary Howitt nowadays. In that
charming book, _Sylvana's Letters to an Unknown Friend_ (which I know
were written to me), the author, E. V. B., says, "The very ideal of a
garden, and the only one I know, is found in Shelley's _Sensitive
Plant_." With quick championing of a beloved poet, I at once thought of
the radiant garden of flowers in Keats's heart and poems. Then I reread
the _Sensitive Plant_ in a spirit of utmost fairness and critical
friendliness, and I am willing to yield the Shelley Garden to Sylvana,
while I keep, for my own delight, my Keats garden of sunshine, color,
and warmth.

That Keats had a profound knowledge and love of flowers is shown in his
letters as well as his poems. Only a few months before his death, when
stricken with and fighting a fatal disease, he wrote:--

     "How astonishingly does the chance of leaving the world impress a
     sense of its natural beauties upon me! Like poor Falstaff, though I
     do not babble, I think of green fields. I muse with greatest
     affection on every flower I have known from my infancy--their
     shapes and colors are as new to me as if I had just created them
     with a superhuman fancy. It is because they are connected with the
     most thoughtless and the happiest moments of my life."

Near the close of his _Endymion_ he wrote:--

                "Nor much it grieves
    To die, when summer dies on the cold sward.
    Why, I have been a butterfly, a lord
    Of flowers, garlands, love-knots, silly posies,
    Groves, meadows, melodies, and arbor roses;
    My kingdom's at its death, and just it is
    That I should die with it."

In the summer of 1816, under the influence of a happy day at Hampstead,
he wrote that lovely poem, "I stood tiptoe upon a little hill." After a
description of the general scene, a special corner of beauty is thus
told:--

    "A bush of May flowers with the bees about them--
     Ah, sure no bashful nook could be without them--
     And let a lush Laburnum oversweep them,
     And let long grass grow round the roots to keep them
     Moist, cool, and green; and shade the Violets
     That they may bind the moss in leafy nets.
     A Filbert hedge with Wild-brier over trim'd,
     And clumps of Woodbine taking the soft wind,
     Upon their summer thrones...."

Then come these wonderful lines, which belittle all other descriptions
of Sweet Peas:--

    "Here are Sweet Peas, on tiptoe for a flight,
     With wings of gentle flush o'er delicate white,
     And taper fingers catching at all things
     To bind them all about with tiny wings."

Keats states in his letters that his love of flowers was wholly for
those of the "common garden sort," not for flowers of the greenhouse or
difficult cultivation, nor do I find in his lines any evidence of
extended familiarity with English wild flowers. He certainly does not
know the flowers of woods and fields as does Matthew Arnold.

[Illustration: The Parson's Walk.]

The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table says: "Did you ever hear a poet who
did not talk flowers? Don't you think a poem which for the sake of being
original should leave them out, would be like those verses where the
letter _a_ or _e_, or some other, is omitted? No; they will bloom over
and over again in poems as in the summer fields, to the end of time,
always old and always new." The Autocrat himself knew well a poet who
never talked flowers in his poems, a poet beloved of all other
poets,--Arthur Hugh Clough,--though he loved and knew all flowers. From
Matthew Arnold's beautiful tribute to him, are a few of his wonderful
flower lines, cut out from their fellows:--

    "Through the thick Corn the scarlet Poppies peep,
     And round green roots and yellowing stalks I see
       Pale blue Convolvulus in tendrils creep,
         And air-swept Lindens yield
       Their scent, and rustle down their perfumed showers
       Of bloom...,

           *       *       *       *       *

    "Soon will the high midsummer pomps come on,
       Soon will the Musk Carnations break and swell.
     Soon shall we have gold-dusted Snapdragon,
       Sweet-william with his homely cottage smell,
         And Stocks in fragrant blow."

Oh, what a master hand! Where in all English verse are fairer flower
hues? And where is a more beautiful description of a midsummer evening,
than Arnold's exquisite lines beginning:--

    "The evening comes; the fields are still;
     The tinkle of the thirsty rill."

Dr. Holmes was also a master in the description of garden flowers. I
should know, had I never been told save from his verses, just the kind
of a Cambridge garden he was reared in, and what flowers grew in it.
Lowell, too, gives ample evidence of a New England childhood in a
garden.

The gardens of Shenstone's _Schoolmistress_ and of Thomson's poems come
to our minds without great warmth of welcome from us; while Clare's
lines are full of charm:--

    "And where the Marjoram once, and Sage and Rue,
     And Balm, and Mint, with curl'd leaf Parsley grew,
     And double Marigolds, and silver Thyme,
     And Pumpkins 'neath the window climb.
     And where I often, when a child, for hours
     Tried through the pales to get the tempting flowers,
     As Lady's Laces, everlasting Peas,
     True-love-lies-bleeding, with the Hearts-at-ease
     And Goldenrods, and Tansy running high,
     That o'er the pale tops smiled on passers by."

A curious old seventeenth-century poet was the Jesuit, René Rapin. The
copy of his poem entitled _Gardens_ which I have seen, is the one in my
daughter's collection of garden books; it was "English'd by the
Ingenious Mr. Gardiner," and published in 1728. Hallam in his
_Introduction to the Literature of Europe_ gives a capital estimate of
this long poem of over three thousand lines. I find them pretty dull
reading, with much monotony of adjectives, and very affected notions for
plant names. I fancy he manufactured all his tedious plant traditions
himself.

[Illustration: Garden of Mary Washington.]

A pleasing little book entitled _Dante's Garden_ has collected evidence,
from his writings, of Dante's love of green, growing things. The title
is rather strained, since he rarely names individual flowers, and only
refers vaguely to their emblematic significance. I would have entitled
the book _Dante's Forest_, since he chiefly refers to trees; and the
Italian gardens of his days were of trees rather than flowers. There are
passages in his writings which have led some of his worshippers to
believe that his childhood was passed in a garden; but these references
are very indeterminate.

The picture of a deserted garden, with its sad sentiment has charmed the
fancy of many a poet. Hood, a true flower-lover, wrote this jingle in
his _Haunted House_:--

    "The Marigold amidst the nettles blew,
       The Gourd embrac'd the Rose bush in its ramble.
     The Thistle and the Stock together grew,
       The Hollyhock and Bramble.

    "The Bearbine with the Lilac interlaced,
       The sturdy Burdock choked its tender neighbor,
     The spicy Pink. All tokens were effaced
       Of human care and labor."

These lines are a great contrast to the dignified versification of The
Old Garden, by Margaret Deland, a garden around which a great city has
grown.

    "Around it is the street, a restless arm
     That clasps the country to the city's heart."

No one could read this poem without knowing that the author is a true
garden lover, and knowing as well that she spent her childhood in a
garden.

Another American poet, Edith Thomas, writes exquisitely of old gardens
and garden flowers.

    "The pensile Lilacs still their favors throw.
     The Star of Lilies, plenteous long ago,
     Waits on the summer dusk, and faileth not.
     The legions of the grass in vain would blot
     The spicy Box that marks the garden row.
     Let but the ground some human tendance know,
     It long remaineth an engentled spot."

Let me for a moment, through the suggestion of her last two lines, write
of the impress left on nature through flower planting. "The garden long
remaineth an engentled spot." You cannot for years stamp out the mark of
a garden; intentional destruction may obliterate the garden borders, but
neglect never. The delicate flowers die, but some sturdy things spring
up happily and seem gifted with everlasting life. Fifteen years ago a
friend bought an old country seat on Long Island; near the site of the
new house, an old garden was ploughed deep and levelled to a lawn. Every
year since then the patient gardeners pull up, on this lawn, in
considerable numbers, Mallows, Campanulas, Star of Bethlehem,
Bouncing-bets and innumerable Asparagus shoots, and occasionally the
seedlings of other flowers which have bided their time in the dark
earth. Traces of the residence of Sir Walter Raleigh in Ireland may
still be seen in the growth of richly perfumed wall-flowers which he
brought from the Azores. The Affane Cherry is found where he planted it,
and some of his Cedars are living. The summer-house of Yew trees
sheltered him when he smoked in the garden, and in this garden he
planted Tobacco. Near by is the famous spot where he planted what were
then called Virginian Potatoes. By that planting they acquired the name
of Irish Potatoes.

I have spoken of the Prince Nurseries in Flushing; the old nurserymen
left a more lasting mark than their Nurseries, in the rare trees and
plants now found on the roads, and in the fields and gardens for many
miles around Flushing. With the Parsons family, who have been, since
1838, distributors of unusual plants, especially the splendid garden
treasures from China and Japan, they have made Flushing a delightful
nature-study.

In the humblest dooryard, and by the wayside in outlying parts of the
town, may be seen rare and beautiful old trees: a giant purple Beech is
in a laborer's yard; fine Cedars, Salisburias, red-flowered
Horse-chestnuts, Japanese flowering Quinces and Cherries, and even rare
Japanese Maples are to be found; a few survivors of the Chinese Mulberry
have a romantic interest as mementoes of a giant bubble of ruin. The
largest Scotch Laburnum I ever saw, glorious in golden bloom, is behind
an unkempt house. On the Parsons estate is a weeping Beech of unusual
size. Its branches trail on the ground in a vast circumference of 222
feet, forming a great natural arbor. The beautiful vernal light in this
tree bower may be described in Andrew Marvell's words:--

    "Annihilating all that's made
     To a green thought in a green shade."

[Illustration: Box and Phlox.]

The photograph of it, shown opposite page 232, gives some scant idea of
its leafy walls; it has been for years the fit trysting-place of lovers,
as is shown by the initials carved on the great trunk. Great Judas
trees, sadly broken yet bravely blooming; decayed hedges of several
kinds of Lilacs, Syringas, Snowballs, and Yuccas of princely size and
bearing still linger. Everywhere are remnants of Box hedges. One unkempt
dooryard of an old Dutch farm-house was glorified with a broad double
row of yellow Lily at least sixty feet in length. Everywhere is
Wistaria, on porches, fences, houses, and trees; the abundant Dogwood
trees are often overgrown with Wistaria. The most exquisite sight of the
floral year was the largest Dogwood tree I have ever seen, radiant with
starry white bloom, and hung to the tip of every white-flowered branch
with the drooping amethystine racemes of Wistaria of equal luxuriance.
Golden-yellow Laburnum blooms were in one case mingled with both purple
and white Wistaria. These yellow, purple, and white blooms of similar
shape were a curious sight, as if a single plant had been grafted. As I
rode past so many glimpses of loveliness mingled with so much present
squalor, I could but think of words of the old hymn:--

    "Where every prospect pleases
     And only man is vile."

Could the hedges, trees, and vines which came from the Prince and
Parsons Nurseries have been cared for, northeastern Long Island, which
is part of the city of Greater New York, would still be what it was
named by the early explorers, "The Pearl of New Netherland."

[Illustration: Within the Weeping Beech.]



CHAPTER X

THE CHARM OF COLOR

    "How strange are the freaks of memory,
       The lessons of life we forget.
     While a trifle, a trick of color,
       In the wonderful web is set."

    --JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.


The quality of charm in color is most subtle; it is like the human
attribute known as fascination, "whereof," says old Cotton Mather, "men
have more Experience than Comprehension." Certainly some alliance of
color with a form suited or wonted to it is necessary to produce a
gratification of the senses. Thus in the leaves of plants every shade of
green is pleasing; then why is there no charm in a green flower? The
green of Mignonette bloom would scarcely be deemed beautiful were it not
for our association of it with the delicious fragrance. White is the
absence of color. In flowers a pure chalk-white, and a snow-white (which
is bluish) is often found; but more frequently the white flower blushes
a little, or is warmed with yellow, or has green veins.

Where green runs into the petals of a white flower, its beauty hangs by
a slender thread. If the green lines have any significance, as have the
faint green checkerings of the Fritillary, which I have described
elsewhere in this book, they add to its interest; but ordinarily they
make the petals seem undeveloped. The Snowdrop bears the mark of one of
the few tints of green which we like in white flowers; its "heart-shaped
seal of green," sung by Rossetti, has been noted by many other poets.
Tennyson wrote:--

    "Pure as lines of green that streak the white
     Of the first Snowdrop's inner leaves."

[Illustration: Spring Snowflake.]

A cousin of the Snowdrop, is the "Spring Snowflake" or Leucojum, called
also by New England country folk "High Snowdrop." It bears at the end of
each snowy petal a tiny exact spot of green; and I think it must have
been the flower sung by Leigh Hunt:--

    "The nice-leaved lesser Lilies,
     Shading like detected light
     Their little green-tipt lamps of white."

The illustration on page 234 shows the graceful growth of the flower and
its exquisitely precise little green-dotted petals, but it has not
caught its luminous whiteness, which seems almost of phosphorescent
brightness in each little flower.

The Star of Bethlehem is a plant in which the white and green of the
leaf is curiously repeated in the flower. Gardeners seldom admit this
flower now to their gardens, it so quickly crowds out everything else;
it has become on Long Island nothing but a weed. The high-growing Star
of Bethlehem is a pretty thing. A bed of it in my sister's garden is
shown on page 237.

It is curious that when all agree that green flowers have no beauty and
scant charm, that a green flower should have been one of the best-loved
flowers of my home garden. But this love does not come from any thought
of the color or beauty of the flower, but from association. It was my
mother's favorite, hence it is mine. It was her favorite because she
loved its clear, pure, spicy fragrance. This ever present and ever
welcome scent which pervades the entire garden if leaf or flower of the
loved Ambrosia be crushed, is curious and characteristic, a true
"ambrosiack odor," to use Ben Jonson's words.

A vivid description of Ambrosia is that of Gerarde in his delightful
_Herball_.

     "Oke of Jerusalem, or Botrys, hath sundry small stems a foote and a
     halfe high dividing themselves into many small branches. The leafe
     very much resembling the leafe of an Oke, which hath caused our
     English women to call it Oke of Jerusalem. The upper side of the
     leafe is a deepe greene and somewhat rough and hairy, but
     underneath it is of a darke reddish or purple colour. The seedie
     floures grow clustering about the branches like the yong clusters
     or blowings of the Vine. The roote is small and thriddy. The whole
     herbe is of a pleasant smell and savour, and the whole plant dieth
     when the seed is ripe. Oke of Jerusalem is of divers called
     Ambrosia."

Ambrosia has been loved for many centuries by Englishwomen; it is in the
first English list of names of plants, which was made in 1548 by one Dr.
Turner; and in this list it is called "Ambrose." He says of it:--

     "Botrys is called in englishe, Oke of Hierusalem, in duche, trauben
     kraute, in french pijmen. It groweth in gardines muche in England."

Ambrosia has now died out "in gardines muche in England." I have had
many letters from English flower lovers telling me they know it not; and
I have had the pleasure of sending the seeds to several old English and
Scotch gardens, where I hope it will once more grow and flourish, for I
am sure it must feel at home.

[Illustration: Star of Bethlehem.]

The seeds of this beloved Ambrosia, which filled my mother's garden in
every spot in which it could spring, and which overflowed with cheerful
welcome into the gardens of our neighbors, was given her from the garden
of a great-aunt in Walpole, New Hampshire. This Walpole garden was a
famous gathering of old-time favorites, and it had the delightful
companionship of a wild garden. On a series of terraces with shelving
banks, which reached down to a stream, the boys of the family planted,
seventy years ago, a myriad of wild flowers, shrubs, and trees, from the
neighboring woods. By the side of the garden great Elm trees sheltered
scores of beautiful gray squirrels; and behind the house and garden an
orchard led to the wheat fields, which stretched down to the broad
Connecticut River. All flowers thrived there, both in the Box-bordered
beds and in the wild garden, perhaps because the morning mists from the
river helped out the heavy buckets of water from the well during the hot
summer weeks. Even in winter the wild garden was beautiful from the
brilliant Bittersweet which hung from every tree.

[Illustration: "The Pearl."]

Here Ambrosia was plentiful, but is plentiful no longer; and Walpole
garden lovers seek seeds of it from the Worcester garden. I think it
dies out generally when all the weeding and garden care is done by
gardeners; they assume that the little plants of such modest bearing
are weeds, and pull them up, with many other precious seedlings of the
old garden, in their desire to have ample expanse of naked dirt. One of
the charms which was permitted to the old garden was its fulness. Nature
there certainly abhorred a vacant space. The garden soil was full of
resources; it had a seed for every square inch; it seemed to have a
reserve store ready to crowd into any space offered by the removal or
dying down of a plant at any time.

Let me tell of a curious thing I found in an old book, anent our
subject--green flowers. It shows that we must not accuse our modern
sensation lovers, either in botany or any other science, of being the
only ones to add artifice to nature. The green Carnation has been chosen
to typify the decadence and monstrosity of the end of the nineteenth
century; but nearly two hundred years ago a London fruit and flower
grower, named Richard Bradley, wrote a treatise upon field husbandry and
garden culture, and in it he tells of a green Carnation which "a certayn
fryar" produced by grafting a Carnation upon a Fennel stalk. The flowers
were green for several years, then nature overcame decadent art.

There be those who are so enamoured of the color green and of foliage,
that they care little for flowers of varied tint; even in a garden, like
the old poet Marvell, they deem,--

    "No white nor red was ever seen
     So amorous as this lovely green."

Such folk could scarce find content in an American garden; for our
American gardeners must confess, with Shakespeare's clown: "I am no
great Nebuchadnezzar, sir, I have not much skill in grass." Our lawns
are not old enough.

A charming greenery of old English gardens was the bowling-green. We
once had them in our colonies, as the name of a street in our greatest
city now proves; and I deem them a garden fashion well-to-be-revived.

The laws of color preference differ with the size of expanses. Our broad
fields often have pleasing expanses of leafage other than green, and
flowers that are as all-pervading as foliage. Many flowers of the field
have their day, when each seems to be queen, a short day, but its rights
none dispute. Snow of Daisies, yellow of Dandelions, gold of Buttercups,
purple pinkness of Clover, Innocence, Blue-eyed Grass, Milkweed, none
reign more absolutely in every inch of the fields than that poverty
stricken creature, the Sorrel. William Morris warns us that "flowers in
masses are mighty strong color," and must be used with much caution in a
garden. But there need be no fear of massed color in a field, as being
ever gaudy or cloying. An approach to the beauty and satisfaction of
nature's plentiful field may be artificially obtained as an adjunct to
the garden in a flower-close sown or set with a solid expanse of bloom
of some native or widely adopted plant. I have seen a flower-close of
Daisies, another of Buttercups, one of Larkspur, one of Coreopsis. A new
field tint, and a splendid one, has been given to us within a few
years, by the introduction of the vivid red of Italian clover. It is
eagerly welcomed to our fields, so scant of scarlet. This clover was
brought to America in the years 1824 _et seq._, and is described in
contemporary publications in alluring sentences. I have noted the
introduction of several vegetables, grains, fruits, berries, shrubs, and
flowers in those years, and attribute this to the influence of the visit
of Lafayette in 1824. Adored by all, his lightest word was heeded; and
he was a devoted agriculturist and horticulturist, ever exchanging
ideas, seeds, and plants with his American fellow-patriots and
fellow-farmers. I doubt if Italian clover then became widely known; but
our modern farmers now think well of it, and the flower lover revels in
it.

The exigencies of rhyme and rhythm force us to endure some very curious
notions of color in the poets. I think no saying of poet ever gave
greater check to her lovers than these lines of Emily Dickinson:--

    "Nature rarer uses yellow
       Than another hue;
     Saves she all of that for sunsets,
       Prodigal of blue.
     Spending scarlet like a woman,
       Yellow she affords
     Only scantly and selectly,
       Like a lover's words."

I read them first with a sense of misapprehension that I had not seen
aright; but there the words stood out, "Nature rarer uses yellow than
another hue." The writer was such a jester, such a tricky elf that I
fancy she wrote them in pure "contrariness," just to see what folks
would say, how they would dispute over her words. For I never can doubt
that, with all her recluse life, she knew intuitively that some time her
lines would be read by folks who would love them.

[Illustration: Pyrethrum.]

The scarcity of red wild flowers is either a cause or an effect; at any
rate it is said to be connected with the small number of humming-birds,
who play an important part in the fertilization of many of the red
flowers. There are no humming-birds in Europe; and the Aquilegia, red
and yellow here, is blue there, and is then fertilized by the assistance
of the bumblebee. Without humming-birds the English successfully
accomplish one glorious sweep of red in the Poppies of the field;
Parkinson called them "a beautiful and gallant red"--a very happy
phrase. Ruskin, that master of color and of its description, and above
all master of the description of Poppies, says:--

     "The Poppy is the most transparent and delicate of all the blossoms
     of the field. The rest, nearly all of them, depend on the texture
     of their surface for color. But the Poppy is painted glass; it
     never glows so brightly as when the sun shines through it. Whenever
     it is seen, against the light or with the light, it is a flame, and
     warms the wind like a blown ruby."

There is one quality of the Oriental Poppies which is very palpable to
me. They have often been called insolent--Browning writes of the
"Poppy's red affrontery"; to me the Poppy has an angry look. It is
wonderfully haughty too, and its seed-pod seems like an emblem of its
rank. This great green seed-pod stands one inch high in the centre of
the silken scarlet robe, and has an antique crown of purple bands with
filling of lilac, just like the crown in some ancient kingly portraits,
when the bands of gold and gems radiating from a great jewel in the
centre are filled with crimson or purple velvet. Around this splendid
crowned seed-vessel are rows of stamens and purple anthers of richest
hue.

We must not let any scarlet flower be dropped from the garden, certainly
not the Geranium, which just at present does not shine so bravely as a
few years ago. The general revulsion of feeling against "bedding out"
has extended to the poor plants thus misused, which is unjust. I find I
have spoken somewhat despitefully of the Coleus, Lobelia, and
Calceolaria, so I hasten to say that I do not include the Geranium with
them. I love its clean color, in leaf and blossom; its clean fragrance;
its clean beauty, its healthy growth; it is a plant I like to have near
me.

It has been the custom of late to sneer at crimson in the garden,
especially if its vivid color gets a dash of purple and becomes what
Miss Jekyll calls "malignant magenta." It is really more vulgar than
malignant, and has come to be in textile products a stamp and symbol of
vulgarity, through the forceful brilliancy of our modern aniline dyes.
But this purple crimson, this amarant, this magenta, especially in the
lighter shades, is a favorite color in nature. The garden is never weary
of wearing it. See how it stands out in midsummer! It is rank in Ragged
Robin, tall Phlox, and Petunias; you find it in the bed of Drummond
Phlox, among the Zinnias; the Portulacas, Balsams, and China Asters
prolong it. Earlier in the summer the Rhododendrons fill the garden with
color that on some of the bushes is termed sultana and crimson, but it
is in fact plain magenta. One of the good points of the Peony is that
you never saw a magenta one.

This color shows that time as well as place affects our color notions,
for magenta is believed to be the honored royal purple of the ancients.
Fifty years ago no one complained of magenta. It was deemed a cheerful
color, and was set out boldly and complacently by the side of pink or
scarlet, or wall flower colors. Now I dislike it so that really the
printed word, seen often as I glance back through this page, makes the
black and white look cheap. If I could turn all magenta flowers pink or
purple, I should never think further about garden harmony, all other
colors would adjust themselves.

It has been the fortune of some communities to be the home of men in
nature like Thoreau of Concord and Gilbert White of Selborne, men who
live solely in love of out-door things, birds, flowers, rocks, and
trees. To all these nature lovers is not given the power of writing down
readily what they see and know, usually the gift of composition is
denied them; but often they are just as close and accurate observers as
the men whose names are known to the world by their writings. Sometimes
these naturalists boldly turn to nature, their loved mother, and earn
their living in the woods and fields. Sometimes they have a touch of the
hermit in them, they prefer nature to man; others are genial, kindly
men, albeit possessed of a certain reserve. I deem the community blest
that has such a citizen, for his influence in promoting a love and study
of nature is ever great. I have known one such ardent naturalist, Arba
Peirce, ever since my childhood. He lives the greater part of his waking
hours in the woods and fields, and these waking hours are from sunrise.
From the earliest bloom of spring to the gay berry of autumn, he knows
all beautiful things that grow, and where they grow, for hundreds of
miles around his home.

[Illustration: Terraced Garden of Misses Nichols, Salem, Massachusetts.]

I speak of him in this connection because he has acquired through his
woodland life a wonderful power of distinguishing flowers at great
distance with absolute accuracy. Especially do his eyes have the power
of detecting those rose-lilac tints which are characteristic of our
rarest, our most delicate wild flowers, and which I always designate to
myself as Arethusa color. He brought me this June a royal gift--a great
bunch of wild fringed Orchids, another of Calopogon, and one of
Arethusa. What a color study these three made! At the time their
lilac-rose tints seemed to me far lovelier than any pure rose colors. In
those wild princesses were found every tone of that lilac-rose from the
faint blush like the clouds of a warm sunset, to a glow on the lip of
the Arethusa, like the crimson glow of Mullein Pink.

My friend of the meadow and wildwood had gathered that morning a
glorious harvest, over two thousand stems of Pogonia, from his own
hidden spot, which he has known for forty years and from whence no other
hand ever gathers. For a little handful of these flower heads he easily
obtains a dollar. He has acquired gradually a regular round of
customers, for whom he gathers a successive harvest of wild flowers from
Pussy Willows and Hepatica to winter berries. It is not easily earned
money to stand in heavy rubber boots in marsh mud and water reaching
nearly to the waist, but after all it is happy work. Jeered at in his
early life by fools for his wood-roving tastes, he has now the pleasure
and honor of supplying wild flowers to our public schools, and being the
authority to whom scholars and teachers refer in vexed questions of
botany.

I think the various tints allied to purple are the most difficult to
define and describe of any in the garden. To begin with, all these
pinky-purple, these arethusa tints are nameless; perhaps orchid color is
as good a name as any. Many deem purple and violet precisely the same.
Lavender has much gray in its tint. Miss Jekyll deems mauve and lilac
the same; to me lilac is much pinker, much more delicate. Is heliotrope
a pale bluish purple? Some call it a blue faintly tinged with red. Then
there are the orchid tints, which have more pink than blue. It is a
curious fact that, with all these allied tints which come from the union
of blue with red, the color name comes from a flower name. Violet,
lavender, lilac, heliotrope, orchid, are examples; each is an exact
tint. Rose and pink are color names from flowers, and flowers of much
variety of colors, but the tint name is unvarying.

Edward de Goncourt, of all writers on flowers and gardens, seems to have
been most frankly pleased with the artificial side of the gardener's
art. He viewed the garden with the eye of a colorist, setting a palette
of varied greens from the deep tones of the evergreens, the Junipers and
Cryptomerias through the variegated Hollies, Privets and Spindle trees;
and he said that an "elegantly branched coquettishly variegated bush"
seemed to him like a piece of bric-a-brac which should be hunted out and
praised like some curio hidden on the shelf of a collector.

A lack of color perception seems to have been prevalent of ancient days,
as it is now in some Oriental countries. The Bible offers evidence of
this, and it has also been observed that the fragrance of flowers is
nowhere noted until we reach the Song of Solomon. It is believed that in
earliest time archaic men had no sense of color; that they knew only
light and darkness. Mr. Gladstone wrote a most interesting paper on the
lack of color sense in Homer, whose perception of brilliant light was
good, especially in the glowing reflections of metals, but who never
names blue or green even in speaking of the sky, or trees, while his
reds and purples are hopelessly mixed. Some German scientists have
maintained that as recently as Homer's day, our ancestors were (to use
Sir John Lubbock's word) blue-blind, which fills me, as it must all blue
lovers, with profound pity.

[Illustration: Arbor in a Salem Garden.]

The influence of color has ever been felt by other senses than that of
sight. In the _Cotton Manuscripts_, written six hundred years ago, the
relations and effects of color on music and coat-armor were laboriously
explained: and many later writers have striven to show the effect of
color on the health, imagination, or fortune. I see no reason for
sneering at these notions of sense-relation; I am grateful for borrowed
terms of definition for these beautiful things which are so hard to
define. When an artist says to me, "There is a color that sings," I know
what he means; as I do when my friend says of the funeral music in
_Tristan_ that "it always hurts her eyes." Musicians compose symphonies
in color, and artists paint pictures in symphonies. Musicians and
authors acknowledge the domination of color and color terms; a glance at
a modern book catalogue will prove it. Stephen Crane and other modern
extremists depend upon color to define and describe sounds, smells,
tastes, feelings, ideas, vices, virtues, traits, as well as sights.
Sulphur-yellow is deemed an inspiring color, and light green a clean
color; every one knows the influence of bright red upon many animals and
birds; it is said all barnyard fowl are affected by it. If any one can
see a sunny bed of blue Larkspur in full bloom without being moved
thereby, he must be color blind and sound deaf as well, for that indeed
is a sight full of music and noble inspiration, a realization of Keats'
beautiful thought:--

    "Delicious symphonies, like airy flowers
     Budded, and swell'd, and full-blown, shed full showers
     Of light, soft unseen leaves of sound divine."



CHAPTER XI

THE BLUE FLOWER BORDER

    "Blue thou art, intensely blue!
     Flower! whence came thy dazzling hue?
     When I opened first mine eye,
     Upward glancing to the sky,
     Straightway from the firmament
     Was the sapphire brilliance sent."

    --JAMES MONTGOMERY.


Questions of color relations in a garden are most opinion-making and
controversy-provoking. Shall we plant by chance, or by a flower-loving
instinct for sheltered and suited locations, as was done in all old-time
gardens, and with most happy and most unaffected results? or shall we
plant severely by colors--all yellow flowers in a border together? all
red flowers side by side? all pink flowers near each other? This might
be satisfactory in small gardens, but I am uncertain whether any
profound gratification or full flower succession would come from such
rigid planting in long flower borders.

William Morris warns us that flowers in masses are "mighty strong
color," and must be used with caution. A still greater cause for
hesitation would be the ugly jarring of juxtaposing tints of the same
color. Yellows do little injury to each other; but I cannot believe that
a mixed border of red flowers would ever be satisfactory or scarcely
endurable; and few persons would care for beds of all white flowers. But
when I reach the Blue Border, then I can speak with decision; I know
whereof I write, I know the variety and beauty of a garden bed of blue
flowers. In blue you may have much difference in tint and quality
without losing color effect. The Persian art workers have accomplished
the combining of varying blues most wonderfully and successfully:
purplish blues next to green-blues, and sapphire-blues alongside; and
blues seldom clash in the flower beds.

Blue is my best beloved color; I love it as the bees love it. Every blue
flower is mine; and I am as pleased as with a tribute of praise to a
friend to learn that scientists have proved that blue flowers represent
the most highly developed lines of descent. These learned men believe
that all flowers were at first yellow, being perhaps only developed
stamens; then some became white, others red; while the purple and blue
were the latest and highest forms. The simplest shaped flowers, open to
be visited by every insect, are still yellow or white, running into red
or pink. Thus the Rose family have simple open symmetrical flowers; and
there are no blue Roses--the flower has never risen to the blue stage.
In the Pea family the simpler flowers are yellow or red; while the
highly evolved members, such as Lupines, Wistaria, Everlasting Pea, are
purple or blue, varying to white. Bees are among the highest forms of
insect life, and the labiate flowers are adapted to their visits; these
nearly all have purple or blue petals--Thyme, Sage, Mint, Marjoram,
Basil, Prunella, etc.

Of course the Blue Border runs into tints of pale lilac and purple and
is thereby the gainer; but I would remove from it the purple Clematis,
Wistaria, and Passion-flower, all of which a friend has planted to cover
the wall behind her blue flower bed. Sometimes the line between blue and
purple is hard to define. Keats invented a word, _purplue_, which he
used for this indeterminate color.

I would not, in my Blue Border, exclude an occasional group of flowers
of other colors; I love a border of all colors far too well to do that.
Here, as everywhere in my garden, should be white flowers, especially
tall white flowers: white Foxgloves, white Delphinium, white Lupine,
white Hollyhock, white Bell-flower, nor should I object to a few spires
at one end of the bed of sulphur-yellow Lupines, or yellow Hollyhocks,
or a group of Paris Daisies. I have seen a great Oriental Poppy growing
in wonderful beauty near a mass of pale blue Larkspur, and Shirley
Poppies are a delight with blues; and any one could arrange the
pompadour tints of pink and blue in a garden who could in a gown.

[Illustration: Scilla.]

Let me name some of the favorites of the Blue Border. The earliest but
not the eldest is the pretty spicy Scilla in several varieties, and most
satisfactory it is in perfection of tint, length of bloom, and great
hardiness. It would be welcomed as we eagerly greet all the early spring
blooms, even if it were not the perfect little blossom that is pictured
on page 254, the very little Scilla that grew in my mother's garden.

The early spring blooming of the beloved Grape Hyacinth gives us an
overflowing bowl of "blue principle"; the whole plant is imbued and
fairly exudes blue. Ruskin gave the beautiful and appropriate term
"blue-flushing" to this plant and others, which at the time of their
blossoming send out through their veins their blue color into the
surrounding leaves and the stem; he says they "breathe out" their color,
and tells of a "saturated purple" tint.

[Illustration: Sweet Alyssum Edging.]

Not content with the confines of the garden border, the Grape Hyacinth
has "escaped the garden," and become a field flower. The "seeing eye,"
ever quick to feel a difference in shade or color, which often proves
very slight upon close examination, viewed on Long Island a splendid sea
of blue; and it seemed neither the time nor tint for the expected
Violet. We found it a field of Grape Hyacinth, blue of leaf, of stem, of
flower. While all flowers are in a sense perfect, some certainly do not
appear so in shape, among the latter those of irregular sepals. Some
flowers seem imperfect without any cause save the fancy of the one who
is regarding them; thus to me the Balsam is an imperfect flower. Other
flowers impress me delightfully with a sense of perfection. Such is the
Grape Hyacinth, doubly grateful in this perfection in the time it comes
in early spring. The Grape Hyacinth is the favorite spring flower of my
garden--but no! I thought a minute ago the Scilla was! and what place
has the Violet? the Flower de Luce? I cannot decide, but this I know--it
is some blue flower.

Ruskin says of the Grape Hyacinth, as he saw it growing in southern
France, its native home, "It was as if a cluster of grapes and a hive of
honey had been distilled and pressed together into one small boss of
celled and beaded blue." I always think of his term "beaded blue" when I
look at it. There are several varieties, from a deep blue or purple to
sky-blue, and one is fringed with the most delicate feathery petals.
Some varieties have a faint perfume, and country folk call the flower
"Baby's Breath" therefrom.

[Illustration: Bachelor's Buttons in a Salem Garden.]

Purely blue, too, are some of our garden Hyacinths, especially a rather
meagre single Hyacinth which looks a little chilly; and Gavin Douglas
wrote in the springtime of 1500, "The Flower de Luce forth spread his
heavenly blue." It always jars upon my sense of appropriateness to hear
this old garden favorite called Fleur de Lis. The accepted derivation
of the word is that given by Grandmaison in his _Heraldic Dictionary_.
Louis VII. of France, whose name was then written Loys, first gave the
name to the flower, "Fleur de Loys"; then it became Fleur de Louis, and
finally, Fleur de Lis. Our flower caught its name from Louis. Tusser in
his list of flowers for windows and pots gave plainly Flower de Luce;
and finally Gerarde called the plant Flower de Luce, and he advised its
use as a domestic remedy in a manner which is in vogue in country homes
in New England to-day. He said that the root "stamped plaister-wise,
doth take away the blewnesse or blacknesse of any stroke" that is, a
black and blue bruise. Another use advised of him is as obsolete as the
form in which it was rendered. He said it was "good in a loch or licking
medicine for shortness of breath." Our apothecaries no longer make, nor
do our physicians prescribe, "licking medicines." The powdered root was
urged as a complexion beautifier, especially to remove morphew, and as
orris-root may be found in many of our modern skin lotions.

Ruskin most beautifully describes the Flower de Luce as the flower of
chivalry--"with a sword for its leaf, and a Lily for its heart." These
grand clumps of erect old soldiers, with leafy swords of green and
splendid cuirasses and plumes of gold and bronze and blue, were planted
a century ago in our grandmothers' garden, and were then Flower de Luce.
A hundred years those sturdy sentinels have stood guard on either side
of the garden gates--still Flower de Luce. There are the same clean-cut
leaf swords, the same exquisite blossoms, far more beautiful than our
tropical Orchids, though similar in shape; let us not change now their
historic name, they still are Flower de Luce--the Flower de Louis.

The Violet family, with its Pansies and Ladies' Delights, has honored
place in our Blue Border, though the rigid color list of a prosaic
practical dyer finds these Violet allies a debased purple instead of
blue.

Our wild Violets, the blue ones, have for me a sad lack for a Violet,
that of perfume. They are not as lovely in the woodlands as their
earlier coming neighbor, the shy, pure Hepatica. Bryant, calling the
Hepatica Squirrelcups (a name I never heard given them elsewhere), says
they form "a graceful company hiding in their bells a soft aerial blue."
Of course, they vary through blue and pinky purple, but the blue is well
hidden, and I never think of them save as an almost white flower. Nor
are the Violets as lovely on the meadow and field slopes, as the mild
Innocence, the Houstonia, called also Bluets, which is scarcely a
distinctly blue expanse, but rather "a milky way of minute stars." An
English botanist denies that it is blue at all. A field covered with
Innocence always looks to me as if little clouds and puffs of blue-white
smoke had descended and rested on the grass.

[Illustration: A "Sweet Garden-side" in Salem, Massachusetts.]

I well recall when the Aquilegia, under the name of California
Columbine, entered my mother's garden, to which its sister, the red and
yellow Columbine, had been brought from a rocky New England pasture when
the garden was new. This Aquilegia came to us about the year 1870. I
presume old catalogues of American florists would give details and dates
of the journey of the plant from the Pacific to the Atlantic. It chanced
that this first Aquilegia of my acquaintance was of a distinct light
blue tint; and it grew apace and thrived and was vastly admired, and
filled the border with blueness of that singular tint seen of late years
in its fullest extent and most prominent position in the great masses of
bloom of the blue Hydrangea, the show plant of such splendid summer
homes as may be found at Newport. These blue Hydrangeas are ever to me a
color blot. They accord with no other flower and no foliage. I am
ever reminded of blue mould, of stale damp. I looked with inexpressible
aversion on a photograph of Cecil Rhodes' garden at Cape Town--several
solid acres set with this blue Hydrangea and nothing else, unbroken by
tree or shrub, and scarce a path, growing as thick as a field sown with
ensilage corn, and then I thought what would be the color of that mass!
that crop of Hydrangeas! Yet I am told that Rhodes is a flower-lover and
flower-thinker. Now this Aquilegia was of similar tint; it was blue, but
it was not a pleasing blue, and additional plants of pink, lilac, and
purple tints had to be added before the Aquilegia was really included in
our list of well-beloveds.

[Illustration: Salpiglossis.]

There are other flowers for the blue border. It is pleasant to plant
common Flax, if you have ample room; it is a superb blue; to many
persons the blossom is unfamiliar, and is always of interest. Its lovely
flowers have been much sung in English verse. The Salpiglossis, shown on
the opposite page, is in its azure tint a lovely flower, though it is a
kinsman of the despised Petunia.

How the Campanulaceæ enriched the beauty and the blueness of the garden.
We had our splendid clusters of Canterbury Bells, both blue and white. I
have told elsewhere of our love for them in childhood. Equally dear to
us was a hardy old Campanula whose full name I know not, perhaps it is
the Pyramidalis; it is shown on page 263, the very plant my mother set
out, still growing and blooming; nothing in the garden is more gladly
welcomed from year to year. It partakes of the charm shared by every
bell-shaped flower, a simple form, but an ever pleasing one. We had also
the _Campanula persicifolia_ and _trachelium_, and one we called
Bluebells of Scotland, which was not the correct name. It now has died
out, and no one recalls enough of its exact detail to learn its real
name. The showiest bell-flower was the _Platycodon grandiflorum_, the
Chinese or Japanese Bell-flower, shown on page 264. Another name is the
Balloon-flower, this on account of the characteristic buds shaped like
an inflated balloon. It is a lovely blue in tint, though this photograph
was taken from a white-flowered plant in the white border at Indian
Hill. The Giant Bell-flower is a _fin de siècle_ blossom named
_Ostrowskia_, with flowers four inches deep and six inches in diameter;
it has not yet become common in our gardens, where the _Platycodon_
rules in size among its bell-shaped fellows.

[Illustration: The Old Campanula.]

There are several pretty low-growing blue flowers suitable for edgings,
among them the tiny stars of the Swan River Daisy (_Brachycome
iberidifolia_) sold as purple, but as brightly blue as Scilla. The
dwarf Ageratum is also a long-blossoming soft-tinted blue flower; it
made a charming edging in my sister's garden last summer; but I should
never put either of them on the edge of the blue border.

[Illustration: Chinese Bell-flower.]

The dull blue, sparsely set flowers of the various members of the Mint
family have no beauty in color, nor any noticeable elegance; the Blue
Sage is the only vivid-hued one, and it is a true ornament to the
border. Prunella was ever found in old gardens, now it is a wayside
weed. Thoreau loved the Prunella for its blueness, its various lights,
and noted that its color deepened toward night. This flower, regarded
with indifference by nearly every one, and distaste by many, always to
him suggested coolness and freshness by its presence. The Prunella was
beloved also by Ruskin, who called it the soft warm-scented Brunelle,
and told of the fine purple gleam of its hooded blossom: "the two
uppermost petals joined like an old-fashioned enormous hood or bonnet;
the lower petal torn deep at the edges into a kind of fringe,"--and he
said it was a "Brownie flower," a little eerie and elusive in its
meaning. I do not like it because it has such a disorderly, unkempt
look, it always seems bedraggled.

The pretty ladder-like leaf of Jacob's Ladder is most delicate and
pleasing in the garden, and its blue bell-flowers are equally refined.
This is truly an old-fashioned plant, but well worth universal
cultivation.

In answer to the question, What is the bluest flower in the garden or
field? one answered Fringed Gentian; another the Forget-me-not, which
has much pink in its buds and yellow in its blossoms; another Bee
Larkspur; and the others _Centaurea cyanus_ or Bachelor's Buttons, a
local American name for them, which is not even a standard folk name,
since there are twenty-one English plants called Bachelor's Buttons.
Ragged Sailor is another American name. Corn-flower, Blue-tops, Blue
Bonnets, Bluebottles, Loggerheads are old English names. Queerer still
is the title Break-your-spectacles. Hawdods is the oldest name of all.
Fitzherbert, in his _Boke of Husbandry_, 1586, thus describes briefly
the plant:--

     "Hawdod hath a blewe floure, and a few lytle leaves, and hath fyve
     or syxe branches floured at the top."

In varied shades of blue, purple, lilac, pink, and white, Bachelor's
Buttons are found in every old garden, growing in a confused tangle of
"lytle leaves" and vari-colored flowers, very happily and with very good
effect. The illustration on page 258 shows their growth and value in the
garden.

In _The Promise of May_ Dora's eyes are said to be as blue as the
Bluebell, Harebell, Speedwell, Bluebottle, Succory, Forget-me-not, and
Violets; so we know what flowers Tennyson deemed blue.

Another poet named as the bluest flower, the Monk's-hood, so wonderful
of color, one of the very rarest of garden tints; graceful of growth,
blooming till frost, and one of the garden's delights. In a list of
garden flowers published in Boston, in 1828, it is called Cupid's Car.
Southey says in _The Doctor_, of Miss Allison's garden: "The Monk's-hood
of stately growth Betsey called 'Dumbledores Delight,' and was not aware
that the plant, in whose helmet--rather than cowl-shaped flowers, that
busy and best-natured of all insects appears to revel more than any
other, is the deadly Aconite of which she read in poetry." The
dumbledore was the bumblebee, and this folk name was given, as many
others have been, from a close observance of plant habits; for the
fertilization of the Monk's-hood is accomplished only by the aid of the
bumblebee.

[Illustration: Garden at Tudor Place.]

Many call Chicory or Succory our bluest flower. Thoreau happily termed
it "a cool blue." It is not often the fortune of a flower to be brought
to notice and affection because of a poem; we expect the poem to
celebrate the virtues of flowers already loved. The Succory is an
example of a plant, known certainly to flower students, yet little
thought of by careless observers until the beautiful poem of Margaret
Deland touched all who read it. I think this a gem of modern poesy,
having in full that great element of a true poem, the most essential
element indeed of a short poem--the power of suggestion. Who can read it
without being stirred by its tenderness and sentiment, yet how few are
the words.

    "Oh, not in ladies' gardens,
       My peasant posy,
     Shine thy dear blue eyes;
     Nor only--nearer to the skies
       In upland pastures, dim and sweet,
     But by the dusty road,
       Where tired feet
     Toil to and fro,
       Where flaunting Sin
     May see thy heavenly hue,
       Or weary Sorrow look from thee
     Toward a tenderer blue."

I recall perfectly every flower I saw in pasture, swamp, forest, or lane
when I was a child; and I know I never saw Chicory save in old gardens.
It has increased and spread wonderfully along the roadside within twenty
years. By tradition it was first brought to us from England by Governor
Bowdoin more than a century ago, to plant as forage.

In our common Larkspur, the old-fashioned garden found its most constant
and reliable blue banner, its most valuable color giver. Self-sown,
this Larkspur sprung up freely every year; needing no special cherishing
or nourishing, it grew apace, and bloomed with a luxuriance and length
of flowering that cheerfully blued the garden for the whole summer. It
was a favorite of children in their floral games, and pretty in the
housewife's vases, but its chief hold on favor was in its democracy and
endurance. Other flowers drew admirers and lost them; some grew very
ugly in their decay; certain choice seedlings often had stunted
development, garden scourges attacked tender beauties; fierce July suns
dried up the whole border, all save the Larkspur, which neither withered
nor decayed; and often, unaided, saved the midsummer garden from scanty
unkemptness and dire disrepute.

The graceful line of Dr. Holmes, "light as a loop of Larkspur," always
comes to my mind as I look at a bed of Larkspur; and I am glad to show
here a "loop of Larkspur," growing by the great boulder which he loved
in the grounds of his country home at Beverly Farms. I liked to fancy
that Dr. Holmes's expression was written by him from his memory of the
little wreaths and garlands of pressed Larkspur that have been made so
universally for over a century by New England children. But that careful
flower observer, Mrs. Wright, notes that in a profuse growth of the Bee
Larkspur, the strong flower spikes often are in complete loops before
full expansion into a straight spire; some are looped thrice. Dr. Holmes
was a minute observer of floral characteristics, as is shown in his poem
on the _Coming of Spring_, and doubtless saw this curious growth of the
Larkspur.

[Illustration: "Light as a Loop of Larkspur."]

Common annual Larkspurs now are planted in every one's garden, and
deservedly grow in favor yearly. The season of their flowering can be
prolonged, renewed in fact, by cutting away the withered flower stems.
They respond well to all caretaking, to liberal fertilizing and
watering, just as they dwindle miserably with neglect. There are a
hundred varieties in all; among them the "Rocket-flowered" and
"Ranunculus flowered" Larkspurs or Delphiniums are ever favorites. A
friend burst forth in railing at being asked to admire a bed of
Delphinium. "Why can't she call them the good old-time name of Larkspur,
and not a stiff name cooked up by the botanists." I answered naught, but
I remembered that Parkinson in his _Garden of Pleasant Flowers_ gives a
chapter to Delphinium, with Lark's-heel as a second thought. "Their most
usual name with us," he states, "is Delphinium." There is meaning in the
name: the flower is dolphin-like in shape. Of the perennial varieties
the _Delphinium brunonianum_ has lovely clear blue, musk-scented
flowers; the Chinese or Branching Larkspur is of varied blue tints and
tall growth, and blooms from midsummer until frost. And loveliest of
all, an old garden favorite, the purely blue Bee Larkspur, with a bee in
the heart of each blossom. In an ancient garden in Deerfield I saw this
year a splendid group of plants of the old _Delphinium Belladonna_: it
is a weak-kneed, weak-backed thing; but give it unobtrusive crutches and
busks and backboards (in their garden equivalents), and its incomparable
blue will reward your care. There is something singular in the blue of
Larkspur. Even on a dark night you can see it showing a distinct blue
in the garden like a blue lambent flame.

    "Larkspur lifting turquoise spires
     Bluer than the sorcerer's fires."

Mrs. Milne-Home says her old Scotch gardener called the white Delphinium
Elijah's Chariot--a resounding, stately title. Helmet-flower is another
name. I think the Larkspur Border, and the Blue Border both gain if a
few plants of the pure white Delphinium, especially the variety called
the Emperor, bloom by the blue flowers. In our garden the common blue
Larkspur loves to blossom by the side of the white Phlox. A bit of the
border is shown on page 162. In another corner of the garden the pink
and lilac Larkspur should be grown; for their tints, running into blue,
are as varied as those of an opal.

I have never seen the wild Larkspur which grows so plentifully in our
middle Southern states; but I have seen expanses of our common garden
Larkspur which has run wild. Nor have I seen the glorious fields of
Wyoming Larkspur, so poisonous to cattle; nor the magnificent Larkspur,
eight feet high, described so radiantly to us by John Muir, which blues
those wonders of nature, the hanging meadow gardens of California.

I am inclined to believe that Lobelia is the least pleasing blue flower
that blossoms. I never see it in any place or juxtaposition that it
satisfies me. When you take a single flower of it in your hand, its
single little delicate bloom is really just as pretty as Blue-eyed
Grass, or Innocence, or Scilla, and the whole plant regarded closely by
itself isn't at all bad; but whenever and wherever you find it growing
in a garden, you never want it in _that_ place, and you shift it here
and there. I am convinced that the Lobelia is simply impossible; it is
an alien, wrong in some subtle way in tint, in habit of growth, in time
of blooming. The last time I noted it in any large garden planting, it
was set around the roots of some standard Rose bushes; and the gardener
had displayed some thought about it; it was only at the base of white or
cream-yellow Roses; but it still was objectionable. I think I would
exterminate Lobelia if I could, banish it and forget it. In the minds of
many would linger a memory of certain ornate garden vases, each crowded
with a Pandanus-y plant, a pink Begonia, a scarlet double Geranium, a
purple Verbena or a crimson Petunia, all gracefully entwined with
Nasturtiums and Lobelia--while these folks lived, the Lobelia would not
be forgotten.

You will have some curious experiences with your Blue Border; kindly
friends, pleased with its beauty or novelty, will send to you plants and
seeds to add to its variety of form "another bright blue flower." You
will usually find you have added variety of tint as well, ranging into
crimson and deep purple, for color blindness is far more general than is
thought.

The loveliest blue flowers are the wild ones of fields and meadows;
therefore the poor, says Alphonse Karr, with these and the blue of the
sky have the best and the most of all blueness. Yet we are constantly
hearing folks speak of the lack of the color blue among wild flowers,
which always surprises me; I suppose I see blue because I love blue. In
pure cobalt tint it is rare; in compensation, when it does abound, it
makes a permanent imprint on our vision, which never vanishes. Recalling
in midwinter the expanses of color in summer waysides, I do not see them
white with Daisies, or yellow with Goldenrod, but they are in my mind's
vision brightly, beautifully blue. One special scene is the blue of
Fringed Gentians, on a sunny October day, on a rocky hill road in
Royalston, Massachusetts, where they sprung up, wide open, a solid mass
of blue, from stone wall to stone wall, with scarcely a wheel rut
showing among them. Even thus, growing in as lavish abundance as any
weed, the Fringed Gentian still preserved in collective expanse, its
delicate, its distinctly aristocratic bearing.

Bryant asserts of this flower:--

    "Thou waitest late, and com'st alone
     When woods are bare, and birds are flown."

But by this roadside the woods were far from bare. Many Asters,
especially the variety I call Michaelmas Daisies, Goldenrod,
Butter-and-eggs, Turtle Head, and other flowers, were in ample bloom.
And the same conditions of varied flower companionship existed when I
saw the Fringed Gentian blooming near Bryant's own home at Cummington.

[Illustration: Viper's Bugloss.]

Another vast field of blue, ever living in my memory, was that of the
Viper's Bugloss, which I viewed with surprise and delight from the
platform of a train, returning from the Columbian Exposition; when I
asked a friendly brakeman what the flower was called, he answered
"Vilets," as nearly all workingmen confidently name every blue flower;
and he sprang from the train while the locomotive was swallowing water,
and brought to me a great armful of blueness. I am not wont to like new
flowers as well as my childhood's friends, but I found this new friend,
the Viper's Bugloss, a very welcome and pleasing acquaintance. Curious,
too, it is, with the red anthers exserted beyond the bright blue
corolla, giving the field, when the wind blew across it, a new aspect
and tint, something like a red and blue changeable silk. The Viper's
Bugloss seems to have the pervasive power of many another blue and
purple flower, Lupine, Iris, Innocence, Grape Hyacinth, Vervain, Aster,
Spiked Loosestrife; it has become in many states a tiresome weed. On the
Esopus Creek (which runs into the Hudson River) and adown the Hudson,
acre after acre of meadow and field by the waterside are vivid with its
changeable hues, and the New York farmers' fields are overrun by the
newcomer.

I have seen the Viper's Bugloss often since that day on the railroad
train, now that I know it, and think of it. Thoreau noted the fact that
in a large sense we find only what we look for. And he defined well our
powers of perception when he said that many an object will not be seen,
even when it comes within the range of our visual ray, because it does
not come within the range of our intellectual ray.

Last spring, having to spend a tiresome day riding the length of Long
Island, I beguiled the hours by taking with me Thoreau's _Summer_ to
compare his notes of blossomings with those we passed. It was June 5,
and I read:--

     "The Lupine is now in its glory. It is the more important because
     it occurs in such extensive patches, even an acre or more
     together.... It paints a whole hillside with its blue, making such
     a field, if not a meadow, as Proserpine might have wandered in. Its
     leaf was made to be covered with dewdrops. I am quite excited by
     this prospect of blue flowers in clumps, with narrow intervals;
     such a profusion of the heavenly, the Elysian color, as if these
     were the Elysian Fields. That is the value of the Lupine. The earth
     is blued with it.... You may have passed here a fortnight ago and
     the field was comparatively barren. Now you come, and these
     glorious redeemers appear to have flashed out here all at once. Who
     plants the seeds of Lupines in the barren soil? Who watereth the
     Lupines in the field?"

[Illustration: The Precision of Leaf and Flower of Lupine.]

I looked from a car window, and lo! the Long Island Railroad ran also
through an Elysian Field of Lupines, nay, we sailed a swift course
through a summer sea of blueness, and I seem to see it still, with its
prim precision of outline and growth of both leaf and flower. The Lupine
is beautiful in the garden border as it is in the landscape, whether the
blossom be blue, yellow, or white.

Thoreau was the slave of color, but he was the master of its
description. He was as sensitive as Keats to the charm of blue, and left
many records of his love, such as the paragraphs above quoted. He noted
with delight the abundance of "that principle which gives the air its
azure color, which makes the distant hills and meadows appear blue," the
"great blue presence" of Monadnock and Wachusett with its "far blue
eye." He loved Lowell's

      "Sweet atmosphere of hazy blue,
    So leisurely, so soothing, so forgiving,
    That sometimes makes New England fit for living."

He revelled in the blue tints of water, of snow, of ice; in "the
blueness and softness of a mild winter day." The constant blueness of
the sky at night thrilled him with "an everlasting surprise," as did the
blue shadows within the woods and the blueness of distant woods. How he
would have rejoiced in Monet's paintings, how true he would have found
their tones. He even idealized blueberries, "a very innocent ambrosial
taste, as if made of ether itself, as they are colored with it."

Thoreau was ever ready in thought of Proserpina gathering flowers. He
offers to her the Lupine, the Blue-eyed Grass, and the Tufted Vetch,
"blue, inclining in spots to purple"; it affected him deeply to see such
an abundance of blueness in the grass. "Celestial color, I see it afar
in masses on the hillside near the meadow--so much blue."

I usually join with Thoreau in his flower loves; but I cannot understand
his feeling toward the blue Flag; that, after noting the rich fringed
recurved parasols over its anthers, and its exquisite petals, that he
could say it is "a little too showy and gaudy, like some women's
bonnets." I note that whenever he compares flowers to women it is in no
flattering humor to either; which is, perhaps, what we expect from a man
who chose to be a bachelor and a hermit. His love of obscure and small
flowers might explain his sentiment toward the radiant and dominant blue
Flag.

The most valued flower of my childhood, outside the garden, was a little
sister of the Iris--the Blue-eyed Grass. To find it blooming was a
triumph, for it was not very profuse of growth near my home; to gather
it a delight; why, I know not, since the tiny blooms promptly closed and
withered as soon as we held them in our warm little hands. Colonel
Higginson writes wittily of the Blue-eyed Grass, "It has such an
annoying way of shutting up its azure orbs the moment you gather it; and
you reach home with a bare stiff blade which deserves no better name
than _Sisyrinchium anceps_."

The only time I ever played truant was to run off one June morning to
find "the starlike gleam amid the grass and dew"; to pick Blue-eyed
Grass in a field to which I was conducted by another naughty girl. I was
simple enough to come home at mid-day with my hands full of the stiff
blades and tightly closed blooms; and at my mother's inquiry as to my
acquisition of these treasures, I promptly burst into tears. I was then
told, in impressive phraseology adapted to my youthful comprehension,
and with the flowers as eloquent proof, that all stolen pleasures were
ever like my coveted flowers, withered and unsightly as soon as
gathered--which my mother believed was true.

The blossoms of this little Iris seem to lie on the surface of the grass
like a froth of blueness; they gaze up at the sky with a sort of
intimacy as if they were a part of it. Thoreau called it an "air of easy
sympathy." The slightest clouding or grayness of atmosphere makes them
turn away and close.

The naming of Proserpina leads me to say this: that to grow in love and
knowledge of flowers, and above all of blue flowers, you must read
Ruskin's _Proserpina_. It is a book of botany, of studies of plants, but
begemmed with beautiful sentences and thoughts and expressions, with
lessons of pleasantness which you can never forget, of pictures which
you never cease to see, such sentences and pictures as this:--

     "Rome. My father's Birthday. I found the loveliest blue Asphodel I
     ever saw in my life in the fields beyond Monte Mario--a spire two
     feet high, of more than two hundred stars, the stalks of them all
     deep blue as well as the flowers. Heaven send all honest people the
     gathering of the like, in the Elysian Fields, some day!"

Oh, the power of written words! when by these few lines I can carry
forever in my inner vision this spire of starry blueness. To that
writer, now in the Elysian Fields, an honest teacher if ever one lived,
I send my thanks for this beautiful vision of blueness.



CHAPTER XII

PLANT NAMES

     "The fascination of plant names is founded on two instincts,--love
     of Nature and curiosity about Language."

     --_English Plant Names_, REV. JOHN EARLE, 1880.


Verbal magic is the subtle mysterious power of certain words. This power
may come from association with the senses; thus I have distinct sense of
stimulation in the word scarlet, and pleasure in the words lucid and
liquid. The word garden is a never ceasing delight; it seems to me
Oriental; perhaps I have a transmitted sense from my grandmother Eve of
the Garden of Eden. I like the words, a Garden of Olives, a Garden of
Herbs, the Garden of the Gods, a Garden enclosed, Philosophers of the
Garden, the Garden of the Lord. As I have written on gardens, and
thought on gardens, and walked in gardens, "the very music of the name
has gone into my being." How beautiful are Cardinal Newman's words:--

     "By a garden is meant mystically a place of spiritual repose,
     stillness, peace, refreshment, delight."

There was, in Gerarde's day, no fixed botanical nomenclature of any of
the parts or attributes of a plant. Without using botanical terms, try
to describe a plant so as to give an exact notion of it to a person who
has never seen it, then try to find common words to describe hundreds of
plants; you will then admire the vocabulary of the old herbalist, his
"fresh English words," for you will find that it needs the most dextrous
use of words to convey accurately the figure of a flower. That felicity
and facility Gerarde had; "a bleak white color"--how clearly you see it!
The Water Lily had "great round leaves like a buckler." The Cat-tail
Flags "flower and bear their mace or torch in July and August." One
plant had "deeply gashed leaves." The Marigold had "fat thick crumpled
leaves set upon a gross and spongious stalke." Here is the Wake-robin,
"a long hood in proportion like the ear of a hare, in middle of which
hood cometh forth a pestle or clapper of a dark murry or pale purple
color." The leaves of the Corn-marigold are "much hackt and cut into
divers sections and placed confusedly." Another plant had leaves of "an
overworne green," and Pansy leaves were "a bleak green." The leaves of
Tansy are also vividly described as "infinitely jagged and nicked and
curled with all like unto a plume of feathers."

[Illustration: The Garden's Friend.]

The classification and naming of flowers was much thought and written
upon from Gerarde's day, until the great work of Linnæus was finished.
Some very original schemes were devised. _The Curious and Profitable
Gardner_, printed in 1730, suggested this plan: That all plants should
be named to indicate their color, and that the initials of their names
should be the initials of their respective colors; thus if a plant were
named William the Conqueror it would indicate that the name was of a
white flower with crimson lines or shades. "Virtuous Oreada would
indicate a violet and orange flower; Charming Phyllis or Curious
Plotinus a crimson and purple blossom." S. was to indicate Black or
Sable, and what letter was Scarlet to have? The "curious ingenious
Gentleman" who published this plan urged also the giving of "pompous
names" as more dignified; and he made the assertion that French and
Flemish "Flowerists" had adopted his system.

[Illustration: Edging of Striped Lilies in a Salem Garden.]

These were all forerunners of Ruskin, with his poetical notions of plant
nomenclature, such as this; that feminine forms of names ending in _a_
(as Prunella, Campanula, Salvia, Kalmia) and _is_ (Iris, Amarylis)
should be given only to plants "that are pretty and good"; and that real
names, Lucia, Clarissa, etc., be also given. Masculine names in _us_
should be given to plants of masculine qualities,--strength, force,
stubbornness; neuter endings in _um_, given to plants indicative of evil
or death.

I have a fancy anent many old-time flower names that they are also the
names of persons. I think of them as persons bearing various traits and
characteristics. On the other hand, many old English Christian names
seem so suited for flowers, that they might as well stand for flowers as
for persons. Here are a few of these quaint old names, Collet, Colin,
Emmot, Issot, Doucet, Dobinet, Cicely, Audrey, Amice, Hilary, Bryde,
Morrice, Tyffany, Amery, Nowell, Ellice, Digory, Avery, Audley, Jacomin,
Gillian, Petronille, Gresel, Joyce, Lettice, Cibell, Avice, Cesselot,
Parnell, Renelsha. Do they not "smell sweet to the ear"? The names of
flowers are often given as Christian names. Children have been
christened by the names Dahlia, Clover, Hyacinth, Asphodel, Verbena,
Mignonette, Pansy, Heartsease, Daisy, Zinnia, Fraxinella, Poppy,
Daffodil, Hawthorn.

What power have the old English names of garden flowers, to unlock old
memories, as have the flowers themselves! Dr. Earle writes, "The
fascination of plant names is founded on two instincts; love of Nature,
and curiosity about Language." To these I should add an equally strong
instinct in many persons--their sensitiveness to associations.

I am never more filled with a sense of the delight of old English
plant-names than when I read the liquid verse of Spenser:--

    "Bring hether the pincke and purple Cullembine
            ... with Gellifloures,
     Bring hether Coronations and Sops-in-wine
            Worne of paramours.
     Sow me the ground with Daffadowndillies
     And Cowslips and Kingcups and loved Lilies,
            The pretty Pawnce
            The Chevisaunce
     Shall match with the fayre Flour Delice."

Why, the names are a pleasure, though you know not what the Sops-in-wine
or the Chevisaunce were. Gilliflowers were in the verses of every poet.
One of scant fame, named Plat, thus sings:--

    "Here spring the goodly Gelofors,
       Some white, some red in showe;
     Here pretie Pinks with jagged leaves
       On rugged rootes do growe;
     The Johns so sweete in showe and smell,
       Distinct by colours twaine,
     About the borders of their beds
       In seemlie sight remaine."

If there ever existed any difference between Sweet-johns and
Sweet-williams, it is forgotten now. They have not shared a revival of
popularity with other old-time favorites. They were one of the "garland
flowers" of Gerarde's day, and were "esteemed for beauty, to deck up the
bosoms of the beautiful, and for garlands and crowns of pleasure." In
the gardens of Hampton Court in the days of King Henry VIII., were
Sweet-williams, for the plants had been bought by the bushel.
Sweet-williams are little sung by the poets, and I never knew any one
to call the Sweet-william her favorite flower, save one person. Old
residents of Worcester will recall the tiny cottage that stood on the
corner of Chestnut and Pleasant streets, since the remote years when the
latter-named street was a post-road. It was occupied during my childhood
by friends of my mother--a century-old mother, and her ancient unmarried
daughter. Behind the house stretched one of the most cheerful gardens I
have ever seen; ever, in my memory, bathed in glowing sunlight and
color. Of its glories I recall specially the long spires of vivid Bee
Larkspur, the varied Poppies of wonderful growth, and the rioting
Sweet-williams. The latter flowers had some sentimental association to
the older lady, who always asserted with emphasis to all visitors that
they were her favorite flower. They overran the entire garden, crowding
the grass plot where the washed garments were hung out to dry, even
growing in the chinks of the stone steps and between the flat stone
flagging of the little back yard, where stood the old well with its
moss-covered bucket. They spread under the high board fence and appeared
outside on Chestnut Street; and they extended under the dense Lilac
bushes and Cedars and down the steep grass bank and narrow steps to
Pleasant Street. The seed was carefully gathered, especially of one
glowing crimson beauty, the color of the Mullein Pink, and a gift of it
was highly esteemed by other garden owners. Old herbals say the
Sweet-williams are "worthy the Respect of the Greatest Ladies who are
Lovers of Flowers." They certainly had the respect and love of these
two old ladies, who were truly Lovers of Flowers.

[Illustration: Garden Seat at Avonwood Court.]

I recall an objection made to Sweet-williams, by some one years ago,
that they were of no use or value save in the garden; that they could
never be combined in bouquets, nor did they arrange well in vases. It is
a place of honor, some of us believe, to be a garden flower as well as a
vase flower. This garden was the only one I knew when a child which
contained plants of Love-lies-bleeding--it had even then been deemed
old-fashioned and out of date. And it also held a few Sunflowers, which
had not then had a revival of attention, and seemed as obsolete as the
Love-lies-bleeding. The last-named flower I always disliked, a
shapeless, gawky creature, described in florists' catalogues and like
publications as "an effective plant easily attaining to a splendid form
bearing many plume-tufts of rich lustrous crimson." It is the "immortal
amarant" chosen by Milton to crown the celestial beings in _Paradise
Lost_. Poor angels! they have had many trying vagaries of attire
assigned to them.

I can contribute to plant lore one fantastic notion in regard to
Love-lies-bleeding--though I can find no one who can confirm this memory
of my childhood. I recall distinctly expressions of surprise and regret
that these two old people in Worcester should retain the
Love-lies-bleeding in their garden, because "the house would surely be
struck with lightning." Perhaps this fancy contributed to the exile of
the flower from gardens.

[Illustration: Terraced Garden of the Misses Nichols, Salem,
Massachusetts.]

There be those who write, and I suppose they believe, that a love of
Nature and perception of her beauties and a knowledge of flowers, are
the dower of those who are country born and bred; by which is meant
reared upon a farm. I have not found this true. Farm children have
little love for Nature and are surprisingly ignorant about wild flowers,
save a very few varieties. The child who is garden bred has a happier
start in life, a greater love and knowledge of Nature. It is a principle
of Froebel that one must limit a child's view in order to coördinate his
perceptions. That is precisely what is done in a child's regard of
Nature by his life in a garden; his view is limited and he learns to
know garden flowers and birds and insects thoroughly, when the vast and
bewildering variety of field and forest would have remained
unappreciated by him.

It is a distressing condition of the education of farmers, that they
know so little about the country. The man knows about his crops and his
wife about the flowers, herbs, and vegetables of her garden; but no
countrymen know the names of wild flowers--and few countrywomen, save of
medicinal herbs. I asked one farmer the name of a brilliant autumnal
flower whose intense purple was then unfamiliar to me--the Devil's-bit.
He answered, "Them's Woilets." Violet is the only word in which the
initial V is ever changed to W by native New Englanders. Every pink or
crimson flower is a Pink. Spring blossoms are "Mayflowers." A frequent
answer is, "Those ain't flowers, they're weeds." They are more knowing
as to trees, though shaky about the evergreen trees, having little idea
of varieties and inclined to call many Spruce. They know little about
the reasons for names of localities, or of any historical traditions
save those of the Revolution. One exclaims in despair, "No one in the
country knows anything about the country."

This is no recent indifference and ignorance; Susan Cooper wrote in her
_Rural Hours_ in 1848:--

     "When we first made acquaintance with the flowers of the
     neighborhood we asked grown persons--learned perhaps in many
     matters--the common names of plants they must have seen all their
     lives, and we found they were no wiser than the children or
     ourselves. It is really surprising how little country people know
     on such subjects. Farmers and their wives can tell you nothing on
     these matters. The men are at fault even among the trees on their
     own farms, if they are at all out of the common way; and as for
     smaller native plants, they know less about them than Buck or
     Brindle, their own oxen."

[Illustration: Kitchen Dooryard at Wilbour Farm, Kingston, Rhode
Island.]

In that delightful book, _The Rescue of an Old Place_, the author has a
chapter on the love of flowers in America. It was written anent the
everpresent statements seen in metropolitan print that Americans do not
love flowers because they are used among the rich and fashionable in
large cities for extravagant display rather than for enjoyment; and that
we accept botanical names for our indigenous plants instead of calling
them by homely ones such as familiar flowers are known by in older
lands.

Two more foolish claims could scarcely be made. In the first place, the
doings of fashionable folk in large cities are fortunately far from
being a national index or habit. Secondly, in ancient lands the people
named the flowers long before there were botanists, here the botanists
found the flowers and named them for the people. Moreover, country folk
in New England and even in the far West call flowers by pretty
folk-names, if they call them at all, just as in Old England.

The fussing over the use of the scientific Latin names for plants
apparently will never cease; many of these Latin names are very
pleasant, have become so from constant usage, and scarcely seem Latin;
thus Clematis, Tiarella, Rhodora, Arethusa, Campanula, Potentilla,
Hepatica. When I know the folk-names of flowers I always speak thus of
them--and _to them_; but I am grateful too for the scientific
classification and naming, as a means of accurate distinction. For any
flower student quickly learns that the same English folk-name is given
in different localities to very different plants. For instance, the name
Whiteweed is applied to ten different plants; there are in England ten
or twelve Cuckoo-flowers, and twenty-one Bachelor's Buttons. Such names
as Mayflower, Wild Pink, Wild Lily, Eyebright, Toad-flax, Ragged Robin,
None-so-pretty, Lady's-fingers, Four-o'clocks, Redweed, Buttercups,
Butterflower, Cat's-tail, Rocket, Blue-Caps, Creeping-jenny, Bird's-eye,
Bluebells, apply to half a dozen plants.

The old folk-names are not definite, but they are delightful; they tell
of mythology and medicine, of superstitions and traditions; they show
trains of relationship, and associations; in fact, they appeal more to
the philologist and antiquarian than to the botanist. Among all the
languages which contribute to the variety and picturesqueness of English
plant names, Dr. Prior deems Maple the only one surviving from the
Celtic language. Gromwell and Wormwood may possibly be added.

[Illustration: "A running ribbon of perfumed snow which the sun is
melting rapidly."]

There are some Anglo-Saxon words; among them Hawthorn and Groundsel.
French, Dutch, and Danish names are many, Arabic and Persian are more.
Many plant names are dedicatory; they embody the names of the saints and
a few the names of the Deity. Our Lady's Flowers are many and
interesting; my daughter wrote a series of articles for the _New York
Evening Post_ on Our Lady's Flowers, and the list swelled to a
surprising number. The devil and witches have their shares of flowers,
as have the fairies.

I have always regretted deeply that our botanists neglected an
opportunity of great enrichment in plant nomenclature when they ignored
the Indian names of our native plants, shrubs, and trees. The first
names given these plants were not always planned by botanists; they were
more often invented in loving memory of English plants, or sometimes
from a fancied resemblance to those plants. They did give the
wonderfully descriptive name of Moccasin-flower to that creature of the
wild-woods; and a far more appropriate title it is than Lady's-slipper,
but it is not as well known. I have never found the Lady's-slipper as
beautiful a flower as do nearly all my friends, as did my father and
mother, and I was pleased at Ruskin's sharp comment that such a slipper
was only fit for very gouty old toes.

Pappoose-root utilizes another Indian word. Very few Indian plant names
were adopted by the white men, fewer still have been adopted by the
scientists. The _Catalpa speciosa_ (Catalpa); the _Zea mays_ (Maize);
and _Yucca filamentosa_ (Yucca), are the only ones I know. Chinkapin,
Cohosh, Hackmatack, Kinnikinnik, Tamarack, Persimmon, Tupelo, Squash,
Puccoon, Pipsissewa, Musquash, Pecan, the Scuppernong and Catawba
grapes, are our only well-known Indian plant names that survive. Of
these Maize, the distinctive product of the United States, will ever
link us with the vanishing Indian. It will be noticed that only Puccoon,
Cohosh, Pipsissewa, Hackmatack, and Yucca are names of flowering plants;
of these Yucca is the only one generally known. I am glad our stately
native trees, Tupelo, Hickory, Catalpa, bear Indian names.

A curious example of persistence, when so much else has perished, is
found in the word "Kiskatomas," the shellbark nut. This Algonquin word
was heard everywhere in the state of New York sixty years ago, and is
not yet obsolete in families of Dutch descent who still care for the nut
itself.

We could very well have preserved many Indian names, among them
Hiawatha's

    "Beauty of the springtime,
     The Miskodeed in blossom,"

I think Miskodeed a better name than Claytonia or Spring Beauty. The
Onondaga Indians had a suggestive name for the Marsh Marigold,
"It-opens-the-swamps," which seems to show you the yellow stars "shining
in swamps and hollows gray." The name Cowslip has been transferred to it
in some localities in New England, which is not strange when we find
that the flower has fifty-six English folk-names; among them are
Drunkards, Crazy Bet, Meadow-bright, Publicans and Sinners, Soldiers'
Buttons, Gowans, Kingcups, and Buttercups. Our Italian street venders
call them Buttercups. In erudite Boston, in sight of Boston Common, the
beautiful Fringed Gentian is not only called, but labelled, French
Gentian. To hear a lovely bunch of the Arethusa called Swamp Pink is not
so strange. The Sabbatia grows in its greatest profusion in the vicinity
of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and is called locally, "The Rose of
Plymouth." It is sold during its season of bloom in the streets of that
town and is used to dress the churches. Its name was given to honor an
early botanist, Tiberatus Sabbatia, but in Plymouth there is an almost
universal belief that it was named because the Pilgrims of 1620 first
saw the flower on the Sabbath day. It thus is regarded as a religious
emblem, and strong objection is made to mingling other flowers with it
in church decoration. This legend was invented about thirty years ago by
a man whose name is still remembered as well as his work.

[Illustration: Fountain Garden at Sylvester Manor.]



CHAPTER XIII

TUSSY-MUSSIES

     "There be some flowers make a delicious Tussie-Mussie or Nosegay
     both for Sight and Smell."

     --JOHN PARKINSON, _A Garden of all Sorts of Pleasant Flowers_, 1629.


No following can be more productive of a study and love of word
derivations and allied word meanings than gardening. An interest in
flowers and in our English tongue go hand in hand. The old mediæval word
at the head of this chapter has a full explanation by Nares as "A
nosegay, a tuzzie-muzzie, a sweet posie." The old English form,
_tussy-mose_ was allied with _tosty_, a bouquet, _tuss_ and _tusk_, a
wisp, as of hay, _tussock_, and _tutty_, a nosegay. Thomas Campion
wrote:--

    "Joan can call by name her cows,
     And deck her windows with green boughs;
     She can wreathes and tuttyes make,
     And trim with plums a bridal cake."

Tussy-mussy was not a colloquial word; it was found in serious, even in
religious, text. A tussy-mussy was the most beloved of nosegays, and was
often made of flowers mingled with sweet-scented leaves.

My favorite tussy-mussy, if made of flowers, would be of Wood Violet,
Cabbage Rose, and Clove Pink. These are all beautiful flowers, but many
of our most delightful fragrances do not come from flowers of gay dress;
even these three are not showy flowers; flowers of bold color and growth
are not apt to be sweet-scented; and all flower perfumes of great
distinction, all that are unique, are from blossoms of modest color and
bearing. The Calycanthus, called Virginia Allspice, Sweet Shrub, or
Strawberry bush, has what I term a perfume of distinction, and its
flowers are neither fine in shape, color, nor quality.

I have often tried to define to myself the scent of the Calycanthus
blooms; they have an aromatic fragrance somewhat like the ripest
Pineapples of the tropics, but still richer; how I love to carry them in
my hand, crushed and warm, occasionally holding them tight over my mouth
and nose to fill myself with their perfume. The leaves have a similar,
but somewhat varied and sharper, scent, and the woody stems another; the
latter I like to nibble. This flower has an element of mystery in
it--that indescribable quality felt by children, and remembered by
prosaic grown folk. Perhaps its curious dark reddish brown tint may have
added part of the queerness, since the "Mourning Bride," similar in
color, has a like mysterious association. I cannot explain these
qualities to any one not a garden-bred child; and as given in the
chapter entitled The Mystery of Flowers, they will appear to many,
fanciful and unreal--but I have a fraternity who will understand, and
who will know that it was this same undefinable quality that made a
branch of Strawberry bush, or a handful of its stemless blooms, a gift
significant of interest and intimacy; we would not willingly give
Calycanthus blossoms to a child we did not like, or to a stranger.

[Illustration: Hawthorn Arch at Holly House, Peace Dale, Rhode Island.
Home of Rowland G. Hazard, Esq.]

A rare perfume floats from the modest yellow Flowering Currant. I do not
see this sweet and sightly shrub in many modern gardens, and it is our
loss. The crowding bees are goodly and cheerful, and the flowers are
pleasant, but the perfume is of the sort you can truly say you love it;
its aroma is like some of the liqueurs of the old monks.

The greatest pleasure in flower perfumes comes to us through the first
flowers of spring. How we breathe in their sweetness! Our native wild
flowers give us the most delicate odors. The Mayflower is, I believe,
the only wild flower for which all country folk of New England have a
sincere affection; it is not only a beautiful, an enchanting flower, but
it is so fresh, so balmy of bloom. It has the delicacy of texture and
form characteristic of many of our native spring blooms, Hepatica,
Anemone, Spring Beauty, Polygala.

The Arethusa was one of the special favorites of my father and mother,
who delighted in its exquisite fragrance. Hawthorne said of it: "One of
the delicatest, gracefullest, and in every manner sweetest of the whole
race of flowers. For a fortnight past I have found it in the swampy
meadows, growing up to its chin in heaps of wet moss. Its hue is a
delicate pink, of various depths of shade, and somewhat in the form of a
Grecian helmet."

It pleases me to fancy that Hawthorne was like the Arethusa, that it was
a fit symbol of the nature of our greatest New England genius. Perfect
in grace and beauty, full of sentiment, classic and elegant of shape, it
has a shrinking heart; the sepals and petals rise over it and shield it,
and the whole flower is shy and retiring, hiding in marshes and quaking
bogs.

It is one of our flowers which we ever regard singly, as an individual,
a rare and fine spirit; we never think of it as growing in an expanse or
even in groups. This lovely flower has, as Landor said of the flower of
the vine, "a scent so delicate that it requires a sigh to inhale it."

The faintest flower scents are the best. You find yourself longing for
just a little more, and you bury your face in the flowers and try to
draw out a stronger breath of balm. Apple blossoms, certain Violets, and
Pansies have this pale perfume.

In the front yard of my childhood's home grew a Larch, an exquisitely
graceful tree, one now little planted in Northern climates. I recall
with special delight the faint fragrance of its early shoots. The next
tree was a splendid pink Hawthorn. What a day of mourning it was when it
had to be cut down, for trees had been planted so closely that many must
be sacrificed as years went on and all grew in stature.

There are some smells that are strangely pleasing to the country lover
which are neither from fragrant flower nor leaf; one is the scent of the
upturned earth, most heartily appreciated in early spring. The smell of
a ploughed field is perhaps the best of all earthy scents, though what
Bliss Carman calls "the racy smell of the forest loam" is always good.
Another is the burning of weeds of garden rakings,

                    "The spicy smoke
    Of withered weeds that burn where gardens be."

A garden "weed-smother" always makes me think of my home garden, and my
father, who used to stand by this burning weed-heap, raking in the
withered leaves. Many such scents are pleasing chiefly through the power
of association.

[Illustration: Thyme-covered Graves.]

The sense of smell in its psychological relations is most subtle:--

    "The subtle power in perfume found,
       Nor priest nor sibyl vainly learned;
     On Grecian shrine or Aztec mound
       No censer idly burned.

    "And Nature holds in wood and field
       Her thousand sunlit censers still;
     To spells of flower and shrub we yield
       Against or with our will."

Dr. Holmes notes that memory, imagination, sentiment, are most readily
touched through the sense of smell. He tells of the associations borne
to him by the scent of Marigold, of Life-everlasting, of an herb
closet.

Notwithstanding all these tributes to sweet scents and to the sense of
smell, it is not deemed, save in poetry, wholly meet to dwell much on
smells, even pleasant ones. To all who here sniff a little disdainfully
at a whole chapter given to flower scents, let me repeat the Oriental
proverb:--

    "To raise Flowers is a Common Thing,
     God alone gives them Fragrance."

Balmier far, and more stimulating and satisfying than the perfumes of
most blossoms, is the scent of aromatic or balsamic leaves, of herbs, of
green growing things. Sweetbrier, says Thoreau, is thus "thrice crowned:
in fragrant leaf, tinted flower, and glossy fruit." Every spring we
long, as Whittier wrote--

    "To come to Bayberry scented slopes,
       And fragrant Fern and Groundmat vine,
     Breathe airs blown o'er holt and copse,
       Sweet with black Birch and Pine."

All these scents of holt and copse are dear to New Englanders.

I have tried to explain the reason for the charm to me of growing Thyme.
It is not its beautiful perfume, its clear vivid green, its tiny fresh
flowers, or the element of historic interest. Alphonse Karr gives
another reason, a sentiment of gratitude. He says:--

     "Thyme takes upon itself to embellish the parts of the earth which
     other plants disdain. If there is an arid, stony, dry soil, burnt
     up by the sun, it is there Thyme spreads its charming green beds,
     perfumed, close, thick, elastic, scattered over with little balls
     of blossom, pink in color, and of a delightful freshness."

Thyme was, in older days, spelt Thime and Time. This made the poet call
it "pun-provoking Thyme." I have an ancient recipe from an old herbal
for "Water of Time to ease the Passions of the Heart." This remedy is
efficacious to-day, whether you spell it time or thyme.

There are shown on page 301 some lonely graves in the old Moravian
burying-ground in Bethlehem, overgrown with the pleasant perfumed Thyme.
And as we stand by their side we think with a half smile--a tender
one--of the never-failing pun of the old herbalists.

Spenser called Thyme "bee-alluring," "honey-laden." It was the symbol of
sweetness; and the Thyme that grew on the sunny slopes of Mt. Hymettus
gave to the bees the sweetest and most famed of all honey. The plant
furnished physic as well as perfume and puns and honey. Pliny named
eighteen sovereign remedies made from Thyme. These cured everything from
the "bite of poysonful spidars" to "the Apoplex." There were so many
recipes in the English _Compleat Chirurgeon_, and similar medical books,
that you would fancy venomous spiders were as thick as gnats in England.
These spider cure-alls are however simply a proof that the recipes were
taken from dose-books of Pliny and various Roman physicians, with whom
spider bites were more common and more painful than in England.

_The Haven of Health_, written in 1366, with a special view to the
curing of "Students," says that Wild Thyme has a great power to drive
away heaviness of mind, "to purge melancholly and splenetick humours."
And the author recommends to "sup the leaves with eggs." The leaves were
used everywhere "to be put in puddings and such like meates, so that in
divers places Thime was called Pudding-grass." Pudding in early days was
the stuffing of meat and poultry, while concoctions of eggs, milk,
flour, sugar, etc., like our modern puddings, were called whitpot.

Many traditions hang around Thyme. It was used widely in incantations
and charms. It was even one of the herbs through whose magic power you
could see fairies. Here is a "Choice Proven Secret made Known" from the
Ashmolean Mss.

     How to see Fayries

     "Rx. A pint of Sallet-Oyle and put it into a
     vial-glasse but first wash it with Rose-water and Marygolde-water
     the Flowers to be gathered toward the East. Wash it until teh Oyle
     come white. Then put it in the glasse, _ut supra_: Then put thereto
     the budds of Holyhocke, the flowers of Marygolde, the flowers or
     toppers of Wild Thyme, the budds of young Hazle: and the time must
     be gathered neare the side of a Hill where Fayries used to be: and
     take the grasse off a Fayrie throne. Then all these put into the
     Oyle into the Glasse, and sette it to dissolve three dayes in the
     Sunne and then keep for thy use _ut supra_."

[Illustration: "White Umbrellas of Elder."]

"I know a bank whereon the Wild Thyme blows"--it is not in old England,
but on Long Island; the dense clusters of tiny aromatic flowers form a
thick cushioned carpet under our feet. Lord Bacon says in his essay on
Gardens:--

     "Those which perfume the air most delightfully, not passed by as
     the rest, but being trodden upon and crushed are three: that is,
     Burnet, Wild Thyme, and Water-Mints. Therefore you are to set whole
     alleys of them, to have the pleasure when you walk or tread."

Here we have an alley of Thyme, set by nature, for us to tread upon and
enjoy, though Thyme always seems to me so classic a plant, that it is
far too fine to walk upon; one ought rather to sleep and dream upon it.

Great bushes of Elder, another flower of witchcraft, grow and blossom
near my Thyme bank. Old Thomas Browne, as long ago as 1685 called the
Elder bloom "white umbrellas"--which has puzzled me much, since we are
told to assign the use and knowledge of umbrellas in England to a much
later date; perhaps he really wrote umbellas. Now it is a well-known
fact--sworn to in scores of old herbals, that any one who stands on Wild
Thyme, by the side of an Elder bush, on Midsummer Eve, will "see great
experiences"; his eyes will be opened, his wits quickened, his vision
clarified; and some have even seen fairies, pixies--Shakespeare's
elves--sporting over the Thyme at their feet.

I shall not tell whom I saw walking on my Wild Thyme bank last Midsummer
Eve. I did not need the Elder bush to open my eyes. I watched the twain
strolling back and forth in the half-light, and I heard snatches of talk
as they walked toward me, and I lost the responses as they turned from
me. At last, in a louder voice:--

     HE. "What is this jolly smell all around here? Just like a
     mint-julep! Some kind of a flower?"

     SHE. "It's Thyme, Wild Thyme; it has run into the edge of the lawn
     from the field, and is just ruining the grass."

     HE (_stooping to pick it_). "Why, so it is. I thought it came from
     that big white flower over there by the hedge."

     SHE. "No, that is Elder."

     HE (_after a pause_). "I had to learn a lot of old Arnold's poetry
     at school once, or in college, and there was some just like
     to-night:--

    "'The evening comes--the fields are still,
     The tinkle of the thirsty rill,
     Unheard all day, ascends again.
     Deserted is the half-mown plain,
     And from the Thyme upon the height,
     And from the Elder-blossom white,
     And pale Dog Roses in the hedge,
     And from the Mint-plant in the sedge,
     In puffs of balm the night air blows
     The perfume which the day foregoes--
     And on the pure horizon far
     See pulsing with the first-born star
     The liquid light above the hill.
     The evening comes--the fields are still.'"

Then came the silence and half-stiffness which is ever apt to follow any
long quotation, especially any rare recitation of verse by those who are
notoriously indifferent to the charms of rhyme and rhythm, and are of
another sex than the listener. It seems to indicate an unusual condition
of emotion, to be a sort of barometer of sentiment, and the warning of
threatening weather was not unheeded by her; hence her response was
somewhat nervous in utterance, and instinctively perverse and
contradictory.

     SHE. "That line, 'The liquid light above the hill,' is very lovely,
     but I can't see that it's any of it at all like to-night."

     HE (_stoutly and resentfully_). "Oh, no! not at all! There's the
     field, all still, and here's Thyme, and Elder, and there are wild
     Roses!--and see! the moon is coming up--so there's your liquid
     light."

     SHE. "Well! Yes, perhaps it is; at any rate it is a lovely night.
     You've read _Lavengro_? No? Certainly you must have heard of it.
     The gipsy in it says: 'Life is sweet, brother. There's day and
     night, brother, both sweet things; sun, moon, and stars, brother,
     all sweet things; there is likewise a wind on the heath.'"

     HE (_dubiously_). "That's rather queer poetry, if it is poetry--and
     you must know I do not like to hear you call me brother."

Whereupon I discreetly betrayed my near presence on the piazza, to prove
that the field, though still, was not deserted. And soon the twain said
they would walk to the club house to view the golf prizes; and they left
the Wild Thyme and Elder blossoms white, and turned their backs on the
moon, and fell to golf and other eminently unromantic topics, far safer
for Midsummer Eve than poesy and other sweet things.

[Illustration: Lower Garden at Sylvester Manor.]



CHAPTER XIV

JOAN SILVER-PIN

     "Being of many variable colours, and of great beautie, although of
     evill smell, our gentlewomen doe call them Jone Silver-pin."

     --JOHN GERARDE, _Herball_, 1596.


Garden Poppies were the Joan Silver-pin of Gerarde, stigmatized also by
Parkinson as "Jone Silver-pinne, _subauditur_; faire without and foule
within." In Elizabeth's day Poppies met universal distrust and aversion,
as being the source of the dreaded opium. Spenser called the flower
"dead-sleeping" Poppy; Morris "the black heart, amorous Poppy"--which
might refer to the black spots in the flower's heart.

Clare, in his _Shepherd's Calendar_ also asperses them:--

    "Corn-poppies, that in crimson dwell,
     Called Head-aches from their sickly smell."

Forby adds this testimony: "Any one by smelling of it for a very short
time may convince himself of the propriety of the name." Some fancied
that the dazzle of color caused headaches--that vivid scarlet, so fine
a word as well as color that it is annoying to hear the poets change it
to crimson.

[Illustration: "Black Heart, Amorous Poppies."]

This regard of and aversion to the Poppy lingered among elderly folks
till our own day; and I well recall the horror of a visitor of antique
years in our mother's garden during our childhood, when we were found
cheerfully eating Poppy seeds. She viewed us with openly expressed
apprehension that we would fall into a stupor; and quite terrified us
and our relatives, in spite of our assertions that we "always ate them,"
which indeed we always did and do to this day; and very pleasant of
taste they are, and of absolutely no effect, and not at all of evil
smell to our present fancy, either in blossom or seed, though distinctly
medicinal in odor.

Returned missionaries were frequent and honored visitors in our town and
our house in those days; and one of these good men reassured us and
reinstated in favor our uncanny feast by telling us that in the East,
Poppy seeds were eaten everywhere, and were frequently baked with
wheaten flour into cakes. A dislike of the scent of Field Poppies is
often found among English folk. The author of _A World in a Garden_
speaks in disgust of "the pungent and sickly odor of the flaring
Poppies--they positively nauseate me"; but then he disliked their color
too.

There is something very fine about a Poppy, in the extraordinary
combination of boldness of color and great size with its slender
delicacy of stem, the grace of the set of the beautiful buds, the fine
turn of the flower as it opens, and the wonderful airiness of poise of
so heavy a flower. The silkiness of tissue of the petals, and their
semi-transparency in some colors, and the delicate fringes of some
varieties, are great charms.

    "Each crumpled crêpe-like leaf is soft as silk;
       Long, long ago the children saw them there,
     Scarlet and rose, with fringes white as milk,
       And called them 'shawls for fairies' dainty wear';
     They were not finer, those laid safe away
       In that low attic, neath the brown, warm eaves."

And when the flowers have shed, oh, so lightly! their silken petals,
there is still another beauty, a seed vessel of such classic shape that
it wears a crown.

I have always rejoiced in the tributes paid to the Poppy by Ruskin and
Mrs. Thaxter. She deemed them the most satisfactory flower among the
annuals "for wondrous variety, certain picturesque qualities, for color
and form, and a subtle air of mystery."

There is a line of Poppy colors which is most entrancing; the gray,
smoke color, lavender, mauve, and lilac Poppies, edged often and freaked
with tints of red, are rarely beautiful things. There are fine white
Poppies, some fringed, some single, some double--the Bride is the
appropriate name of the fairest. And the pinks of Poppies, that
wonderful red-pink, and a shell-pink that is almost salmon, and the
sunset pinks of our modern Shirley Poppies, with quality like finest
silken gauze! The story of the Shirley Poppies is one of magic, that a
flower-loving clergyman who in 1882 sowed the seed of one specially
beautiful Poppy which had no black in it, and then sowed those of its
fine successors, produced thus a variety which has supplied the world
with beauty. Rev. Mr. Wilks, their raiser, gives these simply worded
rules anent his Shirley Poppies:--

     "1, They are single; 2, always have a white base; 3, with yellow or
     white stamens, anthers, or pollen; 4, and never have the smallest
     particle of black about them."

The thought of these successful and beautiful Poppies is very
stimulating to flower raisers of moderate means, with no profound
knowledge of flowers; it shows what can be done by enthusiasm and
application and patience. It gives something of the same comfort found
in Keats's fine lines to the singing thrush:--

        "Oh! fret not after knowledge.
    I have none, _and yet the evening listens_."

Notwithstanding all this distinction and beauty, these fine things of
the garden were dubbed Joan Silver-pin. I wonder who Joan Silver-pin
was! I have searched faithfully for her, but have not been able to get
on the right scent. Was she of real life, or fiction? I have looked
through the lists of characters of contemporary plays, and read a few
old jest books and some short tales of that desperately colorless sort,
wherein you read page after page of the printed words with as little
absorption of signification as if they were Choctaw. But never have I
seen Joan Silver-pin's name; it was a bit of Elizabethan slang, I
suspect,--a cant term once well known by every one, now existing solely
through this chance reference of the old herbalists.

[Illustration: Valerian.]

No garden can aspire to be named An Old-fashioned Garden unless it
contains that beautiful plant the Garden Valerian, known throughout New
England to-day as Garden Heliotrope; as Setwall it grew in every old
garden, as it was in every pharmacopoeia. It was termed
"drink-quickening Setuale" by Spenser, from the universal use of its
flowers to flavor various enticing drinks. Its lovely blossoms are
pinkish in bud and open to pure white; its curiously penetrating
vanilla-like fragrance is disliked by many who are not cats. I find it
rather pleasing of scent when growing in the garden, and not at all like
the extremely nasty-smelling medicine which is made from it, and which
has been used for centuries for "histerrick fits," and is still
constantly prescribed to-day for that unsympathized-with malady. Dr.
Holmes calls it, "Valerian, calmer of hysteric squirms." It is a
stately plant when in tall flower in June; my sister had great clumps of
bloom like the ones shown above, but alas! the cats caught them before
the photographer did. The cats did not have to watch the wind and sun
and rain, to pick out plates and pack plate-holders, and gather
ray-fillers and cloth and lens, and adjust the tripod, and fix the
camera and focus, and think, and focus, and think, and then wait--till
the wind ceased blowing. So when they found it, they broke down every
slender stalk and rolled in it till the ground was tamped down as hard
as if one of our lazy road-menders had been at it. Valerian has in
England as an appropriate folk name, "Cats'-fancy." The pretty little
annual, Nemophila, makes also a favorite rolling-place for our cat;
while all who love cats have given them Catnip and seen the singular
intoxication it brings. The sight of a cat in this strange ecstasy over
a bunch of Catnip always gives me a half-sense of fear; she becomes such
a truly wild creature, such a miniature tiger.

In _The Art of Gardening_, by J. W., Gent., 1683, the author says of
Marigolds: "There are divers sorts besides the common as the African
Marigold, a Fair bigge Yellow Flower, but of a very Naughty Smell." I
cannot refrain, ere I tell more of the Marigold's naughtiness, to copy a
note written in this book by a Massachusetts bride whose new husband
owned and studied the book two hundred years ago; for it gives a little
glimpse of old-time life. In her exact little handwriting are these
words:--

     "Planted in Potts, 1720: An Almond Stone, an English Wallnut,
     Cittron Seeds, Pistachica nutts, Red Damsons, Leamon seeds, Oring
     seeds and Daits."

Poor Anne! she died before she had time to become any one's grandmother.
I hope her successor in matrimony, our forbear, cherished her little
seedlings and rejoiced in the Lemon and Almond trees, though Anne
herself was so speedily forgotten. She is, however, avenged by Time; for
she is remembered better than the wife who took her place, through her
simple flower-loving words.

I am surprised at this aspersion on the Marigold as to its smell, for
all the traditions of this flower show it to have been a great favorite
in kitchen gardens; and I have found that elderly folk are very apt to
like its scent. My father loved the flower and the fragrance, and liked
to have a bowl of Marigolds stand beside him on his library table. It
was constantly carried to church as a "Sabbath-day posy," and its petals
used as flavoring in soups and stews. Charles Lamb said it poisoned
them. Canon Ellacombe writes that it has been banished in England to the
gardens of cottages and old farm-houses; it had a waning popularity in
America, but was never wholly despised.

How Edward Fitzgerald loved the African Marigold! "Its grand color is so
comfortable to us Spanish-like Paddies," he writes to Fanny Kemble in
letters punctuated with little references to his garden flowers: letters
so cheerful, too, with capitals; "I love the old way of Capitals for
Names," he says--and so do I; letters bearing two surprises, namely, the
infrequent references to Omar Khayyam; and the fact that Nasturtiums,
not Roses, were his favorite flower.

The question of the agreeableness of a flower scent is a matter of
public opinion as well as personal choice. Environment and education
influence us. In olden times every one liked certain scents deemed
odious to-day. Parkinson's praise of Sweet Sultans was, "They are of so
exceeding sweet a scent as it surpasses the best civet that is." Have
you ever smelt civet? You will need no words to tell you that the civet
is a little cousin of the skunk. Cowper could not talk with civet in the
room; most of us could not even breathe. The old herbalists call Privet
sweet-scented. I don't know that it is strange to find a generation who
loved civet and musk thinking Privet pleasant-scented. Nearly all our
modern botanists have copied the words of their predecessors; but I
scarcely know what to say or to think when I find so exact an observer
as John Burroughs calling Privet "faintly sweet-scented." I find it
rankly ill-scented.

The men of Elizabethan days were much more learned in perfumes and
fonder of them than are most folk to-day. Authors and poets dwelt
frankly upon them without seeming at all vulgar. Of course herbalists,
from their choice of subject, were free to write of them at length, and
they did so with evident delight. Nowadays the French realists are the
only writers who boldly reckon with the sense of smell. It isn't deemed
exactly respectable to dwell too much on smells, even pleasant ones; so
this chapter certainly must be brief.

I suppose nine-tenths of all who love flower scents would give Violets
as their favorite fragrance; yet how quickly, in the hothouse Violets,
can the scent become nauseous. I recall one formal luncheon whereat the
many tables were mightily massed with violets; and though all looked as
fresh as daybreak to the sight, some must have been gathered for a day
or more, and the stale odor throughout the room was unbearable. But it
is scarcely fair to decry a flower because of its scent in decay.
Shakespeare wrote:--

    "Lilies festered smell far worse than weeds."

Many of our Compositæ are vile after standing in water in vases; Ox-eye
Daisies, Rudbeckia, Zinnia, Sunflower, and even the wholesome Marigold.
Delicate as is the scent of the Pansy, the smell of a bed of ancient
Pansy plants is bad beyond words. The scent of the flowers of
fruit-bearing trees is usually delightful; but I cannot like the scent
of Pear blossoms.

I dislike much the rank smell of common yellow Daffodils and of many of
that family. I can scarcely tolerate them even when freshly picked, upon
a dinner table. Some of the Jonquils are as sickening within doors as
the Tuberose, though in both cases it is only because the scent is
confined that it is cloying. In the open air, at a slight distance, they
smell as well as many Lilies, and the Poet's Narcissus is deemed by many
delightful.

[Illustration: Old "War Office."]

I have ever found the scent of Lilacs somewhat imperfect, not well
rounded, not wholly satisfying; but one of my friends can never find in
a bunch of our spring Lilacs any odor save that of illuminating gas. I
do wish he had not told me this! Now when I stand beside my Lilac bush I
feel like looking around anxiously to see where the gas is escaping.
Linnæus thought the perfume of Mignonette the purest ambrosia. Another
thinks that Mignonette has a doggy smell, as have several flowers; this
is not wholly to their disparagement. Our cocker spaniel is sweeter than
some flowers, but he is not a Mignonette. There be those who love most
of all the scent of Heliotrope, which is to me a close, almost musty
scent. I have even known of one or two who disliked the scent of Roses,
and the Rose itself has been abhorred. Marie de' Medici would not even
look at a painting or carving of a Rose. The Chevalier de Guise had a
loathing for Roses. Lady Heneage, one of the maids of honor to Queen
Elizabeth, was made very ill by the presence or scent of Roses. This
illness was not akin to "Rose cold," which is the baneful companion of
so many Americans, and which can conquer its victims in the most sudden
and complete manner.

Even my affection for Roses, and my intense love of their fragrance,
shown in its most ineffable sweetness in the old pink Cabbage Rose, will
not cause me to be silent as to the scent of some of the Rose sisters.
Some of the Tea Roses, so lovely of texture, so delicate of hue, are
sickening; one has a suggestion of ether which is most offensive. "A
Rose by any other name would smell as sweet," but not if its name (and
its being) was the Persian Yellow. This beautiful double Rose of rich
yellow was introduced to our gardens about 1830. It is infrequent now,
though I find it in florists' lists; and I suspect I know why. Of late
years I have not seen it, but I have a remembrance of its uprootal from
our garden. Mrs. Wright confirms my memory by calling it "a horrible
thing--the Skunk Cabbage of the garden." It smells as if foul insects
were hidden within it, a disgusting smell. I wonder whether poor Marie
de' Medici hadn't had a whiff of it. A Persian Rose! it cannot be
possible that Omar Khayyam ever smelt it, or any of the Rose singers of
Persia, else their praises would have turned to loathing as they fled
from its presence. There are two or three yellow Roses which are not
pleasing, but are not abhorrent as is the Persian Yellow.

One evening last May I walked down the garden path, then by the shadowy
fence-side toward the barn. I was not wandering in the garden for sweet
moonlight, for there was none; nor for love of flowers, nor in
admiration of any of nature's works, for it was very cold; we even spoke
of frost, as we ever do apprehensively on a chilly night in spring. The
kitten was lost. She was in the shrubbery at the garden end, for I could
hear her plaintive yowling; and I thus traced her. I gathered her up,
purring and clawing, when I heard by my side a cross rustling of leaves
and another complaining voice. It was the Crown-imperial, unmindful or
unwitting of my presence, and muttering peevishly: "Here I am, out of
fashion, and therefore out of the world! torn away from the honored
border by the front door path, and even set away from the broad garden
beds, and thrust with sunflowers and other plants of no social position
whatever down here behind the barn, where, she dares to say, we 'can all
smell to heaven together.'

"What airs, forsooth! these twentieth century children put on! Smell to
heaven, indeed! I wish her grandfather could have heard her! He didn't
make such a fuss about smells when I was young, nor did any one else; no
one's nose was so over-nice. Every spring when I came up, glorious in my
dress of scarlet and green, and hung with my jewels of pearls, they were
all glad to see me and to smell me, too; and well they might be, for
there was a rotten-appley, old-potatoey smell in the cellar which
pervaded the whole house when doors were closed. And when the frost came
up from the ground the old sink drain at the kitchen door rendered up
to the spring sunshine all the combined vapors of all the dish-water of
all the winter. The barn and hen-house and cow-house reeked in the
sunlight, but the pigpen easily conquered them all. There was an ancient
cesspool far too near the kitchen door, underground and not to be seen,
but present, nevertheless. A hogshead of rain-water stood at the cellar
door, and one at the end of the barn--to water the flowers with--they
fancied rotten rain-water made flowers grow! A foul dye-tub was ever
reeking in every kitchen chimney corner, a culminating horror in
stenches; and vessels of ancient soap grease festered in the outer shed,
the grease collected through the winter and waiting for the spring
soap-making. The vapor of sour milk, ever present, was of little
moment--when there was so much else so much worse. There wasn't a
bath-tub in the grandfather's house, nor in any other house in town, nor
any too much bathing in winter, either, I am sure, in icy well-water in
icier sleeping rooms. The windows were carefully closed all winter long,
but the open fireplaces managed to save the life of the inmates, though
the walls and rafters were hung with millions of germs which every one
knows are all the wickeder when they don't smell, because you take no
care, fancying they are not there. But the grandfather knew naught of
germs--and was happy. The trees shaded the house so that the roof was
always damp. Oh, how those germs grew and multiplied in the grateful
shade of those lovely trees, and how mould and rust rejoiced. Well might
people turn from all these sights and scents to me. The grandfather and
his wife, when they were young, as when they were in middle age, and
when they were old, walked every early spring day at set of sun, slowly
down the front path, looking at every flower, every bud; pulling a tiny
weed, gathering a choice flower, breaking a withered sprig; and they
ever lingered long and happily by my side. And he always said, 'Wife!
isn't this Crown-imperial a glorious plant? so stately, so perfect in
form, such an expression of life, and such a personification of spring!'
'Yes, father,' she would answer quickly, 'but don't pick it.' Why, I
should have resented even that word had she referred to my perfume. She
meant that the garden border could not spare me. The children never
could pick me, even the naughtiest ones did not dare to; but they could
pull all the little upstart Ladies' Delights and Violets they wished.
And yet, with all this family homage which should make me a family
totem, here I am, stuck down by the barn--I, who sprung from the blood
of a king, the great Gustavus Adolphus--and was sung by a poet two
centuries ago in the famous _Garland of Julia_. The old Jesuit poet
Rapin said of me, 'No flower aspires in pomp and state so high.'

"Read this page from that master-herbalist, John Gerarde, telling of the
rare beauties within my golden cup.

"A very intelligent and respectable old gentleman named Parkinson, who
knew far more about flowers than flighty folk do nowadays, loved me well
and wrote of me, 'The Crown-imperial, for its stately beautifulnesse
deserveth the first place in this our garden of delight to be here
entreated of before all other Lilies.' He had good sense. It was not I
who was stigmatized by him as Joan Silver-pin. He spoke very plainly and
very sensibly of my perfume; there was no nonsense in his notions, he
told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth: 'The whole
plant and every part thereof, as well as rootes as leaves and floures
doe smell somewhat strong, as it were the savour of a foxe, so that if
any doe but near it, he can but smell it, yet is not unwholesome.'

"How different all is to-day in literature, as well as in flower
culture. Now there are low, coarse attempts at wit that fairly wilt a
sensitive nature like mine. There is one miserable Man who comes to this
garden, and who _thinks_ he is a Poet; I will not repeat his wretched
rhymes. But only yesterday, when he stood looking superciliously down
upon us, he said sneeringly, 'Yes, spring is here, balmy spring; we know
her presence without seeing her face or hearing her voice; for the Skunk
Cabbage is unfurled in the swamps, and the Crown-imperial is blooming in
the garden.' Think of his presuming to set me alongside that low Skunk
Cabbage--me with my 'stately beautifulness.'

[Illustration: Crown Imperial. A Page from Gerarde's _Herball_.]

"Little do people nowadays know about scents anyway, when their
botanists and naturalists write that the Privet bloom is 'pleasingly
fragrant,' and one dame set last summer a dish of Privet on her dining
table before many guests. Privet! with its ancient and fishlike smell!
And another tells of the fragrant delight of flowering Buckwheat--may
the breezes blow such fragrance far from me! But why dwell on perfumes;
flowers were made to look at, not to smell; sprays of Sweet Balm or
Basil leaves outsweeten every flower, and make no pretence or thought of
beauty; render to each its own virtues, and try not to engross the charm
of another.

"I was indeed the queen of the garden, and here I am exiled behind the
barn. Life is not worth living. I won't come up again. She will walk
through the garden next May and say, 'How dull and shabby the garden
looks this year! the spring is backward, everything has run to leaves,
nothing is in bloom, we must buy more fertilizer, we must get a new
gardener, we must get more plants and slips and seeds and bulbs, it is
fearfully discouraging, I never saw anything so gone off!' then perhaps
she will remember, and regret the friend of her grandparents, the
Crown-imperial--whom she thrust from her Garden of Delight."



CHAPTER XV

CHILDHOOD IN A GARDEN

    "I see the garden thicket's shade
     Where all the summer long we played,
     And gardens set and houses made,
         Our early work and late."

    --MARY HOWITT.


How we thank God for the noble traits of our ancestors; and our hearts
fill with gratitude for the tenderness, the patience, the loving
kindness of our parents; I have an infinite deal for which to be
sincerely grateful; but for nothing am I now more happy than that there
were given to me a flower-loving father and mother. To that
flower-loving father and mother I offer in tenderest memory equal
gratitude for a childhood spent in a garden.

Winter as well as summer gave us many happy garden hours. Sometimes a
sudden thaw of heavy snow and an equally quick frost formed a miniature
pond for sheltered skating at the lower end of the garden. A frozen
crust of snow (which our winters nowadays so seldom afford) gave other
joys. And the delights of making a snow man, or a snow fort, even of
rolling great globes of snow, were infinite and varied. More subtle was
the charm of shaping certain _things_ from dried twigs and evergreen
sprigs, and pouring water over them to freeze into a beautiful
resemblance of the original form. These might be the ornate initials or
name of a dear girl friend, or a tiny tower or pagoda. I once had a real
winter garden in miniature set in twigs of cedar and spruce, and frozen
into a fairy garden.

In summertime the old-fashioned garden was a paradise for a child; the
long warm days saw the fresh telling of child to child, by that
curiously subtle system of transmission which exists everywhere among
happy children, of quaint flower customs known to centuries of
English-speaking children, and also some newer customs developed by the
fitness of local flowers for such games and plays.

The Countess Potocka says the intense enjoyment of nature is a sixth
sense. We are not born with this good gift, nor do we often acquire it
in later life; it comes through our rearing. The fulness of delight in a
garden is the bequest of a childhood spent in a garden. No study or
possession of flowers in mature years can afford gratification equal to
that conferred by childish associations with them; by the sudden
recollection of flower lore, the memory of child friendships, the
recalling of games or toys made of flowers: you cannot explain it; it
seems a concentration, an extract of all the sunshine and all the beauty
of those happy summers of our lives when the whole day and every day was
spent among flowers. The sober teachings of science in later years can
never make up the loss to children debarred of this inheritance, who
have grown up knowing not when "the summer comes with bee and flower."

[Illustration: Milkweed Seed.]

A garden childhood gives more sources of delight to the senses in after
life than come from beautiful color and fine fragrance. Have you
pleasure in the contact of a flower? Do you like its touch as well as
its perfume? Do you love to feel a Lilac spray brush your cheek in the
cool of the evening? Do you like to bury your face in a bunch of Roses?
How frail and papery is the Larkspur! And how silky is the Poppy! A
Locust bloom is a fringe of sweetness; and how very doubtful is the
touch of the Lily--an unpleasant thick sleekness. The Clove Carnation is
the best of all. It feels just as it smells. These and scores more give
me pleasure through their touch, the result of constant handling of
flowers when I was a child.

There were harmful flowers in the old garden--among them the
Monk's-hood; we never touched it, except warily. Doubtless we were
warned, but we knew it by instinct and did not need to be told. I always
used to see in modest homes great tubs each with a flourishing Oleander
tree. I have set out scores of little slips of Oleander, just as I
planted Orange seeds. I seldom see Oleanders now; I wonder whether the
plant has been banished on account of its poisonous properties. I heard
of but one fatal case of Oleander poisoning--and that was doubtful. A
little child, the sister of one of my playmates, died suddenly in great
distress. Several months after her death the mother was told that the
leaves of the Oleander were poisonous, when she recalled that the child
had eaten them on the day of her death.

Oleander blossoms were lovely in shape and color. Edward Fitzgerald
writes to Fanny Kemble: "Don't you love the Oleander? So clean in its
Leaves and Stem, as so beautiful in its Flower; loving to stand in water
which it drinks up fast. I have written all my best Mss. with a Pen that
has been held with its nib in water for more than a fortnight--Charles
Keene's recipe for keeping Pens in condition--Oleander-like." This,
written in 1882, must, even at that recent date, refer to quill pens.

The lines of Mary Howitt's, quoted at the beginning of this chapter,
ring to me so true; there is in them no mock sentiment, it is the real
thing,--"the garden thicket's shade," little "cubby houses" under the
close-growing stems of Lilac and Syringa, with an old thick shawl
outspread on the damp earth for a carpet. Oh, how hot and scant the air
was in the green light of those close "garden-thickets," those "Lilac
ambushes," which were really not half so pleasant as the cooler seats on
the grass under the trees, but which we clung to with a warmth equal to
their temperature.

[Illustration: The Children's Garden.]

Let us peer into these garden thickets at these happy little girls,
fantastic in their garden dress. Their hair is hung thick with Dandelion
curls, made from pale green opal-tinted stems that have grown long under
the shrubbery and Box borders. Around their necks are childish wampum,
strings of Dandelion beads or Daisy chains. More delicate wreaths for
the neck or hair were made from the blossoms of the Four-o'clock or
the petals of Phlox or Lilacs, threaded with pretty alternation of
color. Fuchsias were hung at the ears for eardrops, green leaves were
pinned with leaf stems into little caps and bonnets and aprons,
Foxgloves made dainty children's gloves. Truly the garden-bred child
went in gay attire.

That exquisite thing, the seed of Milkweed (shown on page 328),
furnished abundant playthings. The plant was sternly exterminated in our
garden, but sallies into a neighboring field provided supplies for fairy
cradles with tiny pillows of silvery silk.

One of the early impulses of infancy is to put everything in the mouth;
this impulse makes the creeping days of some children a period of
constant watchfulness and terror to their apprehensive guardians. When
the children are older and can walk in the garden or edge of the woods,
a fresh anxiety arises; for a certain savagery in their make-up makes
them regard every growing thing, not as an object to look at or even to
play with, but to eat. It is a relief to the mother when the child grows
beyond the savage, and falls under the dominion of tradition and
folk-lore, communicated to him by other children by that subtle power of
enlightenment common to children, which seems more like instinct than
instruction. The child still eats, but he makes distinctions, and seldom
touches harmful leaves or seeds or berries. He has an astonishing range:
roots, twigs, leaves, bark, tendrils, fruit, berries, flowers, buds,
seeds, all alike serve for food. Young shoots of Sweetbrier and
Blackberry are nibbled as well as the branches of young Birch. Grape
tendrils, too, have an acid zest, as do Sorrel leaves. Wild Rose hips
and the drupes of dwarf Cornel are chewed. The leaf buds of Spruce and
Linden are also tasted. I hear that some children in some places eat the
young fronds of Cinnamon Fern, but I never saw it done. Seeds of
Pumpkins and Sunflowers were edible, as well as Hollyhock cheeses. There
was one Slippery Elm tree which we know in our town, and we took ample
toll of it. Cherry gum and Plum gum are chewed, as well as the gum of
Spruce trees. There was a boy who used sometimes to intrude on our
girl's paradise, since he was the son of a neighbor, and he said he ate
raw Turnips, and something he called Pig-nuts--I wonder what they were.

Those childish customs linger long in our minds, or rather in our
subconsciousness. I never walk through an old garden without wishing to
nibble and browse on the leaves and stems which I ate as a child,
without sucking a drop of honey from certain flowers. I do it not with
intent, but I waken to realization with the petal of Trumpet Honeysuckle
in my hand and its drop of ambrosia on my lips.

[Illustration: Foxgloves in a Narragansett Garden.]

Children care far less for scent and perfection in a flower than they do
for color, and, above all, for desirability and adaptability of form,
this desirability being afforded by the fitness of the flower for the
traditional games and plays. The favorite flowers of my childhood were
three noble creatures, Hollyhocks, Canterbury Bells, and Foxgloves, all
three were scentless. I cannot think of a child's summer in a garden
without these three old favorites of history and folk-lore. Of course we
enjoyed the earlier flower blooms and played happily with them ere our
dearest treasures came to us; but never had we full variety, zest, and
satisfaction till this trio were in midsummer bloom. There was a little
gawky, crudely-shaped wooden doll of German manufacture sold in
Worcester which I never saw elsewhere; they were kept for sale by old
Waxler, the German basket maker, a most respected citizen, whose name I
now learn was not Waxler but Weichsler. These dolls came in three
sizes, the five-cent size was a midsummer favorite, because on its
featureless head the blossoms of the Canterbury Bells fitted like a high
azure cap. I can see rows of these wooden creatures sitting, thus
crowned, stiffly around the trunk of the old Seckel Pear tree at a
doll's tea-party.

By the constant trampling of our childish feet the earth at the end of
the garden path was hard and smooth under the shadow of the Lilac trees
near our garden fence; and this hard path, remote from wanderers in the
garden, made a splendid plateau to use for flower balls. Once we fitted
it up as a palace; circular walls of Balsam flowers set closely together
shaped the ball-room. The dancers were blue and white Canterbury Bells.
Quadrilles were placed of little twigs, or strong flower stalks set
firmly upright in the hard trodden earth, and on each of these a flower
bell was hung so that the pretty reflexion of the scalloped edges of the
corolla just touched the ground as the hooped petticoats swayed lightly
in the wind.

[Illustration: Hollyhocks in Garden of Kimball Homestead, Portsmouth,
New Hampshire.]

We used to catch bumblebees in the Canterbury Bells, and hear them buzz
and bump and tear their way out to liberty. We held the edges of the
flower tightly pinched together, and were never stung. Besides its
adaptability as a toy for children, the Canterbury Bell was beloved for
its beauty in the garden. An appropriate folk name for it is
Fair-in-sight. Healthy clumps grow tall and stately, towering up as high
as childish heads; and the firm stalks are hung so closely in bloom.
Nowadays people plant expanses of Canterbury Bells; one at the
beautiful garden at White Birches, Elmhurst, Illinois, is shown on page
111. I do not like this as well as the planting in our home garden when
they are set in a mixed border, as shown opposite page 416. Our tastes
in the flower world are largely influenced by what we were wonted to in
childhood, not only in the selection of flowers, but in their placing in
our gardens. The Canterbury Bell has historical interest through its
being named for the bells borne by pilgrims to the shrine at Canterbury.
I have been delighted to see plants of these sturdy garden favorites
offered for sale of late years in New York streets in springtime, by
street venders, who now show a tendency to throw aside Callas, Lilies,
Tuberoses, and flowers of such ilk, and substitute shrubs and seedlings
of hardy growth and satisfactory flowering. But it filled me with
regret, to hear the pretty historic name--Canterbury Bells--changed in
so short a residence in the city, by these Italian and German tongues to
Gingerbread Bells--a sad debasement. Native New Englanders have seldom
forgotten or altered an old flower name, and very rarely transferred it
to another plant, even in two centuries of everyday usage. But I am glad
to know that the flower will bloom in the flower pot or soap box in the
dingy window of the city poor, or in the square foot of earth of the
city squatter, even if it be called Gingerbread Bells.

I think we may safely affirm that the Hollyhock is the most popular, and
most widely known, of all old-fashioned flowers. It is loved for its
beauty, its associations, its adaptiveness. It is such a decorative
flower, and looks of so much distinction in so many places. It is
invaluable to the landscape gardener and to the architect; and might be
named the wallflower, since it looks so well growing by every wall. I
like it there, or by a fence-side, or in a corner, better than in the
middle of flower beds. How many garden pictures have Hollyhocks? Sir
Joshua Reynolds even used them as accessories of his portraits. They
usually grow so well and bloom so freely. I have seen them in
Connecticut growing wild--garden strays, standing up by ruined stone
walls in a pasture with as much grace of grouping, as good form, as if
they had been planted by our most skilful gardeners or architects. Many
illustrations of them are given in this book; I need scarcely refer to
them; opposite page 334 is shown a part of the four hundred stalks of
rich bloom in a Portsmouth garden. There is a pretty semidouble
Hollyhock with a single row of broad outer petals and a smaller double
rosette for the centre; but the single flowers are far more effective. I
like well the old single crimson flower, but the yellow ones are, I
believe, the loveliest; a row of the yellow and white ones against an
old brick wall is perfection. I can never repay to the Hollyhock the
debt of gratitude I owe for the happy hours it furnished to me in my
childhood. Its reflexed petals could be tied into such lovely
silken-garbed dolls; its "cheeses" were one of the staple food supplies
of our dolls' larder. I am sure in my childhood I would have warmly
chosen the Hollyhock as my favorite flower.

The sixty-two folk names of the Foxglove give ample proof of its
closeness to humanity; it is a familiar flower, a home flower. Of these
many names I never heard but two in New England, and those but once; an
old Irish gardener called the flowers Fairy Thimbles, and an English
servant, Pops--this from the well-known habit of popping the petals on
the palm of the hand. We used to build little columns of these Foxgloves
by thrusting one within another, alternating purple and white; and we
wore them for gloves, and placed them as foolscaps on the heads of tiny
dolls. The beauty of the Foxglove in the garden is unquestioned; the
spires of white bloom are, as Cotton Mather said of a pious and painful
Puritan preacher, "a shining and white light in a golden candlestick
improved for the sweet felicity of Mankind and to the honour of our
Maker."

Opposite page 340 is a glimpse of a Box-edged garden in Worcester, whose
blossoming has been a delight to me every summer of my entire life. In
my childhood this home was that of flower-loving neighbors who had an
established and constant system of exchange with my mother and other
neighbors of flowers, plants, seeds, slips, and bulbs. The garden was
serene with an atmosphere of worthy old age; you wondered how any man so
old could so constantly plant, weed, prune, and hoe until you saw how he
loved his flowers, and how his wife loved them. The Roses, Peonies, and
Flower de Luce in this garden are sixty years old, and the Box also; the
shrubs are almost trees. Nothing seems to be transplanted, yet all
flourish; I suppose some plants must be pulled up, sometimes, else the
garden would be a thicket. The varying grading of city streets has left
this garden in a little valley sheltered from winds and open to the
sun's rays. Here bloom Crocuses, Snowdrops, Grape Hyacinths, and
sometimes Tulips, before any neighbor has a blossom and scarce a leaf.
On a Sunday noon in April there are always flower lovers hanging over
the low fences, and gazing at the welcome early blooms. Here if ever,

    "Winter, slumbering in the open air,
     Wears on his smiling face a dream of spring."

A close cloud of Box-scent hangs over this garden, even in midwinter;
sometimes the Box edgings grow until no one can walk between; then
drastic measures have to be taken, and the rows look ragged for a time.

[Illustration: An Autumn Path in a Worcester Garden.]

I think much of my love of Box comes from happy associations with this
garden. I used to like to go there with my mother when she went on what
the Japanese would call "garden-viewing" visits, for at the lower end of
the garden was a small orchard of the finest playhouse Apple trees I
ever climbed (and I have had much experience), and some large trees
bearing little globular early Pears; and there were rows of bushes of
golden "Honeyblob" Gooseberries. The Apple trees are there still, but
the Gooseberry bushes are gone. I looked for them this summer eagerly,
but in vain; I presume the berries would have been sour had I found
them.

[Illustration: Hollyhocks at Tudor Place.]

In many old New England gardens the close juxtaposition and even
intermingling of vegetables and fruits with the flowers gave a sense of
homely simplicity and usefulness which did not detract from the garden's
interest, and added much to the child's pleasure. At the lower end of
the long flower border in our garden, grew "Mourning Brides," white,
pale lavender, and purple brown in tint. They opened under the shadow of
a row of Gooseberry bushes. I seldom see Gooseberry bushes nowadays in
any gardens, whether on farms or in nurseries; they seem to be an
antiquated fruit.

I have in my memory many other customs of childhood in the garden; some
of them I have told in my book _Child Life in Colonial Days_, and there
are scores more which I have not recounted, but most of them were
peculiar to my own fanciful childhood, and I will not recount them here.

One of the most exquisite of Mrs. Browning's poems is _The Lost Bower_;
it is endeared to me because it expresses so fully a childish
bereavement of my own, for I have a lost garden. Somewhere, in my
childhood, I saw this beautiful garden, filled with radiant blossoms,
rich with fruit and berries, set with beehives, rabbit hutches, and a
dove cote, and enclosed about with hedges; and through it ran a purling
brook--a thing I ever longed for in my home garden. All one happy summer
afternoon I played in it, and gathered from its beds and borders at
will--and I have never seen it since. When I was still a child I used to
ask to return to it, but no one seemed to understand; and when I was
grown I asked where it was, describing it in every detail, and the only
answer was that it was a dream, I had never seen and played in such a
garden. This lost garden has become to me an emblem, as was the lost
bower to Mrs. Browning, of the losses of life; but I did not lose all;
while memory lasts I shall ever possess the happiness of my childhood
passed in our home garden.

[Illustration: An Old Worcester Garden.]



CHAPTER XVI

MEETIN' SEED AND SABBATH DAY POSIES

      "I touched a thought, I know
     Has tantalized me many times.
     Help me to hold it! First it left
     The yellowing Fennel run to seed."

    --ROBERT BROWNING.


My "thought" is the association of certain flowers with Sunday; the fact
that special flowers and leaves and seeds, Fennel, Dill, and
Southernwood, were held to be fitting and meet to carry to the Sunday
service. "Help me to hold it"--to record those simple customs of the
country-side ere they are forgotten.

In the herb garden grew three free-growing plants, all three called
indifferently in country tongue, "meetin' seed." They were Fennel, Dill,
and Caraway, and similar in growth and seed. Caraway is shown on page
342. Their name was given because, in summer days of years gone by,
nearly every woman and child carried to "meeting" on Sundays, bunches of
the ripe seeds of one or all of these three plants, to nibble throughout
the long prayers and sermon.

It is fancied that these herbs were anti-soporific, but I find no record
of such power. On the contrary, Galen says Dill "procureth sleep,
wherefore garlands of Dill are worn at feasts." A far more probable
reason for its presence at church was the quality assigned to it by
Pliny and other herbalists down to Gerarde, that of staying the "yeox or
hicket or hicquet," otherwise the hiccough. If we can judge by the
manifold remedies offered to allay this affliction, it was certainly
very prevalent in ancient times. Cotton Mather wrote a bulky medical
treatise entitled _The Angel of Bethesda_. It was never printed; the
manuscript is owned by the American Antiquarian Society. The character
of this medico-religious book may be judged by this opening sentence of
his chapter on the hiccough:--

     "The Hiccough or the Hicox rather, for it's a Teutonic word that
     signifies to sob, appears a Lively Emblem of the battle between the
     Flesh and the Spirit in the Life of Piety. The Conflict in the
     Pious Mind gives all the Trouble and same uneasiness as Hickox.
     Death puts an end to the Conflict."

[Illustration: Caraway.]

Parson Mather gives Tansy and Caraway as remedies for the hiccough, but
far better still--spiders, prepared in various odious ways; I prefer
Dill.

Peter Parley said that "a sprig of Fennel was the theological
smelling-bottle of the tender sex, and not unfrequently of the men, who
from long sitting in the sanctuary, after a week of labor in the field,
found themselves tempted to sleep, would sometimes borrow a sprig of
Fennel, to exorcise the fiend that threatened their spiritual welfare."

Old-fashioned folk kept up a constant nibbling in church, not only of
these three seeds, but of bits of Cinnamon or Lovage root, or, more
commonly still, the roots of Sweet Flag. Many children went to
brooksides and the banks of ponds to gather these roots. This pleasure
was denied to us, but we had a Flag root purveyor, our milkman's
daughter. This milkman, who lived on a lonely farm, used often to take
with him on his daily rounds his little daughter. She sat with him on
the front seat of his queer cart in summer and his queerer pung in
winter, an odd little figure, with a face of gypsylike beauty which
could scarcely be seen in the depths of the Shaker sunbonnet or pumpkin
hood. If my mother chanced to see her, she gave the child an orange, or
a few figs, or some little cakes, or almonds and raisins; in return the
child would throw out to us violently roots of Sweet Flag, Wild Ginger,
Snakeroot, Sassafras, and Apples or Pears, which she carried in a deep
detached pocket at her side. She never spoke, and the milkman confided
to my mother that he "took her around because she was so wild," by
which he meant timid. We were firmly convinced that the child could not
walk nor speak, and had no ears; and we were much surprised when she
walked down the aisle of our church one Sunday as actively as any child
could, displaying very natural ears. Her father had bought a home in the
town that she might go to school. He was rewarded by her development
into one of those scholars of phenomenal brilliancy, such as are
occasionally produced from New England farmers' families. She also
became a beauty of most unusual type. At her father's death she "went
West." I have always expected to read of her as of marked life in some
way, but I never have. Of course her family name may have been changed
by marriage; but her Christian name, Appoline, was so unusual I could
certainly trace her. If my wild and beautiful little milk girl reads
these lines, I hope she will forgive me, for she certainly was queer.

[Illustration: Sun-dial of Jonathan Fairbanks.]

When her residence was in town, Appoline did not cease her gifts of
country treasures. She brought on spring Sundays a very delightful
addition to our Sabbath day nibblings and browsings, the most delicious
mouthful of all the treasures of New England woods, what we called
Pippins, the first tender leaves of the aromatic Checkerberry. In the
autumn the spicy berries of the same plant filled many a paper
cornucopia which was secretly conveyed to us.

It was also a universal custom among the elder folk to carry a Sunday
posy; the stems were discreetly enwrapped with the folded handkerchief
which also concealed the sprig of Fennel. Dean Hole tells us that a
sprig of Southernwood was always seen in the Sunday smocks of English
farm folk. Mary Howitt, in her poem, _The Poor Man's Garden_, has this
verse:--

    "And here on Sabbath mornings
     The goodman comes to get
     His Sunday nosegay--Moss Rose bud,
     White Pink, and Mignonette."

This shows to me that the church posy was just as common in England as
in America; in domestic and social customs we can never disassociate
ourselves from England; our ways, our deeds, are all English.

Thoreau noted with pleasure when, at the last of June, the young men of
Concord "walked slowly and soberly to church, in their best clothes,
each with a Pond Lily in his hand or bosom, with as long a stem as he
could get." And he adds thereto almost the only decorous and
conventional picture he gives of himself, that he used in early life to
go thus to church, smelling a Pond Lily, "its odor contrasting with and
atoning for that of the sermon." He associated this universal bearing of
the Lily with a very natural act, that of the first spring swim and
bath, and pictured with delight the quiet Sabbath stillness and the pure
opening flowers. He said the flower had become typical to him equally of
a Sunday morning swim and of church-going. He adds that the young women
carried on this floral Sunday, as a companion flower, their first Rose.

[Illustration: Bronze Sun-dial on Dutch Reformed Church. West End
Avenue, New York.]

This Sabbath bearing of the early Water Lilies may have been a local
custom; a few miles from Walden Pond and Concord an old kinsman of mine
throughout his long life (which closed twenty years ago) carried Water
Lilies on summer Sundays to church; and starting with neighborly intent
a short time before the usual hour of church service, he placed a
single beautiful Lily in the pew of each of his old friends. All knew
who was the flower bearer, and gentle smiles and nods of thanks would
radiate across the old church to him. These lilies were gathered for him
freshly each Sabbath morning by the young men of his family, who, as
Thoreau tells, all took their morning bath in the pond throughout the
summer.

[Illustration: Sun-dial on Boulder, Swiftwater, Pennsylvania.]

There were conventions in these Sunday posies. I never heard of carrying
sprays of Lemon Verbena or Rose Geranium, or any of the strong-scented
herbs of the Mint family; but throughout eastern Massachusetts,
especially in Concord and Wayland, a favorite posy was a spray of the
refreshing, soft-textured leaves from what country folk called the
Tongue plant--which was none other than Costmary, also called Beaver
tongue, and Patagonian mint. As there has been recently much interest
and discussion anent this Tongue plant, I here give its botanical name
_Chrysanthemum balsamita_, var. _tanacetoides_. A far more popular
Sunday posy than any blossom was a sprig of Southernwood, known also
everywhere as Lad's-love, and occasionally as Old Man and
Kiss-me-quick-and-go. It was also termed Meeting plant from this
universal Sunday use.

A restless little child was once handed during the church services in
summer a bunch of Caraway seeds, and a goodly sprig of Southernwood. The
little girl's mother listened earnestly to the long sermon, and was
horrified at its close to find that her child had eaten the entire bunch
of Caraway, stems and seeds, and all the bitter Southernwood. She was
hurried out of church to the village doctor's, and spent a very unhappy
hour or two as the result of her Nebuchadnezzar-like gorging.

Like many New Englanders, I dearly love the scent of Southernwood:--

                  "I'll give to him
    Who gathers me, more sweetness than he knows
    Without me--more than any Lily could,
    I, that am flowerless, being Southernwood."

Southernwood bears a balmier breath than is ever borne by many blossoms,
for it is sweet with the fragrance of memory. The scent that has been
loved for centuries, the leaves that have been pressed to the hearts of
fair maids, as they questioned of love, are indeed endeared.

[Illustration: Buckthorn Arch in an Old Salem Garden.]

Southernwood was a plant of vast powers. It was named in the fourteenth
century as potent to cure talking in sleep, and other "vanityes of
the heade." An old Salem sea captain had this recipe for baldness: "Take
a quantitye of Suthernwoode and put it upon kindled coale to burn and
being made into a powder mix it with oyl of radiches, and anoynt a bald
head and you shall see great experiences." The lying old _Dispensatory_
of Culpepper gave a rule to mix the ashes of Southernwood with "Old
Sallet Oyl" which "helpeth those that are hair-fallen and bald."

[Illustration: Sun-dial at Emery Place, Brightwood, District of
Columbia.]

Far pleasanter were the uses of the plant as a love charm. Pliny did not
disdain to counsel putting Southernwood under the pillow to make one
dream of a lover. A sprig of Southernwood in an unmarried girl's shoe
would bring to her the sight of her husband-to-be before night.

Sixty years ago two young country folk of New England were married. The
twain built them a house and established their home. Since a sprig of
Southernwood had played a romantic part in their courtship, each planted
a bush at the side of the broad doorstone; and the husband, William,
often thrust a bit of this Lad's-love from the flourishing bushes in the
buttonhole of his woollen shirt, for he fancied the fresh scent of the
leaves.

[Illustration: Sun-dial at Traveller's Rest.]

The twain had no children, and perhaps therefrom grew and increased in
Hetty a fairly passionate love of exact order and neatness in her
home--a trait which is not so common in New England housewives as many
fancy, and which does not always find equal growth and encouragement in
New England husbands. William chafed under the frequent and bitter
reproofs for the muddy shoes, dusty garments, hanging straws and seeds
which he brought into his wife's orderly paradise, and the jarring
culminated one night over such a trifle, a green sprig of Lad's-love
which he had dropped and trodden into the freshly washed floor of the
kitchen, where it left a green stain on the spotless boards.

The quarrel flamed high, and was followed by an ominous calm which was
not broken at breakfast. It would be impossible to express in words
Hetty's emotions when she crossed her threshold to set her shining milk
tins in the morning sunlight, and saw on one side of the doorstone a
yawning hole where had grown for ten years William's bunch of
Lad's-love. He had driven to the next village to sell some grain, so she
could search unseen for the vanished emblem of domestic felicity, and
soon she found it, in the ditch by the public road, already withered in
the hot sun.

When her husband went at nightfall to feed and water his cattle, he
found the other bush of Lad's-love, which had been planted with such
affectionate sentiment, trodden in the mire of the pigpen, under the
feet of the swine.

They lived together for thirty years after this crowning indignity. The
grass grew green over the empty holes by the doorside, but he never
forgave her, and they never spoke to each other save in direst
necessity, and then in fewest words. Yet they were not wicked folk. She
cared for his father and mother in the last years of their life with a
devotion that was fairly pathetic when it was seen that the old man was
untidy to a degree, and absolutely oblivious of all her orderly ways and
wishes. At their death he sent for and "homed," as the expression ran, a
brother of hers who was almost blind, and paid the expenses of her
nephew through college--but he died unforgiving; the sight of that
beloved Southernwood--in the pigpen--forever killed his affection.



CHAPTER XVII

SUN-DIALS

    "'Tis an old dial, dark with many a stain,
     In summer crowned with drifting orchard bloom,
     Tricked in the autumn with the yellow rain,
     And white in winter like a marble tomb.

    "And round about its gray, time-eaten brow
     Lean letters speak--a worn and shattered row:--
     'I am a Shade; A Shadowe too arte thou;
     I mark the Time; saye, Gossip, dost thou soe?'"

    --AUSTIN DOBSON.


A century or more ago, in the heart of nearly all English gardens, and
in the gardens of our American colonies as well, there might be seen a
pedestal of varying material, shape, and pretension, surmounted by the
most interesting furnishing in "dead-works" of the garden, a sun-dial.
In public squares, on the walls of public buildings, on bridges, and by
the side of the way, other and simpler dials were found. On the walls of
country houses and churches vertical sun-dials were displayed; every
English town held them by scores. In Scotland, and to some extent in
England, these sun-dials still are found; in fine old gardens the most
richly carved dials are standing; but in America they have become so
rare that many people have never seen one. In many of the formal gardens
planned by our skilled architects, sun-dials are now springing afresh
like mushroom growth of a single night, and some are objects of the
greatest beauty and interest.

[Illustration: Two Old Cronies, the Sun-dial and Bee Skepe.]

If the claims of antiquity and historical association have aught to
charm us, every sun-dial must be assured of our interest. The most
primitive mode of knowing of the midday hour was by a "noon mark," a
groove cut or line drawn on door or window sill which indicated the
meridian hour through a shadow thrown on this noon mark. A good guess as
to the hours near noon could be made by noting the distance of the
shadow from the noon mark. I chanced to be near an old noon mark this
summer as the sun warned that noon approached; I noted that the marking
shadow crossed the line at twenty minutes before noon by our
watches--which, I suppose, was near enough to satisfy our "early to
rise" ancestors. Meridian lines were often traced with exactness on the
floors of churches in Continental Europe.

An advance step in accuracy and elegance was made when a simple metal
sun-dial was affixed to the window sill instead of cutting the rude noon
mark. Soon the sun-dial was set on a simple pedestal near the kitchen
window, so that the active worker within might glance at the dial face
without ceasing in her task. Such a sun-dial is shown on page 354, as it
stands under the "buttery" window cosily hobnobbing with its old crony
of many years, the bee skepe. One could wish to be a bee, and live in
that snug home under the Syringa bush.

Portable sun-dials succeeded fixed dials; they have been known as long
as the Christian era; shepherds' dials were the "Kalendars" or
"Cylindres" about which treatises were written as early as the
thirteenth century. They were small cylinders of wood or ivory, having
at the top a kind of stopper with a hinged gnomon; they are still used
in the Pyrenees. Pretty little "ring-dials" of brass, gold, or silver,
are constructed on the same principle. The exquisitely wrought portable
dial shown on this page is a very fine piece of workmanship, and must
have been costly. It is dated 1764, and is eleven inches in diameter. It
is a perfect example of the advanced type of dial made in Italy, which
had a simpler form as early certainly as A.D. 300. The compass was added
in the thirteenth century. The compass-needle is missing on this dial,
its only blemish. The Italians excelled in dial-making; among their
interesting forms were the cross-shaped dials evidently a reliquary.

[Illustration: Portable Sun-dial.]

Portable dials were used instead of watches. There is at the Washington
headquarters at Morristown a delicately wrought oval silver case, with
compass and sun-dial, which was carried by one of the French officers
who came here with Lafayette; George Washington owned and carried one.

The colonists came here from a land set with dials, whether they sailed
from Holland or England. Charles I had a vast fancy for dials, and had
them placed everywhere; the finest and most curious was the splendid
master dial placed in his private gardens at Whitehall; this had five
dials set in the upper part, four in the four corners, and a great
horizontal concave dial; among these were scattered equinoctial dials,
vertical dials, declining dials, polar dials, plane dials, cylindrical
dials, triangular dials; each was inscribed with explanatory verses in
Latin. Equally beautiful and intricate were the dials of Charles II, the
most marvellous being the vast pyramid dial bearing 271 different dial
faces.

Those who wish to learn of English sun-dials should read Mrs. Gatty's
_Book of Sun-dials_, a massive and fascinating volume. No such extended
record could be made of American sun-dials; but it pleases me that I
know of over two hundred sun-dials in America, chiefly old ones; that I
have photographs of many of them; that I have copies of many hundred
dial mottoes, and also a very fair collection of the old dial faces, of
various metals and sizes.

I know of no public collection of sun-dials in America save that in the
Smithsonian Institution, and that is not a large one. Several of our
Historical Societies own single sun-dials. In the Essex Institute is the
sun-dial of Governor Endicott; another, shown on page 344, was once the
property of my far-away grandfather, Jonathan Fairbanks; it is in the
Dedham Historical Society.

[Illustration: Sun-dial in Garden of Frederick J. Kingsbury, Esq.]

All forms of sun-dials are interesting. A simple but accurate one was
set on Robins Island by the late Samuel Bowne Duryea, Esq., of Brooklyn.
Taking the flagpole of the club house as a stylus, he laid the lines and
figures of the dial-face with small dark stones on a ground of
light-hued stones, all set firmly in the earth at the base of the pole.
Thus was formed, with the simplest materials, by one who ever strove to
give pleasure and stimulate knowledge in all around him, an object which
not only told the time o' the day, but afforded gratification, elicited
investigation, and awakened sentiment in all who beheld it.

A similar use of a vertical pole as a primitive gnomon for a sun-dial
seems to have been common to many uncivilized peoples. In upper Egypt
the natives set up a palm rod in open ground, and arrange a circle of
stones or pegs around it, calling it an _alka_, and thus mark the hours.
The ploughman leaves his buffalo standing in the furrow while he learns
the progress of time from this simple dial--and we recall the words of
Job, "As a servant earnestly desireth a shadow."

[Illustration: Sun-dial at Morristown, New Jersey.]

The Labrador Indians, when on the hunt or the march, set an upright
stick or spear in the snow, and draw the line of the shadow thus cast.
They then stalk on their way; and the women, heavily laden with
provisions, shelter, and fuel, come slowly along two or three hours
later, note the distance between the present shadow and the line drawn
by their lords, and know at once whether they must gather up the stick
or spear and hurry along, or can rest for a short time on their weary
march. This is a primitive but exact chronometer.

There are serious objections to quoting from Charles Lamb: you are never
willing to end the transcription--you long to add just one phrase, one
clause more. Then, too, the purity of the pearl which you choose seems
to render duller than their wont the leaden sentences with which you
enclose it as a setting. Still, who could write of sun-dials without
choosing to transcribe these words of Lamb's?

     "What a dead thing is a clock, with its ponderous embowelments of
     lead or brass, its pert or solemn dulness of communication,
     compared with the simple altar-like structure and silent
     heart-language of the old dial! It stood as the garden god of
     Christian gardens. Why is it almost everywhere banished? If its
     business use be suspended by more elaborate inventions, its moral
     uses, its beauty, might have pleaded for its continuance. It spoke
     of moderate labors, of pleasures not protracted after sunset, of
     temperance and good hours. It was the primitive clock, the horologe
     of the first world. Adam could scarce have missed it in Paradise.
     The 'shepherd carved it out quaintly in the sun,' and turning
     philosopher by the very occupation, provided it with mottoes more
     touching than tombstones."

[Illustration: Yes, Toby! It's Three O'clock.]

Sun-dial mottoes still can be gathered by hundreds; and they are one
record of a force in the development of our literate people. For it was
long after we had printing ere we had any general class of folk, who, if
they could read, read anything save the Bible. To many the knowledge of
reading came from the deciphering of what has been happily termed the
Literature of the Bookless. This literature was placed that he who ran
might read; and its opening chapters were in the form of inscriptions
and legends and mottoes which were placed, not only on buildings and
walls, and pillars and bridges, but on household furniture and table
utensils.

The inscribing of mottoes on sun-dials appears to have sprung up with
dial-making; and where could a strict moral lesson, a suggestive or
inspiring thought, be better placed? Even the most heedless or
indifferent passer-by, or the unwilling reader could not fail to see the
instructive words when he cast his glance to learn the time.

The mottoes were frequently in Latin, a few in Greek or Hebrew; but the
old English mottoes seem the most appealing.

    ABUSE ME NOT I DO NO ILL
    I STAND TO SERVE THEE WITH GOOD WILL
    AS CAREFUL THEN BE SURE THOU BE
    TO SERVE THY GOD AS I SERVE THEE.

    A CLOCK THE TIME MAY WRONGLY TELL
    I NEVER IF THE SUN SHINE WELL.

    AS A SHADOW SUCH IS LIFE.

    I COUNT NONE BUT SUNNY HOURS.

    BE THE DAY WEARY, BE THE DAY LONG
    SOON IT SHALL RING TO EVEN SONG.

Scriptural verses have ever been favorites, especially passages from the
Psalms: "Man is like a thing of nought, his time passeth away like a
shadow." "My time is in Thy hand." "Put not off from day to day." "Oh,
remember how short my time is." Some of the Latin mottoes are very
beautiful.

[Illustration: Face of Dial at Sag Harbor, Long Island.]

Poets have written special verses for sun-dials. These noble lines are
by Walter Savage Landor:--

    IN HIS OWN IMAGE THE CREATOR MADE,
    HIS OWN PURE SUNBEAM QUICKENED THEE, O MAN!
    THOU BREATHING DIAL! SINCE THE DAY BEGAN
    THE PRESENT HOUR WAS EVER MARKED WITH SHADE.

The motto, _Horas non numero nisi serenas_, in various forms and
languages, has ever been a favorite. From an old album I have received
this poem written by Professor S. F. B. Morse; there is a note with it
in Professor Morse's handwriting, saying he saw the motto on a sun-dial
at Worms:--

    TO A. G. E.

    _Horas non numero nisi serenas._

    The sun when it shines in a clear cloudless sky
      Marks the time on my disk in figures of light;
    If clouds gather o'er me, unheeded they fly,
      I note not the hours except they be bright.

    So when I review all the scenes that have past
      Between me and thee, be they dark, be they light,
    I forget what was dark, the light I hold fast;
      I note not the hours except they be bright.

    SAMUEL F. B. MORSE,
    Washington, March, 1845.

The sun-dial seems too classic an object, and too serious a teacher, to
bear a jesting motto. This sober pun was often seen:--

    LIFE'S BUT A SHADOWE
      MAN'S BUT DUST
    THIS DYALL SAYES
      DY ALL WE MUST.

[Illustration: Sun-dial in Garden of Grace Church Rectory, New York.]

The sun-dial does not lure to "idle dalliance." Nine-tenths of the
sun-dial mottoes tersely warn you not to linger, to haste away, that
time is fleeting, and your hours are numbered, and therefore to "be
about your business." In a single moment and at a single glance the
sun-dial has said its lesson, has told its absolute message, and there
is no reason for you to gaze at it longer. Its very position, too, in
the unshaded rays of the sun, does not invite you to long companionship,
as do the shady lengths of a pergola, or a green orchard seat. Still, I
would ever have a garden seat near a sun-dial, especially when it is a
work of art to be studied, and with mottoes to be remembered. For even
in hurrying America the sun-dial seems--like a guide-post--a half-human
thing, for which we can feel an almost personal interest.

[Illustration: Fugio Bank-note.]

The figure of a sun-dial played an interesting part in the early history
of the United States. In the first set of notes issued for currency by
the American Congress was one for the value of one third of a dollar.
One side has the chain of links bearing the names of the thirteen
states, enclosing a sunburst bearing the words, _American Congress, We
are One_. The reverse side is shown on this page. It bears a print of a
sun-dial, with the motto, _Fugio, Mind Your Business_. The so-called
"Franklin cent" has a similar design of a sun-dial with the same motto,
and there was a beautiful "Fugio dollar" cast in silver, bronze, and
pewter. Though this design and motto were evidently Franklin's taste,
the motto in its use on a sun-dial was not original with Franklin, nor
with any one else in the Congress, for it had been seen on dials on many
English churches and houses. In the form, "Begone about Your Business,"
it was on a house in the Inner Temple; this is the tradition of the
origin of this motto. The dialler sent for a motto to place under the
dial, as he had been instructed by the Benchers; when the man arrived at
the Library, he found but one surly old gentleman poring over a musty
book. To him he said, "Please, sir, the gentlemen told me to call this
hour for a motto for the sun-dial." "Begone about your business," was
the testy answer. So the man painted the words under the dial; and the
chance words seemed so appropriate to the Benchers that they were never
removed. It is told of Dean Cotton of Bangor that he had a cross old
gardener who always warded off unwelcome visitors to the deanery by
saying to every one who approached, "Go about your business!" After the
gardener's death the dean had this motto engraved around the sun-dial in
the garden, "Goa bou tyo urb us in ess, 1838." Thus the gardener's growl
became his epitaph. Another form was, "Be about Your Business," and it
is a suggestive fact that it was on a dial on the General Post-office in
London in 1756. Franklin's interest in and knowledge of postal matters,
his long residence in London, and service under the crown as American
postmaster general, must have familiarized him with this dial, and I am
convinced it furnished to him the notion for the design on the first
bank-note and coins of the new nation.

An interesting bit of history allied to America is given to us in the
finding of a sun-dial which gives to American students of heraldic
antiquities another dated shield of the Washington "stars and stripes."

[Illustration: Sun-dial at "Washington House," Little Brington,
England.]

In Little Brington, Northamptonshire, stands a house known as "The
Washington House," which gave shelter to the Washingtons of Sulgrave
after the fall of their fortunes. Within a stone's throw of the house
has recently been found a sun-dial having the Washington arms (argent)
two bars, and in chief three mullets (gules) carved upon it, with the
date 1617. The existence of this stone has been known for forty years;
but it has never been closely examined and noted till recently. It is a
circular slab of sandstone three inches thick and sixteen inches in
diameter. The gnomon is lacking. The lines, figures, and shield are
incised, and the letters R. W. can be dimly seen. These were probably
the initials of Robert Washington, great uncle of the two emigrants to
Virginia.

[Illustration: Dial-face from Mount Vernon.]

Through the kindness of Mr. A. L. Y. Morley, a faithful antiquary of
Great Barrington, I have the pleasure of giving, on page 367, a
representation of this interesting dial. It is shown leaning against
the "pump-stand" in the yard of the "Washington House"; and the pump
seems as ancient as the dial.

[Illustration: Sun-dial of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, Virginia.]

In this book are three other sun-dials associated with George
Washington. At Mount Vernon there stands at the front of the entrance
door a modern sun-dial. The fine old metal dial-face, about ten inches
in diameter, which in Washington's day was placed on the same site, is
now the property of Mr. William F. Havemeyer, Jr., of New York. It was
given to him by Mr. Custis; a picture of it is shown on page 368. This
dial-face is a splendid relic; one closely associated with Washington's
everyday life, and full of suggestion and sentiment to every thoughtful
beholder. The sun-dial which stood in the old Fredericksburg garden of
Mary Washington, the mother of George Washington, still stands in
Fredericksburg, in the grounds of Mr. Doswell. A photograph of it is
reproduced on page 369. The fourth historic dial is on page 371. It is
the one at Kenmore, the home built by Fielding Lewis for his bride,
Betty Washington, the sister of George Washington, on ground adjoining
her mother's home. A part of the garden which connected these two
Washington homes is shown on page 228. These three American sun-dials
afford an interesting proof of the universal presence of sun-dials in
Virginian homes of wealth, and they also show the kind of dial-face
which was generally used. Another ancient dial (page 350) at Travellers'
Rest, a near-by Virginian country seat, is similar in shape to these
three, and differs but little in mounting.

In Pennsylvania and Virginia sun-dials have lingered in use in front of
court-houses, on churches, and in a few old garden dials. In New England
I scarcely know an old garden dial still standing in its original place
on its original pedestal. Four old ones of brass or pewter are shown in
the illustration on page 379. These once stood in New England gardens or
on the window sills of old houses; one was taken from a sunny window
ledge to give to me.

Perhaps the attention paid the doings of the American Philosophical
Society, and the number of scientists living near Philadelphia, may
account for the many sun-dials set up in the vicinity of the town.
Godfrey, the maker of Godfrey's Quadrant, was one of those scientific
investigators, and must have been a famous "dialler."

[Illustration: Kenmore, the Home of Betty Washington Lewis.]

On page 373 is shown an ancient sun-dial in the garden of Charles F.
Jenkins, Esq., in Germantown, Pennsylvania. This sun-dial originally
belonged to Nathan Spencer, who lived in Germantown prior to and during
the Revolutionary War. Hepzibah Spencer, his daughter, married, and took
the sun-dial to Byberry. Her daughter carried the sun-dial to Gwynedd
when her name was changed to Jenkins; and their grandson, the present
owner, rescued it from the chicken house with the gnomon missing, which
was afterward found. Its inscription, "Time waits for No Man," is an old
punning device on the word gnomon.

At one time dialling was taught by many a country schoolmaster, and
excellent and accurate sun-dials were made and set up by country
workmen, usually masons of slight education. In Scotland the making of
sun-dials has never died out. In America many pewter sun-dials were cast
in moulds of steatite or other material. A few dial-makers still remain;
one in lower New York makes very interesting-looking sun-dials of brass,
which, properly discolored and stained, find a ready sale in uptown
shops. I doubt if these are ever made for any special geographical
point, but there is in a small Pennsylvania town an old Quaker who makes
carefully calculated and accurate sun-dials, computed by logarithms for
special places. I should like to see him "sit like a shepherd carving
out dials, quaintly point by point." I have a very pretty circular brass
dial of his making, about eight inches in diameter. He writes me that
"the dial sent thee is a good students' dial, fit to set outside the
window for a young man to use and study by in college," which would
indicate to me that my Quaker dialler knows another type of collegian
from those of my acquaintance, who would find the time set by a sun-dial
rather slow.

[Illustration: Sun-dial in Garden of Charles F. Jenkins, Esq.,
Germantown, Pennsylvania.]

There have been those who truly loved sun-dials. Sir William Temple
ordered that after his death his heart should be buried under the
sun-dial in his garden--where his heart had been in life. 'Tis not
unusual to see a sun-dial over the gate to a burial ground, and a noble
emblem it is in that place; one at Mount Auburn Cemetery, near Boston,
bears a pleasing motto written originally by John G. Whittier for his
friend, Dr. Henry Ingersoll Bowditch, and inscribed on a beautiful
silver sun-dial now owned by Dr. Vincent Y. Bowditch of Boston,
Massachusetts. A facsimile of this dial was also placed before the Manor
House on the island of Naushon by Mr. John M. Forbes in memory of Dr.
Bowditch. The lines run thus:--

    WITH WARNING HAND I MARK TIME'S RAPID FLIGHT
    FROM LIFE'S GLAD MORNING TO ITS SOLEMN NIGHT.
    YET, THROUGH THE DEAR GOD'S LOVE I ALSO SHOW
    THERE'S LIGHT ABOVE ME, BY THE SHADE BELOW.

A sun-dial is to me, in many places, a far more inspiring memorial than
a monument or tablet. Let me give as an example the fine sun-dial,
designed by W. Gedney Beatty, Esq., and shown on page 359, which was
erected on the grounds of the Memorial Hospital at Morristown, New
Jersey, by the Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, to
mark the spot where Washington partook of the Communion.

What dignified and appropriate church appointments sun-dials are. A
simple and impressive bronze vertical dial on the wall of the Dutch
Reformed Church on West End Avenue, New York, is shown on page 346. The
sun-dial standing before the rectory of Grace Church on Broadway, New
York, is on page 364.

[Illustration: Sun-dial at Ophir Farm, White Plains, New York,
Country-seat of Hon. Whitelaw Reid.]

There is ever much question as to a suitable pedestal for garden
sun-dials: it must not stand so high that the dial-face cannot be looked
down upon by grown persons; it must not be so light as to seem rickety,
nor so heavy as to be clumsy. A very good rule is to err on the side of
simplicity in sun-dials for ordinary gardens. What I regard as a very
satisfactory pedestal and mounting in every particular may be seen in
the illustration facing page 80, showing the sun-dial in the garden of
Charles E. Mather, Esq., at Avonwood Court, Haverford, Pennsylvania.
Sometimes the pillars of old balustrades, old fence posts, and even
parts of old tombs and monuments, have been used as pedestals for
sun-dials. How pleasantly Sylvana in her _Letters to an Unknown Friend_,
tells us and shows to us her cheerful sun-dial mounted on the four
corners of an old tombstone with this fine motto cut into the upper
step, _Lux et umbra vicissim sed semper amor_. I mean to search the
stone-cutters' waste heap this summer and see whether I cannot rob the
grave to mark the hours of my life. Charles Dickens had at Gadshill a
sun-dial set on one of the pillars of the balustrade of Old Rochester
Bridge. From Italy and Greece marble pillars have been sent from ancient
ruins to be set up as dial pedestals.

If possible, the pedestal as well as the dial-face of a handsome
sun-dial should have some significance through association, suggestion,
or history. At Ophir Farm, White Plains, New York, the country-seat of
Hon. Whitelaw Reid, may be seen a sun-dial full of exquisite
significance. It is shown on page 375. The signs of the Zodiac in finely
designed bronze are set on the symmetrical marble pedestal, and seem
wonderfully harmonious and appropriate. This sun-dial is a literal
exemplification of the words of Emerson:--

              "A calendar
    Exact to days, exact to hours,
    Counted on the spacious dial
    Yon broidered Zodiac girds."

The dial-face is upheld by a carefully modelled tortoise in bronze,
which is an equally suggestive emblem, connected with the tradition,
folk-lore, and religious beliefs of both primitive and cultured peoples;
it is specially full of meaning in this place. The whole sun-dial shows
much thought and æsthetic perception in the designer and owner, and
cannot fail to prove gratifying to all observers having either
sensibility or judgment.

Occasionally a very unusual and beautiful sun-dial standard may be seen,
like the one in the Rose garden at Yaddo, Saratoga, New York, a copy of
rarely beautiful Pompeian carvings. A representation of this is shown on
page 86. Copies of simpler antique carvings make excellent sun-dial
pedestals; a safe rule to follow is to have a reproduction made of some
well-proportioned English or Scotch pedestal. The latter are well suited
to small gardens. I have drawings of several Scotch sun-dials and
pedestals which would be charming in American gardens. In the gardens at
Hillside, by the side of the Shakespeare Border is a sun-dial (page 378)
which is an exact reproduction of the one in the garden at Abbotsford,
the home of Sir Walter Scott. This pedestal is suited to its
surroundings, is well proportioned; and has historic interest. It forms
an excellent example of Charles Lamb's "garden-altar."

[Illustration: Sun-dial at Hillside, Menand's, near Albany, New York.]

On a lawn or in any suitable spot the dial-face can be mounted on a
boulder; one is here shown. I prefer a pedestal. For gardens of limited
size, much simplicity of design is more pleasing and more fitting than
any elaborate carving. In an Italian garden, or in any formal garden
whose work in stone or marble is costly and artistic, the sun-dial
pedestal should be the climax in richness of carving of all the garden
furnishing. I like the pedestal set on a little platform, so two or
three steps may be taken up to it from the garden level; but after all,
no rules can be given for the dial's setting. It may be planted with
vines, or stand unornamented; it may be set low, and be looked down
upon, or it may be raised high up on a side wall; but wherever it is, it
must not be for a single minute in shadow; no trees or overhanging
shrubs should be near it; it is a child of the sun, and lives only in
the sun's full rays.

[Illustration: Old Brass and Pewter Dial-faces.]

In the lovely old garden at the home of Frederick J. Kingsbury, Esq., at
Waterbury, Conn., is a sun-dial bearing the motto, "_Horas non numero
nisi serenas_," and the dates 1739-1751,--the dates of the building of
the old and new houses on land that has been in the immediate family
since 1739. Around this dial is a crescent-shaped bed of Zinnias, and
very satisfactory do they prove. This garden has fine Box edgings; one
is shown on page 173, a Box walk, set in 1851 with ancient Box brought
from the garden of Mr. Kingsbury's great-great-grandfather.

The gnomon of a sun-dial is usually a simple plate of metal in the
general shape of a right-angled triangle, cut often in some pierced
design, and occasionally inscribed with a motto, name, or date.
Sometimes the dial-maker placed on the gnomon various Masonic
symbols--the compass, square, and triangle, or the coat of arms of the
dial owner.

One old English dial fitting we have never copied in America. It was the
taste of the days of the Stuart kings, days of constant jesting and
amusement and practical jokes. Concealed water jets were placed which
wet the clothing of the unwary one who lingered to consult the
dial-face.

The significance of the sun-dial, as well as its classicism, was sure to
be felt by artists. In the paintings of Holbein, of Albert Dürer, dials
may be seen, not idly painted, but with symbolic meaning. The mystic
import of a sun-dial is shown in full effect in that perfect picture,
_Beata Beatrix_, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. I have chosen to show here
(facing page 380) the _Beata Beatrix_ owned by Charles L. Hutchinson,
Esq., of Chicago, as being less photographed and known than the one of
the British Gallery, from which it varies slightly and also because it
has the beautiful predella. In this picture, in the words of its
poet-painter:--

    "Love's Hour stands.
            Its eyes invisible
     Watch till the dial's thin brown shade
     Be born--yea, till the journeying line be laid
     Upon the point."

[Illustration: Beata Beatrix.]

Andrew Marvell wrote two centuries ago of the floral sun-dials which
were the height of the gardening mode of his day:--

      "How well the skilful gardener drew
       Of flowers and herbs this dial new.
       When from above the milder sun
       Does through a fragrant zodiac run;
       And as it works the industrious bee
       Computes its time as well as we!
    How could such sweet and wholesome hours
    Be reckoned but with herbs and flowers!"

These were sometimes set of diverse flowers, sometimes of Mallows. Two
of growing Box are described and displayed in the chapter on Box
edgings.

[Illustration: The Faithful Gardener.]

Linnæus made a list of forty-six flowers which constituted what he
termed the Horologe or Watch of Flora, and he gave what he called their
exact hours of rising and setting. He divided them into three classes:
Meteoric, Tropical, and Equinoctial flowers. Among those which he named
are:--

  ===========================================================
                             | OPENING HOUR. | CLOSING HOUR.
  -----------------------------------------------------------
  Dandelion                  |    5-6 A.M.   |    8-9 P.M.
  Mouse-ear Hawkweed         |      8 A.M.   |      2 P.M.
  Sow Thistle                |      5 A.M.   |  11-12 P.M.
  Yellow Goat-beard          |    3-5 A.M.   |   9-10 (?)
  White Water Lily           |      7 A.M.   |      7 P.M.
  Day Lily                   |      5 A.M.   |    7-8 P.M.
  Convolvulus                |    5-6 A.M.   |
  Mallow                     |   9-10 A.M.   |
  Pimpernel                  |    7-8 A.M.   |
  Portulaca                  |   9-10 A.M.   |
  Pink (_Dianthus prolifer_) |      8 A.M.   |      1 P.M.
  Succory                    |    4-5 A.M.   |
  Calendula                  |      7 A.M.   |    3-4 P.M.
  ===========================================================

Of course these hours would vary in this country. And I must say very
frankly that I think we should always be behind time if we trusted to
Flora's Horologe. This floral clock of Linnæus was calculated for
Upsala, Sweden; De Candolle gave another for Paris, and one has been
arranged for our Eastern states.



CHAPTER XVIII

GARDEN FURNISHINGS

     "Furnished with whatever may make the place agreeable, melancholy,
     and country-like."

     --_Forest Trees_, JOHN EVELYN, 1670.


Quaint old books of garden designers show us that much more was
contained in a garden two centuries ago, than now; it had many more
adjuncts, more furnishings; a very full list of them has been given by
Batty Langley in his _New Principles of Gardening_, etc., 1728. Some
seem amusing--as haystacks and woodpiles, which he terms "rural
enrichments." Of water adornments there were to be purling streams,
basins, canals, fountains, cascades, cold baths. There were to be
aviaries, hare warrens, pheasant grounds, partridge grounds, dove-cotes,
beehives, deer paddocks, sheep walks, cow pastures, and "manazeries"
(menageries?); physic gardens, orchards, bowling-greens, hop gardens,
orangeries, melon grounds, vineyards, parterres, fruit yards, nurseries,
sun-dials, obelisks, statues, cabinets, etc., decorated the garden
walks. There were to be land gradings of mounts, winding valleys, dales,
terraces, slopes, borders, open plains, labyrinths, wildernesses,
"serpentine meanders," "rude-coppices," precipices, amphitheatres. His
"serpentine meanders" had large opening spaces at proper distances, in
one of which might be placed a small fruit garden, a "cone of
evergreens," or a "Paradice-Stocks,"--about which latter mysterious
garden adornment I think we must be content to remain in ignorance,
since he certainly has given us ample variety to choose from without it.

Other "landscapists" placed in their gardens old ruins, misshapen rocks,
and even dead trees, in order to look "natural."

In 1608 Henry Ballard brought out _The Gardener's Labyrinth_--a pretty
good book, shut away from the most of us by being printed in black
letter. He says:--

     "The framing of sundry herbs delectable, with waies and allies
     artfully devised is an upright herbar."

Herbars, or arbors, were of two kinds: an upright arbor, which was
merely a covered lean-to attached to a fence or wall; and a winding or
"arch-arbor" standing alone. He names "archherbs," which are simply
climbing vines to set "winding in arch-manner on withie poles." "Walker
and sitters there-under" are thereby comfortably protected from the heat
of the sun. These upright arbors were in high favor; Ballard says they
offered "fragrant savours, delectable sights, and sharpening of the
memory."

[Illustration: A Garden Lyre at Waterford, Virginia.]

Tree arbors were in use in Elizabethan times, platforms built in the
branches of large trees. Parkinson called one that would hold fifty men,
"the goodliest spectacle that ever his eyes beheld." A distinction was
made between arbors and bowers. The arbor might be round or square, and
was domed over the top; while the long arched way was a bower. In our
Southern states that special use of the word bower is still universal,
especially in the term Rose bowers. A quaint and universal furnishing of
old Southern gardens were the trellises known as garden lyres. Two are
shown in this chapter, from Waterford, Virginia; one bearing little
foliage and another embowered in vines, in order to show what a really
good vine support they were. Garden lyres and Rose bowers are rotting on
the ground in old Virginia gardens, and I fear they will never be
replaced.

The word pergola was seldom heard here a century ago, save as used by
the few who had travelled in Italy; but pergolas were to be found in
many an old American garden. An ancient oval pergola still stands at
Arlington, that beautiful spot which was once the home of the Virginia
Lees, and is now the home of the honored dead of our Civil War. This old
pergola has remained unharmed through fierce conflict, and is wreathed
each spring with the verdure of vines of many kinds. It is twenty feet
wide between the pillars, and forms an oval one hundred feet long and
seventy wide, and when in full greenery is a lovely thing. It was
called--indeed it is still termed in the South--a "green gallery," a
word and thing of mediæval days.

[Illustration: A Virginia Lyre with Vines.]

There are many pretty trellises and vine supports and arbors which can
be made of light poles and rails, but I do not like to hear the
pretentious name, pergola, applied to them. A pergola must not be a
mean, light-built affair. It should be of good proportions and
substantial materials. It need not be made with brick or marble pillars;
natural tree trunks of good size serve as well. It should look as if it
had been built with care and stability, and that the vines had been
planted and trained by skilled gardeners. A pergola may have a
dilapidated Present and be endurable; but it should show evidences of a
substantial Past.

Little sisters of the pergola are the _charmilles_, or bosquets, arches
of growing trees, whose interlaced boughs have no supports of wood as
have the pergolas. When these arches are carefully trained and pruned,
and the ground underneath is laid with turf or gravel, they form a
delightful shady walk.

Charming covered ways can be easily made by polling and training Plum or
Willow trees. Arches are far too rare in American gardens. The few we
have are generally old ones. In Mrs. Pierson's garden in Salem the
splendid arch of Buckthorn is a hundred and twenty five years old.
Similar ones are at Indian Hill. Cedar was an old choice for hedges and
arches. It easily winter-kills at the base, and that is ample reason for
its rejection and disuse.

The many garden seats of the old English garden were perhaps its chief
feature in distinction from American garden furnishings to-day. In a
letter written from Kenilworth in 1575 the writer told of garden seats
where he sat in the heat of summer, "feeling the pleasant whisking
wynde." I have walked through many a large modern garden in the summer
heat, and longed in vain for a shaded seat from which to regard for a
few moments the garden treasures and feel the whisking wind, and would
gladly have made use of the temporary presence of a wheelbarrow.

[Illustration: Old Iron Gate at Westover-on-James.]

Seats of marble and stone are in many of our modern formal gardens; a
pretty one is in the garden at Avonwood Court.

Grottoes, arbors, and summer-houses were all of importance in those
days, when in our latitude and climate men had not thought to build
piazzas surrounding the house and shadowing all the ground floor rooms.
We are beginning to think anew of the value of sunlight in the parlors
and dining rooms of our summer homes, which for the past thirty or forty
years have been so darkened by our wide piazzas. Now we have fewer
piazzas and more peristyles, and soon we shall have summer-houses and
garden houses also.

There are preserved in the South, in spite of war and earthquake, a
number of fine examples of old wrought-iron garden gates. King William
of England introduced these artistic gates into England, and they were
the height of garden fashion. Among them were the beautiful gates still
at Hampton Court, and those of Bulwich, Northamptonshire. They were
called _clair-voyees_ on account of the uninterrupted view they
permitted to those without and within the walls. These were often
painted blue; but in America they were more sober of tint, though
portions were gilded. One of the old gates at Westover-on-James is here
shown, and on page 390 the rich wrought-iron work in the courtyard at
the home of Colonel Colt in Bristol, Rhode Island. This is as fine as
the house, and that is a splendid example of the best work of the first
years of the nineteenth century.

Fountains were seen usually in handsome gardens in the South; simple
water jets falling in a handsome basin of marble or stone. Statuary of
marble or lead was never common in old American gardens, though
pretentious gardens had examples. To-day, in our carefully thought-out
gardens, the garden statuary is a thing of beauty and often of meaning,
as the figure shown on page 84. Usually our statues are of marble,
sometimes a Japanese bronze is seen.

[Illustration: Iron-work in Court of Colt Mansion, Bristol, Rhode
Island.]

In the old black letter _Gardener's Labyrinth_, a very full description
is given of old modes of watering a garden. There was a primitive and
very limited system of irrigation, the water being raised by
"well-swipes"; there were very handy puncheons, or tubs on wheels, which
could be trundled down the garden walk. There was also a formidable
"Great Squirt of Tin," which was said to take "mighty strength" to
handle, and which looked like a small cannon; with it was an ingenious
bent tube of tin by which the water could be thrown in "great droppes"
like a fountain. The author says of ordinary means of garden watering:--

     "The common Watring Pot with us hath a narrow Neck, a Big Belly,
     Somewhat large Bottome, and full of little holes with a proper hole
     forced in the head to take in the water; which filled full and the
     Thumbe laid on the hole to keep in the aire may in such wise be
     carried in handsome Manner."

Garden tools have changed but little since Tudor days; spade and rake
were like ours to-day, so were dibble and mattock. Even grafting and
pruning tools, shown in books of husbandry, were surprisingly like our
own. Scythes were much heavier and clumsier. An old fellow is here shown
sharpening in the ancient manner a scythe about three hundred years old.

The art of grafting, known since early days, formed an important part of
the gardener's craft. Large share of ancient garden treatises is devoted
to minute instructions therein. To this day in New England towns a good
grafter is a local autocrat.

[Illustration: Summer-house at Ravensworth.]

Beehives were once found in every garden; bee-skepes they were called
when made of straw. Picturesque and homely were the old straw beehives,
and still are they used in England; the old one shown in the chapter on
sun-dials can scarcely be mated in America. They served as a
conventional emblem of industry. They were made of welts or ropes of
twisted straw, as were the heavy winnowing skepes once used for
winnowing grain. In Maine, in a few out-of-the-way communities, ancient
men still winnow grain with these skepes. I saw a man last autumn, a
giant in stature, standing in a dull light on the crown of a hill
winnowing wheat in one of these great skepes with an indescribably
free and noble gesture. He was a classic, a relic of Homer's age, no
longer a farmer, but a husbandman. Bees and honey were of much value in
ancient days. Honey was the chief ingredient in many wholesome and
pleasing drinks--mead, metheglin, bragget (or braket), morat,
erboule--all very delightful in their ingredients, redolent of meadows
and hedge-rows; thus Cowslip mead was made of Cowslip "pips," honey,
Lemon juice, and "a handful of Sweetbrier." "Athol porridge," demure of
name, was as potent as pleasing--potent as good honey, good cream, and
good whiskey could make it.

[Illustration: Sharpening the Old Dutch Scythe.]

Rows of typical Southern beehives are shown in the two succeeding
illustrations. From their home by the side of a White Rose and under an
old Sweet Apple tree these Waterford bees did not wish to swarm out in a
hurry to find a new home. These beehives are not very ancient in shape,
but when I see a row of them set thus under the trees, or in a
hive-shelter, they seem to tell of olden days. The very bees flying in
and out seem steady-going, respectable old fellows. Such hives have a
cosy look, with rows of Hollyhocks behind them, and hundreds of spires
of Larkspur for these old bees to bury their heads in.

[Illustration: Beehives at Waterford, Virginia.]

The sadly picturesque old superstition of "telling the bees" of a death
in a family and hanging a bit of black cloth on the hives as a
mourning-weed still is observed in some country communities. Whittier's
poem on the subject is wonderfully "countrified" in atmosphere, using
the word chore-girl, so seldom heard even in familiar speech to-day and
never found in verse elsewhere than in this rustic poem. I saw one
summer in Narragansett, on Stony Lane, not far from the old
Six-Principle Church, a row of beehives hung with strips of black cloth;
the house mistress was dead--the friend of bird and beast and bee--who
had reared the guardian of the garden told of on page 396 _et seq._

[Illustration: Beehives under the Trees.]

A pretty and appropriate garden furnishing was the dove-cote. The
possession of a dove-cote in England, and the rearing of pigeons, was
free only to lords of the manor and noblemen. When the colonists came to
America, many of them had never been permitted to keep pigeons. In
Scotland persistent attempts at pigeon-raising by folks of humble
station might be punished with death. The settlers must have revelled in
the freedom of the new land, as well as in the plenty of pigeons, both
wild and domestic. In old England the dove-cote was often built close to
the kitchen door, that squab and pigeon might be near the hand of the
cook. Dove-cotes in America were often simple boxes or houses raised on
stout posts. Occasionally might be seen a fine brick dove-cote like the
one still standing at Shirley-on-the-James, in Virginia, which is shaped
without and within like several famous old dove-cotes in England, among
them the one at Athelhampton Hall, Dorchester, England. The English
dove-cote has within a revolving ladder hung from a central post while
the Virginian squab catcher uses an ordinary ladder. The shelves for the
birds to rest upon and the square recesses for the nests made by the
ingenious placing of the bricks are alike in both cotes.

[Illustration: Spring House at Johnson Homestead, Germantown,
Pennsylvania.]

A beautiful and fitting tenant of old formal gardens was the peacock,
"with his aungelis federys bryghte." On large English estates peacocks
were universally kept. A fine peacock, with full-spread tail, makes many
a gay flower bed pale before his panoply of iridescence and color. The
peahen is a demurely pretty creature. Peacocks are not altogether
grateful to garden owners; on the old Narragansett farm whose garden is
shown on page 35, they were always kept, and it was one of the prides
and pleasures of formal hospitality to offer a roasted peacock to
visitors. But, save when roasted, the vain creatures would not keep
silence, and when they squawked the glory of their plumage was
forgotten. They had an odious habit, too, of wandering off to distant
groves on the farm, usually selecting the nights of bitterest cold, and
roosting in some very high tree, in some very inaccessible spot. They
could not be left in this ill-considered sleeping-place, else they would
all freeze to death; and words fail to tell the labor in lowering
twilight and temperature of discovering their retreat, the dislodging,
capturing, and imprisoning them.

[Illustration: Dove-cote at Shirley-on-James.]

In Narragansett there is a charming old farm garden, which I often visit
to note and admire its old-time blossoms. This garden has a guardian,
who haunts the garden walks as did the terrace peacock of old England;
no watch-dog ever was so faithful, and none half so acute. When I visit
the garden I always ask "Where is Job?" I am answered that he is in the
field with the cattle. Sometimes this is true, but at other times Job
has left the field and is attending to his assumed duties. As he is not
encouraged, he has learned great slyness and dissimulation. Immovable,
and in silence, Job is concealed behind a Syringa hedge or in a Lilac
ambush, and as you stroll peacefully and unwittingly down the paths,
sniffing the honeyed sweetness of the dense edging of Sweet Alyssum, all
is as balmy as the blossoms. But stoop for an instant, to gather some
leaves of Sweet Basil or Sweet Brier, or to collect a dozen seed-pods of
that specially delicate Sweet Pea, and lo! the enemy is upon you,
like a fierce whirlwind. He looks mild and demure enough in his kitchen
yard retreat, whereto, upon piercing outcry for help, the farmer and his
two sons have haled him, and where the camera has caught him. But far
from meek is his aspect when you are dodging him around the great Tree
Peony, or flying frantically before him down the side path to the garden
gate. This fierce wild beast was once that mildest of creatures--a pet
lamb; the constant companion of the farm-wife, as she weeded and watered
her loved garden. Her husband says, "He seems to think folks are
stealing her flowers, if they stop to look." The wife and mother of
these three great men has gone from her garden forever; but a tenderness
for all that she loved makes them not only care for her flowers, but
keeps this rampant guardian of the garden at the kitchen door, just as
she kept him when he was a little lamb. I knew this New England farmer's
wife, a noble woman, of infinite tenderness, strength, and endurance; a
lover of trees and flowers and all living things, and I marvel not that
they keep her memory green.

[Illustration: The Peacock in His Pride.]



CHAPTER XIX

GARDEN BOUNDARIES

    "A garden fair ... with Wandis long and small
     Railèd about, and so with treès set
     Was all the place; and Hawthorne hedges knet,
     That lyf was none walking there forbye
     That might within scarce any wight espy."

    --_Kings Qubair_, KING JAMES I OF SCOTLAND.


One who reads what I have written in these pages of a garden enclosed,
will scarcely doubt that to me every garden must have boundaries,
definite and high. Three old farm boundaries were of necessity garden
boundaries in early days--our stone walls, rail fences, and hedge-rows.
The first two seem typically American; the third is an English hedge
fashion. Throughout New England the great boulders were blasted to clear
the rocky fields; and these, with the smaller loose stones, were
gathered into vast stone walls. We still see these walls around fields
and as the boundaries of kitchen gardens and farm flower gardens, and
delightful walls they are, resourceful of beauty to the inventive
gardener. I know one lovely garden in old Narragansett, on a farm which
is now the country-seat of folk of great wealth, where the old stone
walls are the pride of the place; and the carefully kept garden seems
set in a beautiful frame of soft gray stones and flowering vines. These
walls would be more beautiful still if our climate would let us have the
wall gardens of old England, but everything here becomes too dry in
summer for wall gardens to flourish.

[Illustration: The Guardian of the Garden.]

Rhode Island farmers for two centuries have cleared and sheltered the
scanty soil of their state by blasting the ledges, and gathering the
great stones of ledge and field into splendid stone walls. Their beauty
is a gift to the farmer's descendants in reward for his hours of bitter
and wearying toil. One of these fine stone walls, six feet in height,
has stood secure and unbroken through a century of upheavals of winter
frosts--which it was too broad and firmly built to heed. It stretches
from the Post Road in old Narragansett, through field and meadow, and by
the side of the oak grove, to the very edge of the bay. To the waterside
one afternoon in June there strolled, a few years ago, a beautiful young
girl and a somewhat conscious but determined young man. They seated
themselves on the stone wall under the flickering shadow of a great
Locust tree, then in full bloom. The air was sweet with the honeyed
fragrance of the lovely pendent clusters of bloom, and bird and bee and
butterfly hovered around,--it was paradise. The beauty and fitness of
the scene so stimulated the young man's fancy to thoughts and words of
love that he soon burst forth to his companion in an impassioned avowal
of his desire to make her his wife. He had often pictured to himself
that some time he would say to her these words, and he had seen also in
his hopes the looks of tender affection with which she would reply. What
was his amazement to behold that, instead of blushes and tender glances,
his words of love were met by an apparently frenzied stare of horror and
disgust, that seemed to pierce through him, as his beloved one sprung at
one bound from her seat by his side on the high stone wall, and ran away
at full speed, screaming out, "Oh, kill him! kill him!"

Now that was certainly more than disconcerting to the warmest of lovers,
and with a half-formed dread that the suddenness of his proposal of love
had turned her brain, he ran after her, albeit somewhat coolly, and soon
learned the reason for her extraordinary behavior. Emulous of the
tempting serpent of old, a great black snake, Mr. _Bascanion
constrictor_, had said complaisantly to himself: "Now here are a fair
young Adam and Eve who have entered uninvited my Garden of Eden, and the
man fancies it is not good for him to be alone, but I will have a word
to say about that. I will come to her with honied words." So he thrust
himself up between the stones of the wall, and advanced persuasively
upon them, behind the man's back. But a Yankee Eve of the year 1890 A.D.
is not that simple creature, the Eve of the year ---- B.C.; and even the
Father of Evil would have to be great of guile to succeed in his wiles
with her.

A farm servant was promptly despatched to watch for the ill-mannered and
intrusive snake who--as is the fashion of a snake--had grown to be as
big as a boa-constrictor after he vanished; and at the end of the week
once more the heel of man had bruised the serpent's head, and the third
party in this love episode lay dead in his six feet of ugliness, a
silent witness to the truth of the story.

Throughout Narragansett, Locust trees have a fashion of fringing the
stone walls with close young growth, and shading them with occasional
taller trees.

[Illustration: Terrace Wall at Van Cortlandt Manor.]

These form an ideal garden boundary. The stone walls also gather a
beautiful growth of Clematis, Brier, wild Peas, and Grapes; but they
form a clinging-place for that devil's brood, Poison Ivy, which is so
persistent in growth and so difficult to exterminate.

The old worm fence was distinctly American; it had a zigzag series of
chestnut rails, with stakes of twisted cedar saplings which were
sometimes "chunked" by moss-covered boulders just peeping from the
earth. This worm fence secured to the nature lover and to wild life a
strip of land eight or ten feet wide, whereon plant, bird, beast,
reptile, and insect flourished and reproduced. It has been, within a few
years, a gardening fashion to preserve these old "Virginia" fences on
country places of considerable elegance. Planted with Clematis,
Honeysuckle, Trumpet vine, Wistaria, and the free-growing new Japanese
Roses, they are wonderfully effective.

[Illustration: Rail Fence Corner.]

On Long Island, east of Riverhead, where there are few stones to form
stone walls, are curious and picturesque hedge-rows, which are a most
interesting and characteristic feature of the landscape, and they are
beautiful also, as I have seen them once or twice, at the end of an old
garden. These hedge-rows were thus formed: when a field was cleared, a
row of young saplings of varied growth, chiefly Oak, Elder, and Ash, was
left to form the hedge. These young trees were cut and bent over
parallel to the ground, and sometimes interlaced together with dry
branches and vines. Each year these trees were lopped, and new sprouts
and branches permitted to grow only in the line of the hedge. Soon a
tangle of briers and wild vines overgrew and netted them all into a
close, impenetrable, luxuriant mass. They were, to use Wordsworth's
phrase, "scarcely hedge-rows, but lines of sportive woods run wild." In
this close green wall birds build their nests, and in their shelter
burrow wild hares, and there open Violets and other firstlings of the
spring. The twisted tree trunks in these old hedges are sometimes three
or four feet in diameter one way, and but a foot or more the other; they
were a shiftless field-border, as they took up so much land, but they
were sheep-proof. The custom of making a dividing line by a row of bent
and polled trees still remains, even where the close, tangled hedge-row
has disappeared with the flocks of sheep.

[Illustration: Topiary Work at Levens Hall.]

These hedge-rows were an English fashion seen in Hertfordshire and
Suffolk. On commons and reclaimed land they took the place of the
quickset hedges seen around richer farm lands. The bending and
interlacing was called plashing; the polling, shrouding. English farmers
and gardeners paid infinite attention to their hedges, both as a
protection to their fields and as a means of firewood.

There is something very pleasant in the thought that these English
gentlemen who settled eastern Long Island, the Gardiners, Sylvesters,
Coxes, and others, retained on their farm lands in the new world the
customs of their English homes, pleasanter still to know that their
descendants for centuries kept up these homely farm fashions. The old
hedge-rows on Long Island are an historical record, a landmark--long may
they linger. On some of the finest estates on the island they have been
carefully preserved, to form the lower boundary of a garden, where,
laid out with a shaded, grassy walk dividing it from the flower beds,
they form the loveliest of garden limits. Planted skilfully with great
Art to look like great Nature, with edging of Elder and Wild Rose, with
native vines and an occasional congenial garden ally, they are truly
unique.

[Illustration: Oval Pergola at Arlington.]

Yew was used for the most famous English hedges; and as neither Yew nor
Holly thrive here--though both will grow--I fancy that is why we have
ever had in comparison so few hedges, and have really no very ancient
ones, though in old letters and account books we read of the planting of
hedges on fine estates. George Washington tried it, so did Adams, and
Jefferson, and Quincy. Osage Orange, Barberry, and Privet were in
nurserymen's lists, but it has not been till within twenty or thirty
years that Privet has become so popular. In Southern gardens, Cypress
made close, good garden hedges; and Cedar hedges fifty or sixty years
old are seen. Lilac hedges were unsatisfactory, save in isolated cases,
as the one at Indian Hill. The Japan Quinces, and other of the Japanese
shrubs, were tried in hedges in the mid-century, with doubtful success
as hedges, though they form lovely rows of flowering shrubs. Snowballs
and Snowberries, Flowering Currant, Altheas, and Locust, all have been
used for hedge-planting, so we certainly have tried faithfully enough to
have hedges in America. Locust hedges are most graceful, they cannot be
clipped closely. I saw one lovely creation of Locust, set with an
occasional Rose Acacia--and the Locust thus supported the brittle
Acacia. If it were successful, it would be, when in bloom, a dream of
beauty. Hemlock hedges are ever fine, as are hemlock trees everywhere,
but will not bear too close clipping. Other evergreens, among them the
varied Spruces, have been set in hedges, but have not proved
satisfactory enough to be much used.

[Illustration: French Homestead with old Stone Terrace, Kingston, Rhode
Island.]

Buckthorn was a century ago much used for hedges and arches. When Josiah
Quincy, President of Harvard College, was in Congress in 1809, he
obtained from an English gardener, in Georgetown, Buckthorn plants for
hedges in his Massachusetts home, which hedges were an object of great
beauty for many years.

The traveller Kalm found Privet hedges in Pennsylvania in 1760. In
Scotland Privet is called Primprint. Primet and Primprivet were other
old names. Box was called Primpe. These were all derivative of prim,
meaning precise. Our Privet hedges, new as they are, are of great beauty
and satisfaction, and soon will rival the English Yew hedges.

I have never yet seen the garden in which there was not some boundary or
line which could be filled to advantage by a hedge. In garden great or
garden small, the hedge should ever have a place. Often a featureless
garden, blooming well, yet somehow unattractive, has been completely
transformed by the planting of hedges. They seem, too, to give such an
orderly aspect to the garden. In level countries hedges are specially
valuable. I cannot understand why some denounce clipped hedges and trees
as against nature. A clipped hedge is just as natural as the cut grass
of a lawn, and is closely akin to it. Others think hedges "too set"; to
me their finality is their charm.

Hedges need to be well kept to be pleasing. Chaucer in his day in
praising a "hegge" said that:--

    "Every branche and leaf must grow by mesure
     Pleine as a bord, of an height by and by."

In England, hedge-clipping has ever been a gardening art.

[Illustration: Italian Garden at Wellesley, Massachusetts.]

In the old English garden the topiarist was an important functionary.
Besides his clipping shears he had to have what old-time cooks called
_judgment_ or _faculty_. In English gardens many specimens of topiary
work still exist, maintained usually as relics of the past rather than
as a modern notion of the beautiful. The old gardens at Levens Hall,
page 404, contain some of the most remarkable examples.

In a few old gardens in America, especially in Southern towns, traces of
the topiary work of early years can be seen; these overgrown, uncertain
shapes have a curious influence, and the sentiment awakened is
beautifully described by Gabriele d' Annunzio:--

     "We walked among evergreens, among ancient Box trees, Laurels,
     Myrtles, whose wild old age had forgotten its early discipline. In
     a few places here and there was some trace of the symmetrical
     shapes carved once upon a time by the gardener's shears, and with a
     melancholy not unlike his who searches on old tombstones for the
     effigies of the forgotten dead, I noted carefully among the silent
     plants those traces of humanity not altogether obliterated."

The height of topiary art in America is reached in the lovely garden,
often called the Italian garden, of Hollis H. Hunnewell, Esq., at
Wellesley, Massachusetts. Vernon Lee tells in her charming essay on
"Italian Gardens" of the beauty of gardens without flowers, and this
garden of Mr. Hunnewell is an admirable example. Though the effect of
the black and white of the pictured representations shown on these pages
is perhaps somewhat sombre, there is nothing sad or sombre in the garden
itself. The clear gleam of marble pavilions and balustrades, the formal
rows of flower jars with their hundreds of Century plants, and the
lovely light on the lovely lake, serve as a delightful contrast to the
clear, clean lusty green of the clipped trees. This garden is a
beautiful example of the art of the topiarist, not in its grotesque
forms, but in the shapes liked by Lord Bacon, pyramids, columns, and
"hedges in welts," carefully studied to be both stately and graceful. I
first saw this garden thirty years ago; it was interesting then in its
well thought-out plan, and in the perfection of every inch of its slow
growth; but how much more beautiful now, when the garden's promise is
fulfilled.

[Illustration: Steps in Italian Garden at Wellesley, Massachusetts.]

The editor of _Country Life_ says that the most notable attempt at
modern topiary work in England is at Ascott, the seat of Mr. Leopold de
Rothschild, but the examples there have not attained a growth at all
approaching those at Wellesley. Mr. Hunnewell writes thus of his
garden:--

     "It was after a visit to Elvaston nearly fifty years ago that I
     conceived the idea of making a collection of trees for topiary work
     in imitation of what I had witnessed at that celebrated estate. As
     suitable trees for that purpose could not be obtained at the
     nurseries in this country, and as the English Yew is not reliable
     in our New England climate, I was obliged to make the best
     selection possible from such trees as had proved hardy here--the
     Pines, Spruces, Hemlocks, Junipers, Arbor-vitæ, Cedars, and
     Japanese Retinosporas. The trees were all very small, and for the
     first twenty years their growth was shortened twice annually,
     causing them to take a close and compact habit, comparing favorably
     in that respect with the Yew. Many of them are now more than forty
     feet in height and sixty feet in circumference, the Hemlocks
     especially proving highly successful."

This beautiful example of art in nature is ever open to visitors, and
the number of such visitors is very large. It is, however, but one of
the many beauties of the great estate, with its fine garden of Roses,
its pavilion of splendid Rhododendrons and Azaleas, its uncommon and
very successful rock garden, and its magnificent plantation of rare
trees. There are also many rows of fine hedges and arches in various
portions of the grounds, hedges of clipped Cedar and Hemlock, many of
them twenty feet high, which compare well in condition, symmetry, and
extent with the finest English hedges on the finest English estates.

[Illustration: Topiary Work in California.]

Through the great number of formal gardens laid out within a few years
in America, the topiary art has had a certain revival. In California,
with the lavish foliage, it may be seen in considerable perfection,
though of scant beauty, as here shown.

[Illustration: Serpentine Brick Wall at University of Virginia,
Charlottesville.]

Happy is the garden surrounded by a brick wall or with terrace wall of
brick. How well every color looks by the side of old brick; even
scarlet, bright pink, and rose-pink flowers, which seem impossible, do
very well when held to the wall by clear green leaves. Flowering vines
are perfect when trained on old soft-red brick enclosing walls;
white-flowered vines are specially lovely thereon, Clematis, white
Roses, and the rarely beautiful white Wistaria. How lovely is my
Virgin's-bower when growing on brick; how Hollyhocks stand up beside it.
Brick posts, too, are good in a fence, and, better still, in a pergola.
A portion of the fine terrace wall at Van Cortlandt Manor is shown
facing page 286. This wall was put in about fifty years ago; ere that
there had been a grass bank, which is ever a trial in a garden; for it
is hard to mow the grass on such a bank, and it never looks neat; it
should be planted with some vine.

A very curious garden wall is the serpentine brick wall still standing
at the University of Virginia, at Charlottesville. It is about seven
feet high, and closes in the garden and green of the row of houses
occupied by members of the faculty; originally it may have extended
around the entire college grounds. I present a view from the street in
order to show its contour distinctly; within the garden its outlines are
obscured by vines and flowers. The first thought in the mind of the
observer is that its reason for curving is that it could be built much
more lightly, and hence more cheaply, than a straight wall; then it
seems a possible idealization in brick of the old Virginia rail fence.
But I do not look to domestic patterns and influences for its
production; it is to me a good example of the old-time domination of
French ideas which was so marked and so disquieting in America. In
France, after the peace of 1762, the Marquis de Geradin was
revolutionizing gardening. His own garden at Ermenonville and his
description of it exercised important influence in England and America,
as in France. Jefferson was the planner and architect of the University
of Virginia; and it is stated that he built this serpentine wall.
Whether he did or not, it is another example of French influences in
architecture in the United States. This French school, above everything
else, replaced straight lines with carefully curving and winding lines.



CHAPTER XX

A MOONLIGHT GARDEN

        "How sweetly smells the Honeysuckle
    In the hush'd night, as if the world were one
    Of utter peace and love and gentleness."

    --WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR


Gardens fanciful of name, a Saint's Garden, a Friendship Garden, have
been planted and cherished. I plant a garden like none other; not an
everyday garden, nor indeed a garden of any day, but a garden for "brave
moonshine," a garden of twilight opening and midnight bloom, a garden of
nocturnal blossoms, a garden of white blossoms, and the sweetest garden
in the world. It is a garden of my dreams, but I know where it lies, and
it now is smiling back at this very harvest moon.

The old house of Hon. Ben. Perley Poore--Indian Hill--at Newburyport,
Massachusetts, has been for many years one of the loveliest of New
England's homes. During his lifetime it had extraordinary charms, for on
the noble hillside, where grew scattered in sunny fields and pastures
every variety of native tree that would winter New England's snow and
ice, there were vast herds of snow-white cows, and flocks of white
sheep, and the splendid oxen were white. White pigeons circled in the
air around ample dove-cotes, and the farmyard poultry were all white; an
enthusiastic chronicler recounts also white peacocks on the wall, but
these are also denied.

On every side were old terraced walls covered with Roses and flowering
vines, banked with shrubs, and standing in beds of old-time flowers
running over with bloom; but behind the house, stretching up the lovely
hillside, was The Garden, and when we entered it, lo! it was a White
Garden with edgings of pure and seemly white Candytuft from the forcing
beds, and flowers of Spring Snowflake and Star of Bethlehem and
Jonquils; and there were white-flowered shrubs of spring, the earliest
Spiræas and Deutzias; the doubled-flowered Cherries and Almonds and old
favorites, such as Peter's Wreath, all white and wonderfully expressive
of a simplicity, a purity, a closeness to nature.

I saw this lovely farmstead and radiant White Garden first in glowing
sunlight, but far rarer must have been its charm in moonlight; though
the white beasts (as English hinds call cattle) were sleeping in careful
shelter; and the white dog, assured of their safety, was silent; and the
white fowl were in coop and cote; and

    "Only the white sheep were sometimes seen
     To cross the strips of moon-blanch'd green."

But the White Garden, ah! then the garden truly lived; it was like
lightest snow wreaths bathed in silvery moonshine, with every radiant
flower adoring the moon with wide-open eyes, and pouring forth incense
at her altar. And it was peopled with shadowy forms shaped of pearly
mists and dews; and white night moths bore messages for them from flower
to flower--this garden then was the garden of my dreams.

Thoreau complained to himself that he had not put duskiness enough into
his words in his description of his evening walks. He longed to have the
peculiar and classic severity of his sentences, the color of his style,
tell his readers that his scene was laid at night without saying so in
exact words. I, too, have not written as I wished, by moonlight; I can
tell of moonlight in the garden, but I desire more; I want you to see
and feel this moonlight garden, as did Emily Dickinson her garden by
moonlight:--

    "And still within the summer's night
     A something so transporting bright
     I clap my hands to see."

But perhaps I can no more gather it into words than I can bottle up the
moonlight itself.

This lovely garden, varied in shape, and extending in many and diverse
directions and corners, bears as its crown a magnificent double flower
border over seven hundred feet long; with a broad straight path trimly
edged with Box adown through its centre, and with a flower border twelve
feet wide on either side. This was laid out and planted in 1833 by the
parents of Major Poore, after extended travel in England, and doubtless
under the influences of the beautiful English flower gardens they had
seen. Its length was originally broken halfway up the hill and crowned
at the top of the hill by some formal parterres of careful design, but
these now are removed. There are graceful arches across the path, one of
Honeysuckle on the crown of the hill, from which you look out perhaps
into Paradise--for Indian Hill in June is a very close neighbor to
Paradise; it is difficult to define the boundaries between the two, and
to me it would be hard to choose between them.

Standing in this arch on this fair hill, you can look down the long
flower borders of color and perfume to the old house, lying in the heart
of the trees and vines and flowers. To your left is the hill-sweep,
bearing the splendid grove, an arboretum of great native trees, planted
by Major Poore, and for which he received the prize awarded by his
native state to the finest plantation of trees within its bounds. Turn
from the house and garden, and look through this frame of vines formed
by the arch upon this scene,--the loveliest to me of any on earth,--a
fair New England summer landscape. Fields of rich corn and grain, broken
at times with the gray granite boulders which show what centuries of
grand and sturdy toil were given to make these fertile fields; ample
orchards full of promise of fruit; placid lakes and mill-dams and narrow
silvery rivers, with low-lying red brick mills embowered in trees; dark
forests of sombre Pine and Cedar and Oak; narrow lanes and broad
highways shaded with the livelier green of Elm and Maple and Birch;
gray farm-houses with vast barns; little towns of thrifty white houses
clustered around slender church-spires which, set thickly over this
sunny land, point everywhere to heaven, and tell, as if speaking, the
story of New England's past, of her foundation on love of God, just as
the fields and orchards and highways speak of thrift and honesty and
hard labor; and the houses, such as this of Indian Hill, of kindly
neighborliness and substantial comfort; and as this old garden speaks of
a love of the beautiful, a refinement, an æsthetic and tender side of
New England character which _we_ know, but into which--as Mr. Underwood
says in _Quabbin_, that fine study of New England life--"strangers and
Kiplings cannot enter."

Seven hundred feet of double flower border, fourteen hundred feet of
flower bed, twelve feet wide! "It do swallow no end of plants," says the
gardener.

[Illustration: Chestnut Path in Garden at Indian Hill.]

In spite of the banishing dictum of many artists in regard to white
flowers in a garden, the presence of ample variety of white flowers is
to me the greatest factor in producing harmony and beauty both by night
and day. White seems to be as important a foil in some cases as green.
It may sometimes be given to the garden in other ways than through
flower blossoms, by white marble statues, vases, pedestals, seats.

We all like the approval of our own thoughts by men of genius; with my
love of white flowers I had infinite gratification in these words of
Walter Savage Landor's, written from Florence in regard to a friend's
garden:--

     "I like white flowers better than any others; they resemble fair
     women. Lily, Tuberose, Orange, and the truly English Syringa are my
     heart's delight. I do not mean to say that they supplant the Rose
     and Violet in my affections, for these are our first loves, before
     we grew _too fond of considering_; and too fond of displaying our
     acquaintance with others of sounding titles."

In Japan, where flowers have rank, white flowers are the aristocrats. I
deem them the aristocrats in the gardens of the Occident also.

Having been informed of Tennyson's dislike of white flowers, I have
amused myself by trying to discover in his poems evidence of such
aversion. I think one possibly might note an indifference to white
blossoms; but strong color sense, his love of ample and rich color,
would naturally make him name white infrequently. A pretty line in
_Walking to the Mail_ tells of a girl with "a skin as clean and white as
Privet when it flowers"; and there were White Lilies and Roses and
milk-white Acacias in Maud's garden.

In _The Last Tournament_ the street-ways are depicted as hung with white
samite, and "children sat in white," and the dames and damsels were all
"white-robed in honor of the stainless child." A "swarthy one" cried out
at last:--

    "The snowdrop only, flowering thro' the year,
     Would make the world as blank as wintertide.
     Come!--let us gladden their sad eyes
     With all the kindlier colors of the field.
     So dame and damsel glitter'd at the feast
     Variously gay....
     So dame and damsel cast the simple white,
     And glowing in all colors, the live grass,
     Rose-campion, King-cup, Bluebell, Poppy, glanced
     About the revels."

[Illustration: Foxgloves in Lower Garden at Indian Hill.]

In the garden borders is a commonplace little plant, gray of foliage,
with small, drooping, closed flowers of an indifferently dull tint, you
would almost wonder at its presence among its gay garden fellows. Let us
glance at it in the twilight, for it seems like the twilight, a soft,
shaded gray; but the flowers have already lifted their heads and opened
their petals, and they now seem like the twilight clouds of palest pink
and lilac. It is the Night-scented Stock, and lavishly through the still
night it pours forth its ineffable fragrance. A single plant, thirty
feet from an open window, will waft its perfume into the room. This
white Stock was a favorite flower of Marie Antoinette, under its French
name the Julienne. "Night Violets," is its appropriate German name.
Hesperis! the name shows its habit. Dame's Rocket is our title for this
cheerful old favorite of May, which shines in such snowy beauty at
night, and throws forth such a compelling fragrance. It is rarely found
in our gardens, but I have seen it growing wild by the roadside in
secluded spots; not in ample sheets of growth like Bouncing Bet, which
we at first glance thought it was; it is a shyer stray, blossoming
earlier than comely Betsey.

The old-fashioned single, or slightly double, country Pink, known as
Snow Pink or Star Pink, was often used as an edging for small borders,
and its bluish green, almost gray, foliage was quaint in effect and
beautiful in the moonlight. When seen at night, the reason for the
folk-name is evident. Last summer, on a heavily clouded night in June,
in a cottage garden at West Hampton, borders of this Snow Pink shone out
of the darkness with a phosphorescent light, like hoar-frost, on every
grassy leaf; while the hundreds of pale pink blossoms seemed softly
shining stars. It was a curious effect, almost wintry, even in
midsummer. The scent was wafted down the garden path, and along the
country road, like a concentrated essence, rather than a fleeting breath
of flowers. One of these cottage borders is shown on page 292, and I
have named it from these lines from _The Garden that I Love_:--

    "A running ribbon of perfumed snow
     Which the sun is melting rapidly."

At sundown the beautiful white Day Lily opens and gives forth all night
an overwhelming sweetness; I have never seen night moths visiting it,
though I know they must, since a few seed capsules always form. In the
border stand--

                "Clumps of sunny Phlox
    That shine at dusk, and grow more deeply sweet."

These, with white Petunias, are almost unbearably cloying in their heavy
odor. It is a curious fact that some of these night-scented flowers are
positively offensive in the daytime; try your _Nicotiana affinis_ next
midday--it outpours honeyed sweetness at night, but you will be glad it
withholds its perfume by day. The plants of Nicotiana were first
introduced to England for their beauty, sweet scent, and medicinal
qualities, not to furnish smoke. Parkinson in 1629 writes of Tobacco,
"With us it is cherished for medicinal qualities as for the beauty of
its flowers," and Gerarde, in 1633, after telling of the beauty, etc.,
says that the dried leaves are "taken in a pipe, set on fire, the smoke
suckt into the stomach, and thrust forth at the noshtrils."

Snake-root, sometimes called Black Cohosh (_Cimicifuga racemosa_), is
one of the most stately wild flowers, and a noble addition to the
garden. A picture of a single plant gives little impression of its
dignity of habit, its wonderfully decorative growth; but the succession
of pure white spires, standing up several feet high at the edge of a
swampy field, or in a garden, partake of that compelling charm which
comes from tall trees of slender growth, from repetition and
association, such as pine trees, rows of bayonets, the gathered masts of
a harbor, from stalks of corn in a field, from rows of Foxglove--from
all "serried ranks." I must not conceal the fact of its horrible odor,
which might exile it from a small garden.

[Illustration: Dame's Rocket.]

Among my beloved white flowers, a favorite among those who are all
favorites, is the white Columbine. Some are double, but the common
single white Columbines picture far better the derivation of their
name; they are like white doves, they seem almost an emblematic flower.
William Morris says:--

     "Be very shy of double flowers; choose the old Columbine where the
     clustering doves are unmistakable and distinct, not the double one,
     where they run into mere tatters. Don't be swindled out of that
     wonder of beauty, a single Snowdrop; there is no gain and plenty of
     loss in the double one."

There are some extremists, such as Dr. Forbes Watson, who condemn all
double flowers. One thing in the favor of double blooms is that their
perfume is increased with their petals. Double Violets, Roses, and Pinks
seem as natural now as single flowers of their kinds. I confess a
distinct aversion to the thought of a double Lilac. I have never seen
one, though the Ranoncule, said to be very fine, costs but forty cents a
plant, and hence must be much grown.

[Illustration: Snake-root.]

There is a curious influence of flower-color which I can only explain by
giving an example. We think of Iris, Gladiolus, Lupine, and even
Foxglove and Poppy as flowers of a warm and vivid color; so where we see
them a pure white, they have a distinct and compelling effect on us,
pleasing, but a little eerie; not a surprise, for we have always known
the white varieties, yet not exactly what we are wonted to. This has
nothing of the grotesque, as is produced by the albino element in the
animal world; it is simply a trifle mysterious. White Pansies and White
Violets possess this quality to a marked degree. I always look and look
again at growing White Violets. A friend says: "Do you think they will
speak to you?" for I turn to them with such an expectancy of something.

The "everlasting" white Pea is a most satisfactory plant by day or
night. Hedges covered with it are a pure delight. Do not fear to plant
it with liberal hand. Be very liberal, too, in your garden of white
Foxgloves. Even if the garden be small, there is room for many graceful
spires of the lovely bells to shine out everywhere, piercing up through
green foliage and colored blooms of other plants. They are not only
beautiful, but they are flowers of sentiment and association, endeared
to childhood, visited of bees, among the best beloved of old-time
favorites. They consort well with nearly every other flower, and
certainly with every other color, and they seem to clarify many a
crudely or dingily tinted flower; they are as admirable foils as they
are principals in the garden scheme. In England, where they readily grow
wild, they are often planted at the edge of a wood, or to form vistas in
a copse. I doubt whether they would thrive here thus planted, but they
are admirable when set in occasional groups to show in pure whiteness
against a hedge. I say in occasional groups, for the Foxglove should
never be planted in exact rows. The White Iris, the Iris of the
Florentine Orris-root, is one of the noblest plants of the whole world;
its pure petals are truly hyaline like snow-ice, like translucent white
glass; and the indescribably beautiful drooping lines of the flowers are
such a contrast with the defiant erectness of the fresh green leaves.
Small wonder that it was a sacred flower of the Greeks. It was called
by the French _la flambe blanche_, a beautiful poetic title--the White
Torch of the Garden.

A flower of mystery, of wonderment to children, was the Evening
Primrose; I knew the garden variety only with intimacy. Possibly the
wild flower had similar charms and was equally weird in the gloaming,
but it grew by country roadsides, and I was never outside our garden
limits after nightfall, so I know not its evening habits. We had in our
garden a variety known as the California Evening Primrose--a giant
flower as tall as our heads. My mother saw its pale yellow stars shining
in the early evening in a cottage garden on Cape Ann, and was there
given, out of the darkness, by a fellow flower lover, the seeds which
have afforded to us every year since so much sentiment and pleasure. The
most exquisite description of the Evening Primrose is given by Margaret
Deland in her _Old Garden_:--

    "There the primrose stands, that as the night
     Begins to gather, and the dews to fall,
     Flings wide to circling moths her twisted buds,
     That shine like yellow moons with pale cold glow,
     And all the air her heavy fragrance floods,
     And gives largess to any winds that blow.
     Here in warm darkness of a night in June, ... children came
     To watch the primrose blow. Silently they stood
     Hand clasped in hand, in breathless hush around,
     And saw her slyly doff her soft green hood
     And blossom--with a silken burst of sound."

[Illustration: The Title-page of Parkinson's _Paradisi in Solis_,
etc.]

The wild Primrose opens slowly, hesitatingly, it trembles open, but the
garden Primrose flares open.

The Evening Primrose is usually classed with sweet-scented flowers, but
that exact observer, E. V. B., tells of its "repulsive smell. At night
if the stem be shaken, or if the flower-cup trembles at the touch of a
moth as it alights, out pours the dreadful odor." I do not know that any
other garden flower opens with a distinct sound. Owen Meredith's poem,
_The Aloe_, tells that the Aloe opened with such a loud explosive report
that the rooks shrieked and folks ran out of the house to learn whence
came the sound.

The tall columns of the Yucca or Adam's Needle stood like shafts of
marble against the hedge trees of the Indian Hill garden. Their
beautiful blooms are a miniature of those of the great Century Plant. In
the daytime the Yucca's blossoms hang in scentless, greenish white
bells, but at night these bells lift up their heads and expand with
great stars of light and odor--a glorious plant. Around their spire of
luminous bells circle pale night moths, lured by the rich fragrance.
Even by moonlight we can see the little white detached fibres at the
edge of the leaves, which we are told the Mexican women used as thread
to sew with. And we children used to pull off the strong fibres and put
them in a needle and sew with them too.

When I see those Yuccas in bloom I fully believe that they are the
grandest flowers of our gardens; but happily, I have a short garden
memory, so I mourn not the Yucca when I see the _Anemone japonica_ or
any other noble white garden child.

[Illustration: Yucca, like White Marble against the Evergreens.]

Here at the end of the garden walk is an arbor dark with the shadow of
great leaves, such as Gerarde calls "leaves round and big like to a
buckler." But out of that shadowed background of leaf on leaf shine
hundreds of pure, pale stars of sweetness and light,--a true flower of
the night in fragrance, beauty, and name,--the Moon-vine. It is a flower
of sentiment, full of suggestion.

Did you ever see a ghost in a garden? I do so wish I could. If I had the
placing of ghosts, I would not make them mope round in stuffy old
bedrooms and garrets; but would place one here in this arbor in my
Moonlight Garden. But if I did, I have no doubt she would take up a hoe
or a watering-pot, and proceed to do some very unghostlike
deed--perhaps, grub up weeds. Longfellow had a ghost in his garden (page
142). He must have mourned when he found it was only a clothes-line and
a long night-gown.

It was the favorite tale of a Swedish old lady who lived to be
ninety-six years old, of a discovery of her youth, in the year 1762, of
strange flashes of light which sparkled out of the flowers of the
Nasturtium one sultry night. I suppose the average young woman of the
average education of the day and her country might not have heeded or
told of this, but she was the daughter of Linnæus, the great botanist,
and had not the everyday education.

Then great Goethe saw and wrote of similar flashes of light around
Oriental Poppies; and soon other folk saw them also--naturalists and
everyday folk. Usually yellow flowers were found to display this
light--Marigolds, orange Lilies, and Sunflowers. Then the daughter of
Linnæus reported another curious discovery; she certainly turned her
nocturnal rambles in her garden to good account. She averred she had
set fire to a certain gas which formed and hung around the Fraxinella,
and that the ignition did not injure the plant. This assertion was met
with open scoffing and disbelief, which has never wholly ceased; yet the
popular name of Gas Plant indicates a widespread confidence in this
quality of the Fraxinella and it is easily proved true.

Another New England name for the Fraxinella, given me from the owner of
the herb-garden at Elmhurst, is "Spitfire Plant," because the seed-pods
sizzle so when a lighted match is applied to them.

The Fraxinella is a sturdy, hardy flower. There are some aged plants in
old New England gardens; I know one which has outlived the man who
planted it, his son, grandson, and great-grandson. The Fraxinella bears
a tall stem with Larkspur-like flowers of white or a curious dark pink,
and shining Ash-like leaves, whence its name, the little Ash. It is one
of the finest plants of the old-fashioned garden; fine in bloom, fine in
habit of growth, and it even has decorative seed vessels. It is as ready
of scent as anything in the garden; if you but brush against leaf, stem,
flower, or seed, as you walk down the garden path, it gives forth a
penetrating perfume, that you think at first is like Lemon, then like
Anise, then like Lavender; until you finally decide it is like nothing
save Fraxinella. As with the blossoms of the Calycanthus shrub, you can
never mistake the perfume, when once you know it, for anything else. It
is a scent of distinction. Through this individuality it is, therefore,
full of associations, and correspondingly beloved.

[Illustration: Fraxinella.]



CHAPTER XXI

FLOWERS OF MYSTERY

    "Let thy upsoaring vision range at large
     This garden through: for so by ray divine
     Kindled, thy ken a magic flight shall mount."

    --CARY'S Translation of Dante.


Bogies and fairies, a sense of eeriness, came to every garden-bred child
of any imagination in connection with certain flowers. These flowers
seemed to be regarded thus through no special rule or reason. With some
there may have been slight associations with fairy lore, or medicinal
usage, or a hint of meretriciousness. Sometimes the child hardly
formulated his thought of the flower, yet the dread or dislike or
curiosity existed. My own notions were absolutely baseless, and usually
absurd. I doubt if we communicated these fancies to each other save in a
few cases, as of the Monk's-hood, when we had been warned that the
flower was poisonous.

I have read with much interest Dr. Forbes Watson's account of plants
that filled his childish mind with mysterious awe and wonder; among them
were the Spurge, Henbane, Rue, Dogtooth Violet, Nigella, and pink Marsh
Mallow. The latter has ever been to me one of the most cheerful of
blossoms. I did not know it in my earliest childhood, and never saw it
in gardens till recent years. It is too close a cousin of the Hollyhock
ever to seem to me aught but a happy flower. Henbane and Rue I did not
know, but I share his feeling toward the others, though I could not
carry it to the extent of fancying these the plants which a young man
gathered, distilled, and gave to his betrothed as a poison.

There has ever been much uncanny suggestion in the Cypress Spurge. I
never should have picked it had I found it in trim gardens; but I saw it
only in forlorn and neglected spots. Perhaps its sombre tinge may come
now from association, since it is often seen in country graveyards; and
I heard a country woman once call it "Graveyard Ground Pine." But this
association was not what influenced my childhood, for I never went then
to graveyards.

In driving along our New England roads I am ever reminded of Parkinson's
dictum that "Spurge once planted will hardly be got rid out again." For
by every decaying old house, in every deserted garden, and by the
roadside where houses may have been, grows and spreads this Cypress
Spurge. I know a large orchard in Narragansett from which grass has
wholly vanished; it has been crowded out by the ugly little plant, which
has even invaded the adjoining woods.

I wonder why every one in colonial days planted it, for it is said to
be poisonous in its contact to some folks, and virulently poisonous to
eat--though I am sure no one ever wanted to eat it. The colonists even
brought it over from England, when we had here such lovely native
plants. It seldom flowers. Old New England names for it are
Love-in-a-huddle and Seven Sisters; not over significant, but of
interest, as folk-names always are.

I join with Dr. Forbes Watson in finding the Nigella uncanny. It has a
half-spidery look, that seems ungracious in a flower. Its names are
curious: Love-in-a-mist, Love-in-a-puzzle, Love-in-a-tangle,
Puzzle-love, Devil-in-a-bush, Katherine-flowers--another of the many
allusions to St. Katherine and her wheel; and the persistent styles do
resemble the spokes of a wheel. A name given it in a cottage garden in
Wayland was Blue Spider-flower, which seems more suited than that of
Spiderwort for the Tradescantia. Spiderwort, like all "three-cornered"
flowers, is a flower of mystery; and so little cared for to-day that it
is almost extinct in our gardens, save where it persists in
out-of-the-way spots. A splendid clump of it is here shown, which grows
still in the Worcester garden I so loved in my childhood. In this plant
the old imagined tracings of spider's legs in the leaves can scarce be
seen. With the fanciful notion of "like curing like" ever found in old
medical recipes, Gerarde says, vaguely, the leaves are good for "the
Bite of that Great Spider," a creature also of mystery.

Perhaps if the clear blue flowers kept open throughout the day, the
Spiderwort would be more tolerated, for this picture certainly has a
Japanesque appearance, and what we must acknowledge was far more
characteristic of old-time flowers than of many new ones, a wonderful
individuality; there was no sameness of outline. I could draw the
outline of a dozen blossoms of our modern gardens, and you could not in
a careless glance distinguish one from the other: Cosmos, _Anemone
japonica_, single Dahlias, and Sunflowers, Gaillardia, Gazanias, all
such simple Rose forms.

[Illustration: Love-in-a-mist.]

There was a quaint and mysterious annual in ancient gardens, called
Shell flower, or Molucca Balm, which is not found now even on seedsmen's
special lists of old-fashioned plants. The flower was white,
pink-tipped, and set in a cup-shaped calyx an inch long, which was
bigger than the flower itself. The plant stood two or three feet high,
and the sweet-scented flowers were in whorls of five or six on a stem.
It is a good example of my assertion that the old flowers had queerer
shapes than modern ones, and were made of queer materials; the calyx of
this Shell flower is of such singular quality and fibre.

The Dog-tooth Violet always had to me a sickly look, but its leaves give
it its special offensiveness; all spotted leaves, or flower petals which
showed the slightest resemblance to the markings of a snake or lizard,
always filled me with dislike. Among them I included Lungwort
(Pulmonaria), a flower which seems suddenly to have disappeared from
many gardens, even old-fashioned ones, just as it has disappeared from
medicine. Not a gardener could be found in our public parks in New York
who had ever seen it, or knew it, though there is in Prospect Park a
well-filled and noteworthy "Old-fashioned Garden." Let me add, in
passing, that nothing in the entire park system--greenhouses, water
gardens, Italian gardens--affords such delight to the public as this
old-fashioned garden.

The changing blue and pink flowers of the Lungwort, somewhat
characteristic of its family, are curious also. This plant was also
known by the singular name of Joseph-and-Mary; the pink flowers being
the emblem of Joseph; the blue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Lady's-tears
was an allied name, from a legend that the Virgin Mary's tears fell on
the leaves, causing the white spots to grow in them, and that one of
her blue eyes became red from excessive weeping. It was held to be
unlucky even to destroy the plant. Soldier-and-his-wife also had
reference to the red and blue tints of the flower.

A cousin of the Lungwort, our native _Mertensia virginica_, has in the
young plant an equally singular leafage; every ordinary process of leaf
progress is reversed: the young shoots are not a tender green, but are
almost black, and change gradually in leaf, stem, and flower calyx to an
odd light green in which the dark color lingers in veins and spots until
the plant is in its full flower of tender blue, lilac, and pink. "Blue
and pink ladies" we used to call the blossoms when we hung them on pins
for a fairy dance.

The Alstroemeria is another spotted flower of the old borders, curious
in its funnel-shaped blooms, edged and lined with tiny brown and green
spots. It is more grotesque than beautiful, but was beloved in a day
that deemed the Tiger Lily the most beautiful of all lilies.

[Illustration: Spiderwort.]

The aversion I feel for spotted leaves does not extend to striped ones,
though I care little for variegated or striped foliage in a garden. I
like the striped white and green leaves of one variety of our garden
Iris, and of our common Sweet Flag (Calamus), which are decorative to a
most satisfactory degree. The firm ribbon leaves of the striped Sweet
Flag never turn brown in the driest summer, and grow very tall; a tub of
it kept well watered is a thing of surprising beauty, and the plants are
very handsome in the rock garden. I wonder what the bees seek in the
leaves! they throng its green and white blades in May, finding
something, I am sure, besides the delightful scent; though I do not note
that they pierce the veins of the plant for the sap, as I have known
them to do along the large veins of certain palm leaves. I have seen
bees often act as though they were sniffing a flower with appreciation,
not gathering honey. The only endeared striped leaf was that of the
Striped Grass--Gardener's Garters we called it. Clumps of it growing at
Van Cortlandt Manor are here shown. We children used to run to the great
plants of Striped Grass at the end of the garden as to a toy ribbon
shop. The long blades of Grass looked like some antique gauze ribbons.
They were very modish for dolls' wear, very useful to shape
pin-a-sights, those very useful things, and very pretty to tie up
posies. Under favorable circumstances this garden child might become a
garden pest, a spreading weed. I never saw a more curious garden stray
than an entire dooryard and farm garden--certainly two acres in extent,
covered with Striped Grass, save where a few persistent Tiger Lilies
pierced through the striped leaves. Even among the deserted hearthstones
and tumble-down chimneys the striped leaves ran up among the roofless
walls.

Let me state here that the suggestion of mystery in a flower did not
always make me dislike it; sometimes it added a charm. The
Periwinkle--Ground Myrtle we used to call it--was one of the most
mysterious and elusive flowers I knew, and other children thus regarded
it; but I had a deep affection for its lovely blue stars and clean,
glossy leaves, a special love, since it was the first flower I saw
blooming out of doors after a severe illness, and it seemed to welcome
me back to life.

[Illustration: Gardener's Garters, at Van Cortlandt Manor.]

The name is from the French Pervenche, which suffers sadly by being
changed into the clumsy Periwinkle. Everywhere it is a flower of
mystery; it is the "Violette des Sorciers" of the French. Sadder is its
Tuscan name, "Flower of death," for it is used there as garlands at the
burial of children; and is often planted on graves, just as it is here.
A far happier folk-name was Joy-of-the-ground, and to my mind better
suited to the cheerful, healthy little plant.

An ancient medical manuscript gives this description of the Periwinkle,
which for directness and lucidity can scarcely be excelled:--

    "Parwyke is an erbe grene of colour,
     In tyme of May he bereth blue flour.
     Ye lef is thicke, schinede and styf,
     As is ye grene jwy lefe.
     Vnder brod and uerhand round,
     Men call it ye joy of grownde."

On the list of the Boston seedsman (given on page 33 _et seq._) is
Venus'-navelwort. I lingered this summer by an ancient front yard in
Marblehead, and in the shade of the low-lying gray-shingled house I saw
a refined plant with which I was wholly unacquainted, lying like a
little dun cloud on the border, a pleasing plant with cinereous foliage,
in color like the silvery gray of the house, shaded with a bluer tint
and bearing a dainty milk-white bloom. This modest flower had that power
of catching the attention in spite of the high and striking colors of
its neighbors, such as a simple gown of gray and white, if of graceful
cut and shape, will have among gay-colored silk attire--the charm of
Quaker garb, even though its shape be ugly. You know how ready is the
owner of such a garden to talk of her favorites, and soon I was told
that this plant was "Navy-work." I accepted this name in this old
maritime town as possibly a local folk-name, yet I was puzzled by a
haunting memory of having heard some similar title. A later search in a
botany revealed the original, Venus'-navelwort.

I deem it right to state in this connection that any such corruption of
the old name of a flower is very unusual in Massachusetts, where the
English tongue is spoken by all of Massachusetts descent in much purity
of pronunciation.

There is no doubt that all the flowers of the old garden were far more
suggestive, more full of meaning, than those given to us by modern
florists. This does not come wholly from association, as many fancy, but
from an inherent quality of the flower itself. I never saw Honeywort
(Cerinthe) till five years ago, and then it was not in an old-fashioned
garden; but the moment I beheld the graceful, drooping flowers in the
flower bed, the yellow and purple-toothed corolla caught my eye, as it
caught my fancy; it seemed to mean something. I was not surprised to
learn that it was an ancient favorite of colonial days. The leaves of
Honeywort are often lightly spotted, which may be one of its elements of
mystery. Honeywort is seldom seen even in our oldest gardens; but it is
a beautiful flower and a most hardy annual, and deserves to be
reintroduced.

[Illustration: Garden Walk at The Manse, Deerfield, Massachusetts.]

A great favorite in the old garden was the splendid scarlet Lychnis, to
which in New England is given the name of London Pride. There are two
old varieties: one has four petals with squared ends, and is called,
from the shape of the expanded flower, the Maltese Cross; the other,
called Scarlet Lightning, is shown on a succeeding page; it has five
deeply-nicked petals. It is a flower of midsummer eve and magic power,
and I think it must have some connection with the Crusaders, being
called by Gerarde Floure of Jerusalem, and Flower of Candy. The
five-petalled form is rarely seen; in one old family I know it is so
cherished, and deemed so magic a home-maker, that every bride who has
gone from that home for over a hundred years has borne away a plant of
that London Pride; it has really become a Family Pride.

Another plant of mysterious suggestion was the common Plantain. This was
not an unaided instinct of my childhood, but came to me through an
explanation of the lines in the chapter, "The White Man's Foot," in
_Hiawatha_:--

    "Whereso'er they tread, beneath them
     Springs a flower unknown among us;
     Springs the White Man's Foot in blossom."

After my father showed me the Plantain as the "White Man's Foot," I ever
regarded it with a sense of its unusual power; and I used often to
wonder, when I found it growing in the grass, who had stepped there. I
have permanently associated with the Plantain or Waybred a curious and
distasteful trick of my memory. We recall our American humorist's
lament over the haunting lines from the car-conductor's orders, which
filled his brain and ears from the moment he read them, wholly by
chance, and which he tried vainly to forget. A similar obsession filled
me when I read the spirited apostrophe to the Plantain or Waybred, in
Cockayne's translation of Ælfric's _Lacunga_, a book of leech-craft of
the eleventh century:--

    "And thou Waybroad,
     Mother of worts,
     Over thee carts creaked,
     Over thee Queens rode,
     Over thee brides bridalled,
     Over thee bulls breathed,
     All these thou withstoodst,
     Venom and vile things,
     And all the loathly things,
     That through the land rove."

I could not thrust them out of my mind; worse still, I kept
manufacturing for the poem scores of lines of similar metre. I never
shall forget the Plantain, it won't let me forget it.

[Illustration: London Pride.]

The Orpine was a flower linked with tradition and mystery in England,
there were scores of fanciful notions connected with it. It has grown to
be a spreading weed in some parts of New England, but it has lost both
its mystery and its flowers. The only bed of flowering Orpine I ever saw
in America was in the millyard of Miller Rose at Kettle Hole--and a
really lovely expanse of bloom it was, broken only by old worn
millstones which formed the doorsteps. He told with pride that his
grandmother planted it, and "it was the flowering variety that no one
else had in Rhode Island, not even in greenhouses in Newport." Miller
Rose ground corn meal and flour with ancient millstones, and infinitely
better were his grindings than "store meal." He could tell you, with
prolonged detail, of the new-fangled roller he bought and used one week,
and not a decent Johnny-cake could be made from the meal, and it shamed
him. So he threw away all the meal he hadn't sold; and then the new
machinery was pulled out and the millstones replaced, "to await the
Lord's coming," he added, being a Second Adventist--or by his own title
a "Christadelphian and an Old Bachelor." He was a famous preacher,
having a pulpit built of heavy stones, in the woods near his mill. A
little trying it was to hear the outpourings of his long sermons on
summer afternoons, while you waited for him to come down from his pulpit
and his prophesyings to give you your bag of meal. A tithing of time he
gave each day to the Lord, two hours and a half of preaching--and
doubtless far more than a tithe of his income to the poor. In
sentimental association with his name, he had a few straggling Roses
around his millyard--all old-time varieties; and, with Orpine and
Sweetbrier, he could gather a very pretty posy for all who came to
Kettle Hole.

We constantly read of Fritillaries in the river fields sung of Matthew
Arnold. In a charming book of English country life, _Idlehurst_, I read
how closely the flower is still associated with Oxford life, recalling
ever the Iffley and Kensington meadows to all Oxford men. The author
tells that "quite unlikely sorts of men used to pick bunches of the
flowers, and we would come up the towpath with our spoils." Fritillaries
grew in my mother's garden; I cannot now recall another garden in
America where I have ever seen them in bloom. They certainly are not
common. On a succeeding page are shown the blossoms of the white
Fritillary my mother planted and loved. Can you not believe that we love
them still? They have spread but little, neither have they dwindled nor
died. Each year they seem to us the very same blossoms she loved.

Our cyclopædias of gardening tell us that the Fritillaries spread
freely; but E. V. B. writes of them in her exquisite English: "Slow in
growth as the Fritillaries are, they are ever sure. When they once take
root, there they stay forever, with a constancy unknown in our human
world. They may be trusted, however late their coming. In the fresh
vigor of its youth was there ever seen any other flower planned so
exquisitely, fashioned so slenderly! The pink symmetry of Kalmia perhaps
comes nearest this perfection, with the delicately curved and rounded
angles of its bloom."

In no garden, no matter how modern, could the Fritillaries ever look to
me aught but antique and classic. They are as essentially of the past,
even to the careless eye, as an antique lamp or brazier. Quaint, too, is
the fabric of their coats, like some old silken stuff of paduasoy or
sarsenet. All are checkered, as their name indicates. Even the white
flowers bear little birthmarks of checkered lines. They were among the
famous dancers in my mother's garden, and I can tell you that a country
dance of Fritillaries in plaided kirtles and green caps is a lively
sight. Another name for this queer little flower is Guinea-hen Flower.
Gerarde, with his felicity of description, says:--

     "One square is of a greenish-yellow colour, the other purple,
     keeping the same order as well on the back side of the flower as on
     the inside; although they are blackish in one square, and of a
     violet colour in another: in so much that every leafe (of the
     flower) seemeth to be the feather of a Ginnie hen, whereof it took
     its name."

A strong personal trait of the Fritillaries (for I may so speak of
flowers I love) is their air of mystery. They mean something I cannot
fathom; they look it, but cannot tell it. Fritillaries were a flower of
significance even in Elizabethan days. They were made into little
buttonhole posies, and, as Parkinson says, "worn abroad by curious
lovers of these delights." In California grow wild a dozen varieties;
the best known of these is recurved, but it does not droop, and is to
all outward glance an Anemone, and has lost in that new world much the
mystery of the old herbalist's "Checker Lily," save the checkers; these
always are visible.

[Illustration: White Fritillaria.]

The Cyclamen and Dodecatheon lay their ears back like a vicious horse.
Both have an eerie aspect, as if turned upside down, as has also the
Nightshade. I knew a little child, a flower lover from babyhood, who
feared to touch the Cyclamen, and even cried if any attempt was made to
have her touch the flower. When older, she said that she had feared the
flower would sting her.

I have often a sense of mysterious meaning in a vine, it seems so
plainly to reach out to attract your attention. I recall once being
seated on the doorstep of a deserted farm-house, musing a little over
the sad thought of this lost home, when suddenly some one tapped me on
the cheek--I suppose I ought to say some thing, though it seemed a human
touch. It was a spray of Matrimony vine, twenty feet long or more, that
had reached around a corner, and helped by a breeze, had appealed to me
for sympathy and companionship. I answered by following it around the
corner. It had been trained up to a little shelf-like ledge or roof,
over what had been a pantry window, and hung in long lines of heavy
shade. It said to me: "Here once lived a flower-loving woman and a man
who cared for her comfort and pleasure. She planted me when she, and the
man, and the house were young, and he made the window shelter, and
trained me over it, to make cool and green the window where she worked.
I was the symbol of their happy married love. See! there they lie, under
the gray stone beneath those cedars. Their children all are far away,
but every year I grow fresh and green, though I find it lonely here
now." To me, the Matrimony vine is ever a plant of interest, and it may
be very beautiful, if cared for. On page 186 is shown the lovely growth
on the porch at Van Cortlandt Manor.

With a sentiment of wonder and inquiry, not unmixed with mystery, do we
regard many flowers, which are described in our botanies as Garden
Escapes. This Matrimony vine is one of the many creeping, climbing
things that have wandered away from houses. Honeysuckles and
Trumpet-vines are far travellers. I saw once in a remote and wild spot
a great boulder surrounded with bushes and all were covered with the old
Coral or Trumpet Honeysuckle; it had such a familiar air, and yet seemed
to have gained a certain knowingness by its travels.

This element of mystery does not extend to the flowers which I am told
once were in trim gardens, but which I have never seen there, such as
Ox-eye Daisies, Scotch Thistles, Chamomile, Tansy, Bergamot, Yarrow, and
all of the Mint family; they are to me truly wild. But when I find
flowers still cherished in our gardens, growing also in some wild spot,
I regard them with wonder. A great expanse of Coreopsis, a field of
Grape Hyacinth or Star of Bethlehem, roadsides of Coronilla or
Moneywort, rows of red Day Lily and Tiger Lily, patches of Sunflowers or
Jerusalem Artichokes, all are matters of thought; we long to trace their
wanderings, to have them tell whence and how they came. Bouncing Bet is
too cheerful and rollicking a wanderer to awaken sentiment. How gladly
has she been welcomed to our fields and roadsides. I could not willingly
spare her in our country drives, even to become again a cherished garden
dweller. She rivals the Succory in beautifying arid dust heaps and
barren railroad cuts, with her tender opalescent pink tints. How
wholesome and hearty her growth, how pleasant her fragrance. We can
never see her too often, nor ever stigmatize her, as have been so many
of our garden escapes, as "Now a dreaded weed."

[Illustration: Bouncing Bet.]

One of the weirdest of all flowers to me is the Butter-and-eggs, the
Toad-flax, which was once a garden child, but has run away from gardens
to wander in every field in the land. I haven't the slightest reason for
this regard of Butter-and-eggs, and I believe it is peculiar to myself,
just as is Dr. Forbes Watson's regard of the Marshmallow to him. I have
no uncanny or sad associations with it, and I never heard anything
"queer" about it. Thirty years ago, in a locality I knew well in central
Massachusetts, Butter-and-eggs was far from common; I even remember the
first time I saw it and was told its quaint name; now it grows there and
everywhere; it is a persistent weed. John Burroughs calls it "the
hateful Toad-flax," and old Manasseh Cutler, in a curious mixture of
compliment and slur, "a common, handsome, tedious weed." It travels
above ground and below ground, and in some soils will run out the grass.
It knows how to allure the bumblebee, however, and has honey in its
heart. I think it a lovely flower, though it is queer; and it is a
delight to the scientific botanist, in the delicate perfection of its
methods and means of fertilization.

The greatest beauty of this flower is in late autumn, when it springs up
densely in shaven fields. I have seen, during the last week in October,
fields entirely filled with its exquisite sulphur-yellow tint, one of
the most delicate colors in nature; a yellow that is luminous at night,
and is rivalled only by the pale yellow translucent leaves of the
Moosewood in late autumn, which make such a strange pallid light in old
forests in the North--a light which dominates over every other autumn
tint, though the trees which bear them are so spindling and low, and
little noted save in early spring in their rare pinkness, and in this
their autumn etherealization. And the Moosewood shares the mystery of
the Butter-and-eggs as well as its color. I should be afraid to drive or
walk alone in a wood road, when the Moosewood leaves were turning yellow
in autumn. I shall never forget them in Dublin, New Hampshire, driving
through what our delightful Yankee charioteer and guide called "only a
cat-road."

This was to me a new use of the word cat as a prænomen, though I knew,
as did Dr. Holmes and Hosea Biglow, and every good New Englander, that
"cat-sticks" were poor spindling sticks, either growing or in a load of
cut wood. I heard a country parson say as he regarded ruefully a gift of
a sled load of firewood, "The deacon's load is all cat-sticks." Of
course a cat-stick was also the stick used in the game of ball called
tip-cat. Myself when young did much practise another loved ball game,
"one old cat," a local favorite, perhaps a local name. "Cat-ice," too,
is a good old New England word and thing; it is the thin layer of
brittle ice formed over puddles, from under which the water has
afterward receded. If there lives a New Englander too old or too hurried
to rejoice in stepping upon and crackling the first "cat-ice" on a late
autumn morning, then he is a man; for no New England girl, a century
old, could be thus indifferent. It is akin to rustling through the
deep-lying autumn leaves, which affords a pleasure so absurdly
disproportioned and inexplicable that it is almost mysterious. Some of
us gouty ones, alas! have had to give up the "cat-slides" which were
also such a delight; the little stretches of glare ice to which we ran a
few steps and slid rapidly over with the impetus. But I must not let my
New England folk-words lure me away from my subject, even on a tempting
"cat-slide."

[Illustration: Overgrown Garden at Llanerck, Pennsylvania.]

Though garden flowers run everywhere that they will, they are not easily
forced to become wild flowers. We hear much of the pleasure of sowing
garden seeds along the roadside, and children are urged to make
beautiful wild gardens to be the delight of passers-by. Alphonse Karr
wrote most charmingly of such sowings, and he pictured the delight and
surprise of country folk in the future when they found the choice
blooms, and the confusion of learned botanists in years to come. The
delight and surprise and confusion would have been if any of his seeds
sprouted and lived! A few years ago a kindly member of our United States
Congress sent to me from the vast seed stores of our national
Agricultural Department, thousands of packages of seeds of common garden
flowers to be given to the poor children in public kindergartens and
primary schools in our great city. The seeds were given to hundreds of
eager flower lovers, but starch boxes and old tubs and flower pots
formed the limited gardens of those Irish and Italian children, and the
Government had sent to me such "hats full, sacks full, bushel-bags
full," that I was left with an embarrassment of riches. I sent them to
Narragansett and amused myself thereafter by sowing several pecks of
garden seeds along the country roadsides; never, to my knowledge, did
one seed live and produce a plant. I watched eagerly for certain
plantings of Poppies, Candytuft, Morning-glories, and even the
indomitable Portulaca; not one appeared. I don't know why I should think
I could improve on nature; for I drove through that road yesterday and
it was radiant with Wild Rose bloom, white Elder, and Meadow Beauty; a
combination that Thoreau thought and that I think could not be excelled
in a cultivated garden. Above all, these are the right things in the
right place, which my garden plants would not have been. I am sure
that if they had lived and crowded out these exquisite wild flowers I
should have been sorry enough.

[Illustration: Fountain at Yaddo.]

The hardy Colchicum or Autumnal Crocus is seldom seen in our gardens;
nor do I care for its increase, even when planted in the grass. It bears
to me none of the delight which accompanies the spring Crocus, but seems
to be out of keeping with the autumnal season. Rising bare of leaves, it
has but a seminatural aspect, as if it had been stuck rootless in the
ground like the leafless, stemless blooms of a child's posy bed. Its
English name--Naked Boys--seems suited to it. The Colchicum is
associated in my mind with the Indian Pipe and similar growths; it is
curious, but it isn't pleasing. As the Indian Pipe could not be lured
within garden walls, I will not write of it here, save to say that no
one could ever see it growing in its shadowy home in the woods without
yielding to its air of mystery. It is the weirdest flower that grows, so
palpably ghastly that we feel almost a cheerful satisfaction in the
perfection of its performance and our own responsive thrill, just as we
do in a good ghost story.

[Illustration: Avenue of White Pines at Wellesley, Mass., the
Country-seat of Hollis H. Hunnewell, Esq.]

Many wild flowers which we have transplanted to our gardens are full of
magic and charm. In some, such as Thyme and Elder, these elements come
from English tradition. In other flowers the quality of mystery is
inherent. In childhood I absolutely abhorred Bloodroot; it seemed to me
a fearsome thing when first I picked it. I remember well my dismay, it
was so pure, so sleek, so innocent of face, yet bleeding at a touch,
like a murdered man in the Blood Ordeal.

The Trillium, Wake-robin, is a wonderful flower. I have seen it growing
in a luxuriance almost beyond belief in lonely Canadian forests on the
Laurentian Mountains. At this mining settlement, so remote that it was
unvisited even by the omnipresent and faithful Canadian priest, was a
wealth of plant growth which seemed fairly tropical. The starry flowers
of the Trillium hung on long peduncles, and the two-inch diameter of the
ordinary blossom was doubled. The Painted Trillium bore rich flowers of
pink and wine color, and stood four or five feet from the ground. I
think no one had ever gathered their blooms, for there were no women in
this mining camp save a few French-Indian servants and one Irish cook,
and no educated white woman had ever been within fifty, perhaps a
hundred, miles of the place. Every variety of bloom seemed of
exaggerated growth, but the Trillium exceeded all. An element of mystery
surrounds this plant, a quality which appertains to all "three-cornered"
flowers; perhaps there may be some significance in the three-sided
form. I felt this influence in the extreme when in the presence of this
Canadian Trillium, so much so that I was depressed by it when wandering
alone even in the edge of the forest; and when by light o' the moon I
peered in on this forest garden, it was like the vision of a troop of
trembling white ghosts, stimulating to the fancy. It was but a part of
the whole influence of that place, which was full of eerie mystery. For
after the countless eons of time during which "the earth was without
form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the earth," the waters
at last were gathered together and dry land appeared. And that dry land
which came up slowly out of the face of the waters was this Laurentian
range. And when at God's command "on the third day" the earth brought
forth grass, and herb yielded seed--lo, among the things which were good
and beautiful there shone forth upon the earth the first starry flowers
of the white Trillium.



CHAPTER XXII

ROSES OF YESTERDAY

    "Each morn a thousand Roses brings, you say;
     Yes, but where leaves the Rose of Yesterday?"

    --_Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam_, translated by EDWARD FITZGERALD, 1858.


The answer can be given the Persian poet that the Rose of Yesterday
leaves again in the heart. The subtle fragrance of a Rose can readily
conjure in our minds a dream of summers past, and happy summers to come.
Many a flower lover since Chaucer has felt as did the poet:--

    "The savour of the Roses swote
     Me smote right to the herte rote."

The old-time Roses possess most fully this hidden power. Sweetest of all
was the old Cabbage Rose--called by some the Provence Rose--for its
perfume "to be chronicled and chronicled, and cut and chronicled, and
all-to-be-praised." Its odor is perfection; it is the standard by which
I compare all other fragrances. It is not too strong nor too cloying, as
are some Rose scents; it is the idealization of that distinctive
sweetness of the Rose family which other Roses have to some degree. The
color of the Cabbage Rose is very warm and pleasing, a clear, happy
pink, and the flower has a wholesome, open look; but it is not a
beautiful Rose by florists' standards,--few of the old Roses are,--and
it is rather awkward in growth. The Cabbage Rose is said to have been a
favorite in ancient Rome. I wish it had a prettier name; it is certainly
worthy one.

The Hundred-leaved Rose was akin to the Cabbage Rose, and shared its
delicious fragrance. In its rather irregular shape it resembled the
present Duke of Sussex Rose.

One of the rarest of old-time Roses in our gardens to-day is the red and
white mottled York and Lancaster. It is as old as the sixteenth century.
Shakespeare writes in the _Sonnets_:--

    "The Roses fearfully in thorns did stand
     One blushing shame, another white despair.
     A third, nor red, nor white, had stol'n of both."

They are what Chaucer loved, "sweitie roses red, brode, and open also."
Roses of a broad, flat expanse when in full bloom; they have a cheerier,
heartier, more gracious look than many of the new Roses that never open
far from bud, that seem so pinched and narrow. What ineffable fragrance
do they pour out from every wide-open flower, a fragrance that is the
very spirit of the Oriental Attar of Roses; all the sensuous sweetness
of the attar is gone, and only that which is purest and best remains. I
believe, in thinking of it, that it equals the perfume of the Cabbage
Rose, which, ere now, I have always placed first. This York and
Lancaster Rose is the _Rosa mundi_,--the rose of the world. A fine plant
is growing in Hawthorne's old home in Salem.

[Illustration: Violets in Silver Double Coaster.]

Opposite page 462 is an unusual depiction of the century-old York and
Lancaster Rose still growing and flourishing in the old garden at Van
Cortlandt Manor. It is from one of the few photographs which I have ever
seen which make you forgive their lack of color. The vigor, the grace,
the richness of this wonderful Rose certainly are fully shown, though
but in black and white. I have called this Rose bush a century old; it
is doubtless much older, but it does not seem old; it is gifted with
everlasting youth. We know how the Persians gather before a single plant
in flower; they spread their rugs, and pray before it; and sit and
meditate before it; sip sherbet, play the lute and guitar in the
moonlight; bring their friends and stand as in a vision, then talk in
praises of it, and then all serenade it with an ode from Hafiz and
depart. So would I gather my friends around this lovely old Rose, and
share its beauty just as my friends at the manor-house share it with me;
and as the Persians, we would praise it in sunlight and by moonlight,
and sing its beauty in verses. This York and Lancaster Rose was known to
Parkinson in his day; it is his _Rosa versicolor_. I wonder why so few
modern gardens contain this treasure. I know it does not rise to all the
standards of the modern Rose growers; but it possesses something
better--it has a living spirit; it speaks of history, romance,
sentiment; it awakens inspiration and thought, it has an ever living
interest, a significance. I wonder whether a hundred years from now any
one will stand before some Crimson Rambler, which will then be ancient,
and feel as I do before this York and Lancaster goddess.

[Illustration: York and Lancaster Rose.]

The fragrance of the sweetest Roses--the Damask, the Cabbage, the York
and Lancaster--is beyond any other flower-scent, it is irresistible,
enthralling; you cannot leave it. You can push aside a Syringa, a
Honeysuckle, even a Mignonette, but there is a magic something which
binds you irrevocably to the Rose. I have never doubted that the Rose
has some compelling quality shared not by other flowers. I know not
whether it comes from centuries of establishment as a race-symbol, or
from some inherent witchery of the plant, but it certainly exists.

The variety of Roses known to old American gardens, as to English
gardens, was few. The English Eglantine was quickly established here in
gardens and spread to roadsides. The small, ragged, cheerful little
Cinnamon Rose, now chiefly seen as a garden stray, is undoubtedly old.
This Rose diffuses its faint "sinamon smelle" when the petals are dried.
Nearly all of the Roses vaguely thought to be one or two hundred years
old date only, within our ken, to the earlier years of the nineteenth
century. The Seven Sisters Rose, imagined by the owner of many a
Southern garden to belong to colonial days, is one of the family _Rosa
multiflora_, introduced from Japan to England by Thunberg. Its catalogue
name is Greville. I think the Seven Sisters dates back to 1822. The
clusters of little double blooms of the Seven Sisters are not among our
beautiful Roses, but are planted by the house mistress of every Southern
home from power of association, because they were loved by her
grandmothers, if not by more distant forbears. The crimson Boursaults
are no older. They came from the Swiss Alps and therefore are hardy, but
they are fussy things, needing much pruning and pulling out. I recall
that they had much longer prickles than the other roses in our garden.
The beloved little Banksia Rose came from China in 1807. The Madame
Plantier is a hybrid China Rose of much popularity. We have had it about
seventy or eighty years. In the lovely garden of Mrs. Mabel Osgood
Wright, author of _Flowers and Trees in their Haunts_, I saw, this
spring, a giant Madame Plantier which had over five thousand buds, and
which could scarcely be equalled in beauty by any modern Roses. Its
photograph gives scant idea of its size.

What gratitude we have in spring to the Sweetbrier! How early in the
year, from sprouting branch and curling leaf, it begins to give forth
its pure odor! Gracious and lavish plant, beloved in scent by every one,
you have no rival in the spring garden with its pale perfumes. The
Sweetbrier and Shakespeare's Musk Rose (_Rosa moschata_) are said to be
the only Roses that at evening pour forth their perfume; the others are
what Bacon called "fast of their odor."

The June Rose, called by many the Hedgehog Rose, was, I think, the first
Rose of summer. A sturdy plant, about three feet in height; set thick
with briers, it well deserved its folk name. The flowers opened into a
saucer of richest carmine, as fragrant as an American Beauty, and the
little circles of crimson resembling the _Rosa rugosa_ were seen in
every front dooryard.

[Illustration: Cinnamon Roses.]

In the Walpole garden from whence came to us our beloved Ambrosia, was
an ample Box-edged flower bed which my mother and the great-aunt called
The Rosery. One cousin, now living, recalls with distinctness its charms
in 1830; for it was beautiful, though the vast riches of the Rose-world
of China and Japan had not reached it. There grew in it, he remembers,
Yellow Scotch Roses, Sweetbrier (or Eglantine), Cinnamon Roses, White
Scotch Roses, Damask Roses, Blush Roses, Dog Roses (the Canker-bloom of
Shakespeare), Black Roses, Burgundy Roses, and Moss Roses. The
last-named sensitive creatures, so difficult to rear with satisfaction
in such a climate, found in this Rosery by the river-side some exact
fitness of soil or surroundings, or perhaps of fostering care, which in
spite of the dampness and the constant tendency of all Moss Roses to
mildew, made them blossom in unrivalled perfection. I remember their
successors, deplored as much inferior to the Roses of 1830, and they
were the finest Moss Roses I ever saw blooming in a garden. An amusing
saying of some of the village passers-by (with smaller gardens and
education) showed the universal acknowledgment of the perfection of
these Roses. These people thought the name was Morse Roses and always
thus termed them, fancying they were named for the family for whom the
flowers bloomed in such beauty and number.

Among the other Roses named by my cousin I recall the White Scotch Rose,
sometimes called also the Burnet-leaved Rose. It was very fragrant, and
was often chosen for a Sunday posy. There were both single and double
varieties.

The Blush Rose (_Rosa alba_), known also as Maiden's blush, was much
esteemed for its exquisite color; it could be distinguished readily by
the glaucous hue of the foliage, which always looked like the leaves of
artificial roses. It was easily blighted; and indeed we must acknowledge
that few of the old Roses were as certain as their sturdy descendants.

The Damask Rose was the only one ever used in careful families and by
careful housekeepers for making rose-water. There was a Velvet Rose,
darker than the Damask and low-growing, evidently the same Rose. Both
showed plentiful yellow stamens in the centres, and had exquisite rich
dark leaves.

The old Black Rose of The Rosery was so suffused with color-principle,
so "color-flushing," that even the wood had black and dark red streaks.
Its petals were purple-black.

The Burgundy Rose was of the Cabbage Rose family; its flowers were very
small, scarce an inch in diameter. There were two varieties: the one my
cousin called Little Burgundy had clear dark red blossoms; the other,
white with pink centres. Both were low-growing, small bushes with small
leaves. They are practically vanished Roses--wholly out of cultivation.

We had other tiny roses; one was a lovely little Rose creature called a
Fairy Rose. I haven't seen one for years. As I recall them, the Rose
plants were never a foot in height, and had dainty little flower
rosettes from a quarter to half an inch in diameter set in thick
clusters. But the recalled dimensions of youth vary so when seen
actually in the cold light of to-day that perhaps I am wrong in my
description. This was also called a Pony Rose. This Fairy Rose was not
the Polyantha which also has forty or fifty little roses in a cluster.
The single Polyantha Rose looks much like its cousin, the Blackberry
blossom.

Another small Rose was the Garland Rose. This was deemed extremely
elegant, and rightfully so. It has great corymbs of tiny white blossoms
with tight little buff buds squeezing out among the open Roses.

Another old favorite was the Rose of Four Seasons--known also by its
French name, _Rose de Quartre Saisons_--which had occasional blooms
throughout the summer. It may have been the foundation of our Hybrid
Perpetual Roses. The Bourbon Roses were vastly modish; their round
smooth petals and oval leaves easily distinguish them from other
varieties.

Among the several hundred things I have fully planned out to do, to
solace my old age after I have become a "centurion," is a series of
water-color drawings of all these old-time Roses, for so many of them
are already scarce.

The Michigan Rose which covered the arches in Mr. Seward's garden, has
clusters of deep pink, single, odorless flowers, that fade out nearly
white after they open. It is our only native Rose that has passed into
cultivation. From it come many fine double-flowered Roses, among them
the beautiful Baltimore Belle and Queen of the Prairies, which were
named about 1836 by a Baltimore florist called Feast. All its vigorous
and hardy descendants are scentless save the Gem of the Prairies. It is
one of the ironies of plant-nomenclature when we have so few plant names
saved to us from the picturesque and often musical speech of the
American Indians, that the lovely Cherokee Rose, Indian of name, is a
Chinese Rose. It ought to be a native, for everywhere throughout our
Southern states its pure white flowers and glossy evergreen leaves love
to grow till they form dense thickets.

People who own fine gardens are nowadays unwilling to plant the old
"Summer Roses" which bloom cheerfully in their own Rose-month and then
have no more blossoming till the next year; they want a Remontant Rose,
which will bloom a second time in the autumn, or a Perpetual Rose, which
will give flowers from June till cut off by the frost. But these
latter-named Roses are not only of fine gardens but of fine gardeners;
and folk who wish the old simple flower garden which needs no
highly-skilled care, still are happy in the old Summer Roses I have
named.

[Illustration: Cottage Garden with Roses.]

A Rose hedge is the most beautiful of all garden walls and the most
ancient. Professor Koch says that long before men customarily surrounded
their gardens with walls, that they had Rose hedges. He tells us that
each of the four great peoples of Asia owned its own beloved Rose,
carried in all wanderings, until at last the four became common to all
races of men. Indo-Germanic stock chose the hundred-leaved red Rose,
_Rosa gallica_ (the best Rose for conserves). _Rosa damascena_, which
blooms twice a year, and the Musk Rose were cherished by the Semitic
people; these were preferred for attar of Roses and Rose water. The
yellow Rose, _Rosa lutea_, or Persian Rose, was the flower of the
Turkish Mongolian people. Eastern Asia is the fatherland of the Indian
and Tea Roses. The Rose has now become as universal as sunlight. Even in
Iceland and Lapland grows the lovely _Rosa nitida_.

We say these Roses are common to all peoples, but we have never in
America been able to grow yellow Roses in ample bloom in our gardens.
Many that thrive in English gardens are unknown here. The only yellow
garden Rose common in old gardens was known simply as the "old yellow
Rose," or Scotch Rose, but it came from the far East. In a few
localities the yellow Eglantine was seen.

The picturesque old custom of paying a Rose for rent was known here. In
Manheim, Pennsylvania, stands the Zion Lutheran Church, which was
gathered together by Baron William Stiegel, who was the first glass and
iron manufacturer of note in this country. He came to America in 1750,
with a fortune which would be equal to-day to a million dollars, and
founded and built and named Manheim. He was a man of deep spiritual and
religious belief, and of profound sentiment, and when in 1771 he gave
the land to the church, this clause was in the indenture:--

     "Yielding and paying therefor unto the said Henry William Stiegel,
     his heirs or assigns, at the said town of Manheim, in the Month of
     June Yearly, forever hereafter, the rent of _One Red Rose_, if the
     same shall be lawfully demanded."

Nothing more touching can be imagined than the fulfilment each year of
this beautiful and symbolic ceremony of payment. The little town is rich
in Roses, and these are gathered freely for the church service, when One
Red Rose is still paid to the heirs of the sainted old baron, who died
in 1778, broken in health and fortunes, even having languished in jail
some time for debt. A new church was erected on the site of the old one
in 1892, and in a beautiful memorial window the decoration of the Red
Rose commemorates the sentiment of its benefactor.

The Rose Tavern, in the neighboring town of Bethlehem, stands on land
granted for the site of a tavern by William Penn, for the yearly rental
of One Red Rose.

In England the payment of a Rose as rent was often known. The Bishop of
Ely leased Ely house in 1576 to Sir Christopher Hatton, Queen
Elizabeth's handsome Lord Chancellor, for a Red Rose to be paid on
Midsummer Day, ten loads of hay and ten pounds per annum, and he and his
Episcopal successors reserved the right of walking in the gardens and
gathering twenty bushels of Roses yearly. In France there was a feudal
right to demand a payment of Roses for the making of Rose water.

Two of our great historians, George Bancroft and Francis Parkman, were
great rose-growers and rose-lovers. I never saw Mr. Parkman's Rose
Garden, but I remember Mr. Bancroft's well; the Tea Roses were
especially beautiful. Mr. Bancroft's Rose Garden in its earliest days
had no rivals in America.

The making of potpourri was common in my childhood. While the petals of
the Cabbage Rose were preferred, all were used. Recipes for making
potpourri exist in great number; I have seen several in manuscript in
old recipe books, one dated 1690. The old ones are much simpler than the
modern ones, and have no strong spices such as cinnamon and clove, and
no bergamot or mints or strongly scented essences or leaves. The best
rules gave ambergris as one of the ingredients; this is not really a
perfume, but gives the potpourri its staying power. There is something
very pleasant in opening an old China jar to find it filled with
potpourri, even if the scent has wholly faded. It tells a story of a day
when people had time for such things. I read in a letter a century and
a half old of a happy group of people riding out to the house of the
provincial governor of New York; all gathered Rose leaves in the
governor's garden, and the governor's wife started the distilling of
these Rose leaves, in her new still, into Rose water, while all drank
syllabubs and junkets--a pretty Watteau-ish scene.

The hips of wild Roses are a harvest--one unused in America in modern
days, but in olden times they were stewed with sugar and spices, as were
other fruits. Sauce Saracen, or Sarzyn, was made of Rose hips and
Almonds pounded together, cooked in wine and sweetened. I believe they
are still cooked by some folks in England, but I never heard of their
use in America save by one person, an elderly Irish woman on a farm in
Narragansett. Plentiful are the references and rules in old cookbooks
for cooking Rose hips. Parkinson says: "Hippes are made into a conserve,
also a paste like licoris. Cooks and their Mistresses know how to
prepare from them many fine dishes for the Table." Gerarde writes
characteristically of the Sweetbrier, "The fruit when it is ripe maketh
most pleasant meats and banqueting dishes, as tarts and such-like; the
making whereof I commit to the cunning cooke, and teeth to eat them in
the rich man's mouth."

Children have ever nibbled Rose hips:--

    "I fed on scarlet hips and stony haws--
     Hard fare, but such as boyish appetite
     Disdains not."

The Rose bush furnished another comestible for the children's larder,
the red succulent shoots of common garden and wild Roses. These were
known by the dainty name of "brier candy," a name appropriate and
characteristic, as the folk-names devised by children frequently are.

[Illustration: Madame Plantier Rose.]

On the post-road in southern New Hampshire stands an old house, which
according to its license was once "improved" as a tavern, and was famous
for its ghost and its Roses. The tavern was owned by a family of two
brothers and two sisters, all unmarried, as was rather a habit in the
Mason family; though when any of the tribe did marry, a vast throng of
children quickly sprung up to propagate the name and sturdy qualities of
the race. The men were giants, and both men and women were hard-working
folk of vast endurance and great thrift, and, like all of that ilk in
New England, they prospered and grew well-to-do; great barns and
out-buildings, all well filled, stretched down along the roadside below
the house. Joseph Mason could lay more feet of stone wall in a day,
could plough more land, chop down more trees, pull more stumps, than any
other man in New Hampshire. His sisters could bake and brew, make soap,
weed the garden, spin and weave, unceasingly and untiringly. Their
garden was a source of purest pleasure to them, as well as of hard work;
its borders were so stocked with medicinal herbs that it could supply a
township; and its old-time flowers furnished seeds and slips and bulbs
to every other garden within a day's driving distance; but its glory was
a garden side to gladden the heart of Omar Khayyam, where two or three
acres of ground were grown over heavily with old-fashioned Roses. These
were only the common Cinnamon Rose, the beloved Cabbage Rose, and a pale
pink, spicily scented, large-petalled, scarcely double Rose, known to
them as the Apothecaries' Rose. Farmer-neighbors wondered at this waste
of the Masons' good land in this unprofitable Rose crop, but it had a
certain use. There came every June to this Rose garden all the children
of the vicinity, bearing milk-pails, homespun bags, birch baskets, to
gather Rose petals. They nearly all had Roses at their homes, but not
the Mason Roses. These Rose leaves were carried carefully to each home,
and were packed in stone jars with alternate layers of brown or scant
maple sugar. Soon all conglomerated into a gummy, brown, close-grained,
not over alluring substance to the vision, which was known among the
children by the unromantic name of "Rose tobacco." This cloying
confection was in high repute. It was chipped off and eaten in tiny
bits, and much treasured--as a love token, or reward of good behavior.

The Mason house was a tavern. It was not one of the regular
stopping-places on the turnpike road, being rather too near the town to
gather any travel of teamsters or coaches; but passers-by who knew the
house and the Masons loved to stop there. Everything in the well-kept,
well-filled house and barns contributed to the comfort of guests, and it
was known that the Masons cared more for the company of the traveller
than for his pay.

There was a shadow on this house. The youngest of the family, Hannah,
had been jilted in her youth, "shabbed" as said the country folks. After
several years of "constant company-keeping" with the son of a neighbor,
during which time many a linen sheet and tablecloth, many a fine
blanket, had been spun and woven, and laid aside with the tacit
understanding that it was part of her wedding outfit, the man had fallen
suddenly and violently in love with a girl who came from a neighboring
town to sing a single Sunday in the church choir. He had driven to her
home the following week, carried her off to a parson in a third town,
married her, and brought her to his home in a triumph of enthusiasm and
romance, which quickly fled before the open dislike and reprehension of
his upright neighbors, who abhorred his fickleness, and before the years
of ill health and ill temper of the hard-worked, faded wife. Many
children were born to them; two lived, sickly little souls, who,
unconscious of the blemish on their parents' past, came with the other
children every June, and gathered Rose leaves under Hannah Mason's
window.

Hannah Mason was called crazy. After her desertion she never entered any
door save that of her own home, never went to a neighbor's house either
in time of joy or sorrow; queerer still, never went to church. All her
life, her thoughts, her vast strength, went into hard work. No labor was
too heavy or too formidable for her. She would hetchel flax for weeks,
spin unceasingly, and weave on a hand loom, most wearing of women's
work, without thought of rest. No single household could supply work for
such an untiring machine, especially when all labored industriously--so
work was brought to her from the neighbors. Not a wedding outfit for
miles around was complete without one of Hannah Mason's fine
tablecloths. Every corpse was buried in one of her linen shrouds.
Sailmakers and boat-owners in Portsmouth sent up to her for strong duck
for their sails. Lads went up to Dartmouth College in suits of her
homespun. Many a teamster on the road slept under Hannah Mason's heavy
gray woollen blankets, and his wagon tilts were covered with her canvas.
Her bank account grew rapidly--she became rich as fast as her old
lover became poor. But all this cast a shadow on the house. Sojourners
would waken and hear throughout the night some steady sound, a
scratching of the cards, a whirring of the spinning-wheel, the
thump-thump of the loom. Some said she never slept, and could well grow
rich when she worked all night.

[Illustration: Sun-dial and Roses at Van Cortlandt Manor.]

At last the woman who had stolen her lover--the poor, sickly wife--died.
The widower, burdened hopelessly with debts, of course put up in her
memory a fine headstone extolling her virtues. One wakeful night, with a
sentiment often found in such natures, he went to the graveyard to view
his proud but unpaid-for possession. The grass deadened his footsteps,
and not till he reached the grave did there rise up from the ground a
tall, ghostly figure dressed all in undyed gray wool of her own weaving.
It was Hannah Mason. "Hannah," whimpered the widower, trying to take her
hand,--with equal thought of her long bank account and his unpaid-for
headstone,--"I never really loved any one but you." She broke away from
him with an indescribable gesture of contempt and dignity, and went
home. She died suddenly four days later of pneumonia, either from the
shock or the damp midnight chill of the graveyard.

As months passed on travellers still came to the tavern, and the story
began to be whispered from one to another that the house was haunted by
the ghost of Hannah Mason. Strange sounds were heard at night from the
garret where she had always worked; most plainly of all could be heard
the whirring of her great wool wheel. When this rumor reached the
brothers' ears, they determined to investigate the story and end it
forever. That night their vigil began, and soon the sound of the wheel
was heard. They entered the garret, and to their surprise found the
wheel spinning round. Then Joseph Mason went to the garret and seated
himself for closer and more determined watch. He sat in the dark till
the wheel began to revolve, then struck a sudden light and found the
ghost. A great rat had run out on the spoke of the wheel and when he
reached the broad rim had started a treadmill of his own--which made the
ghostly sound as it whirred around. Soon this rat grew so tame that he
would come out on the spinning-wheel in the daytime, and several others
were seen to run around in the wheel as if it were a pleasant
recreation.

The old brick house still stands with its great grove of Sugar Maples,
but it is silent, for the Masons all sleep in the graveyard behind the
church high up on the hillside; no travellers stop within the doors, the
ghost rats are dead, the spinning-wheel is gone, but the garden still
blossoms with eternal youth. Though children no longer gather rose
leaves for Rose tobacco, the "Roses of Yesterday" bloom every year; and
each June morn, "a thousand blossoms with the day awake," and fling
their spicy fragrance on the air.



Index


  Abbotsford, Ivy from, 62;
    sun-dial from, 219, 377.

  Achillæa, 238.

  Aconite, 266.

  Acrelius, Dr., quoted, 208.

  Adam's Needle. _See_ Yucca.

  Adlumia, 183.

  Agapanthus, 52.

  Ageratum, as edging, 60, 264.

  Ague-weed, 146.

  Akers, Elizabeth, quoted, 152.

  Alcott, A. B., cited, 120.

  Alka, 359.

  Alleghany Vine. _See_ Adlumia.

  Allen, James Lane, quoted, 195.

  Almond, flowering, 39, 41, 159.

  Aloe, 429.

  Alpine Strawberries, 62.

  Alstroemeria, 438.

  Alyssum, sweet, 59-60, 179;
    yellow, 137.

  Ambrosia, 48, 235 _et seq._

  _Anemone japonica_, 67, 187.

  Annunzio, G. d', quoted, 94.

  Apple betty, 211.

  Apple butter, 212-213.

  Apple frolic, 211 _et seq._

  Apple hoglin, 211.

  Apple-luns, 209.

  Apple mose, 209.

  Apple moy, 209.

  Apple paring, 207.

  Apple pie, 208.

  Apple sauce, 213.

  Apple slump, 211.

  Apple stucklin, 211.

  Apple tansy, 209.

  Aquilegia, 260.

  Arabis, 47.

  Arbors, 384.

  Arbutus, trailing, 166, 291, 299.

  Arches, 384, 387, 418.

  Arch-herbs, 384.

  Arethusa, 247 _et seq._, 295, 299 _et seq._

  Arlington, pergola at, 385.

  Arnold, Matthew, quoted, 225, 226.

  Ascott, sun-dial at, 98.

  Asters, 179, 180.

  Athol porridge, 393.

  Azalea, 16.


  Baby's Breath, 257.

  Bachelor's Buttons, 52, 176, 265, 291.

  Back-yard, flowers in, 154.

  Bacon-and-eggs, 138.

  Bacon, Lord, cited, 44-45, 55, 56, 144.

  Balloon Flower. _See_ _Platycodon grandiflorum_.

  Balloon Vine, 183-184.

  Balsams, 257.

  Baltimore Belle Rose, 468.

  Bancroft, George, Rose Garden of, 471.

  Banksia Rose, 463.

  Bare-dames, 17.

  Barney, Major, landscape art of, 101.

  Bartram, John, 12.

  Basil, sweet, 121 _et seq._

  Battle of Princeton, 78.

  Batty Langley, cited, 383.

  Bayberry, 302.

  Beata Beatrix, 380.

  Beaver-tongue, 347-348.

  Beech, weeping, 231.

  Bee-hives, 354, 391 _et seq._

  Beekman, James, greenhouse of, 19.

  Bee Larkspur, 265, 268.

  Bell-bind, 181, 182.

  Bell Flower, Chinese or Japanese. _See_ _Platycodon grandiflorum_.

  Belvoir Castle, Lunaria at, 171-172.

  Bergamot, 166.

  Bergen Homestead, garden of, 23.

  Berkeley, Bishop, Apple trees of, 194-195.

  Bitter Buttons. _See_ Tansy.

  Bitter-sweet, 25, 238.

  Black Cohosh, 423-424.

  Black Roses, 466.

  Bleeding-heart. _See_ Dielytra.

  Blind, herb-garden for, 131.

  Bloodroot, 154, 457.

  Bluebottles, 265.

  Blue-eyed Grass, 278-279.

  Blue-pipe tree, 144.

  Blue Roses, 253.

  Blue Sage, 264.

  Blue Spider-flower, 435.

  Bluetops, 265.

  Bluets, 260.

  Blue-weed. _See_ Viper's Bugloss.

  Blush Roses, 466.

  Bocconia. _See_ Plume Poppy.

  Boneset, 145 _et seq._

  Bosquets, 387.

  Botrys. _See_ Ambrosia.

  Boulder, sun-dial mounted on, 377.

  Bouncing Bet, 52, 450.

  Bourbon Roses, 467.

  Boursault Roses, 48, 463.

  Bowers, 385.

  Bowling greens, 240.

  Bowne, Eliza Southgate, diary of, 31.

  Box. _See_ Chapter IV.;
    also 29, 47, 48, 54, 59, 71, 80, 112, 338.

  Break-your-spectacles, 265.

  Brecknock Hall, Box at, 103-104.

  Bricks for edging, 59, 71;
    for walls, 71-72, 412 _et seq._

  Brier candy, 473.

  British soldiers, graves of, 77 _et seq._

  Broom. _See_ Woad-waxen.

  Broughton Castle, Box sun-dial at, 97, 98.

  Brown, Dr. John, cited, 103.

  Browne, Sir Thomas, quoted, 306.

  Brunelle. _See_ Prunella.

  Buck-thorn, 387, 407.

  Bulbs, 157.

  Burgundy Roses, 465, 466, 467.

  Burnet, 305.

  Burnet-leaved Rose, 466.

  Burroughs, J., quoted, 195, 451-452.

  Burying-grounds,
    Box in, 94;
    Dogwood in, 155;
    Thyme in, 303;
    Spurge in, 434.

  Butter-and-eggs. _See_ Toad-flax.

  Buttercups, 166, 291, 294.


  Cabbage Rose, 297, 320, 459, 460, 471.

  Calceolarias, 179.

  Calopogon, 247.

  Calycanthus, 297.

  Cambridge University, sun-dial at, 97.

  Camden, South Carolina, gardens at, 15.

  Camellia Japonica, 16.

  Camomile, 192.

  Campanula, 52, 262.

  Candy-tuft, as edging, 59.

  Canker-bloom, 465.

  Canterbury Bells, 34, 162, 262, 333 _et seq._

  Caraway, 341, 342.

  Carnation, green, 239.

  Catalpas, 26, 31, 293.

  Cat-ice, 453.

  Catnip, 315.

  Cat road, 452.

  Cat's-fancy, 315.

  Cat-slides, 453.

  Cat-sticks, 453.

  Cedar hedges, 387.

  Cedar of Lebanon, 29.

  Centaurea Cyanus. _See_ Bachelor's Buttons.

  Cerinthe. _See_ Honeywort.

  Charles I. sun-dials of, 357.

  Charles II. sun-dials of, 357.

  Charlottesville, Virginia, wall at, 414.

  Charmilles, 387.

  Chaucer, Geoffrey, quoted, flowers of, 215.

  Checkerberry, 345.

  Checker lily. _See_ Fritillaria.

  Chenopodium Botrys. _See_ Ambrosia.

  Cherokee Rose, 468.

  Cherry blossoms, 158, 193, 197.

  Cheshire, Connecticut, Apple tree in, 194.

  Chicory, 266 _et seq._

  Chinese Bell Flower. _See_ _Platycodon grandiflorum_.

  Chionodoxa, 137.

  Chore-girl, 393.

  Christalan, statue of, 84, 85.

  Chrysanthemums, 179.

  Cider, manufacture of, 202 _et seq._

  Cider soup, 212.

  Cinnamon Fern, 332.

  Cinnamon Roses, 463, 465.

  Civet, 317.

  Clair-voyées, 389.

  Clare, John, quoted, 227, 309.

  Claymont, Virginia, garden at, 181, 182.

  Claytonia, 294.

  Clematis, Jackmanni, 182.

  Clove apple, 210.

  Clover, 165.

  Clover, Italian, 241.

  Codlins and Cream, 138.

  Cohosh. _See_ Snakeroot.

  Colchicum, 455.

  Columbia, South Carolina, gardens at, 15.

  Columbine, 260, 424-425.

  Comfort Apple, 210.

  Concord, Massachusetts, British dead at, 78;
    Sunday observance in, 345 _et seq._

  Cooper, Susan, quoted, 289.

  Corchorus, 190.

  Cornel, 332.

  Cornelian Rose, 17.

  Cornuti, Dr., list of plants, 10.

  Corydalis, 154.

  Costmary, 347-348.

  Covert walks, 59.

  Cowslips, 294.

  Cowslip mead, 393.

  Crab Apple trees, 192.

  Craigie House, 141.

  Crape Myrtle, 16, 71.

  Creeping Jenny, 60.

  Crocus, 136.

  Crown Imperial, 40;
    _loquitur_, 322 _et seq._

  Culpepper, N., cited, 349.

  Cupid's Car, 266.

  Currant, flowering, 298.

  Cyanus, 33.

  Cyclamens, 448.

  Cylindres, 355.

  Cypress, 406.


  Daffodil Dell, 84.

  Daffodils, 137 _et seq._;
    318.

  Dahlias, 176 _et seq._

  Daisies, 165.

  Damask Roses, 462, 465, 466.

  Dames' Rocket, 422.

  Dandelion, 117, 135, 154-155, 330.

  Dante's Garden, 228.

  Deland, Margaret, quoted, 64, 229, 267, 429.

  Delphinum. _See_ Larkspur.

  Derby family, gardens of, 30-31.

  Deutzias, 189.

  Devil-in-a-bush, 435.

  Devil's-bit, 289.

  Dialling, taught, 372.

  Dicentra. _See_ Dielytra.

  Dickens, Charles, sun-dial of, 376.

  Dickinson, Emily, quoted, 341, 417.

  Dielytra, 185 _et seq._

  Dill, 5, 341-343.

  Dodocatheon, 448.

  Dog Roses, 465.

  Dogtooth Violet, 434, 437.

  Dogwood, 155.

  Double Buttercups, 176.

  Double flowers, 425.

  Douglas, Gavin, quoted, 257.

  Dovecotes in England, 394;
    at Shirley-on-James, 394 _et seq._

  Draytons, garden of, 16.

  Drumthwacket, garden at, 76 _et seq._

  Drying Apples, 207.

  Dudgeon, 99-100.

  Dutch gardens, 19, 20 _et seq._, 71 _et seq._

  Dutchman's Pipe, 184.

  Dumbledore's Delight, 266.

  Dyer's Weed. _See_ Woad-waxen.


  Egyptians, sun-dials of, 359.

  Elder, 304.

  Election Day, lilacs bloom on, 148.

  Elijah's Chariot, 271.

  Ely Place, rental of, 471.

  Emerson, R. W., quoted, 138, 376.

  Endicott, Governor, garden of, 3;
    nursery of, 24;
    bequest of Woad-waxen, 24, 25;
    sun-dial of, 358.

  Erasmus quoted, 109.

  Evening Primrose, 10, 428, 429.

  Everlasting Pea, 427.


  Fairbanks, Jonathan, sun-dial of, 344, 358.

  Fairies, charm to see, 304.

  Fair-in-sight, 334.

  Fairy Roses, 467.

  Fairy Thimbles, 337.

  Faneuil, Andrew, glass house of, 19.

  Fennel, 5, 341 _et seq._

  Fitchburg, Massachusetts, garden at jail, 101, 102.

  Fitzgerald, Edward, quoted, 316, 330.

  Flag, sweet, striped, 438;
    blue, 278.

  Flagroot, 343 _et seq._

  Flax, 262.

  Flower closes, 240.

  Flower de Luce, 257 _et seq._

  Flowering Currant, 64.

  Flower-of-death, 441.

  Flower-of-prosperity, 42.

  Flower toys, 156.

  Flushing, Long Island, nurseries at, 26;
    _et seq._, 156, 230 _et seq._

  Fore court, 40.

  Forget-me-not, 265.

  Formal garden, 78 _et seq._

  Forsythia, 133, 189, 190.

  Forth rights, 58.

  Fortune, Robert, 187 _et seq._

  Fountains, 69, 85-86, 380, 389.

  Fox, George, bequest of, 11;
    at Sylvester Manor, 105.

  Foxgloves, 162, 427.

  Frankland, Sir Henry, 29.

  Franklin cent, 365.

  Fraxinella, 432.

  Fringed Gentian, 265, 273, 294.

  Fritillaria, 81, 165, 446 _et seq._

  Fuchsias, 52, 331.

  Fugio bank note, 364, 365.

  Fumitory, Climbing, 183.

  Funerals, in front yard, 51;
    Tansy at, 128 _et seq._

  Funkias, 70.


  Gardener's Garters, 438.

  Garden Heliotrope, 313.

  Garden of Sentiment, 110.

  Garden Pink. _See_ Pinks.

  Garden, Significance of name, 280.

  Garden-viewing, 338.

  Gardiner, Grissel, 104.

  Garland of Julia, 323.

  Garland Roses, 467.

  Garrets with herbs, 115.

  Garth, 39.

  Gas-plant. _See_ Fraxinella.

  Gate of Yaddo, 81, 82;
    at Westover-on-James, 388, 389;
    at Bristol, Rhode Island, 389.

  Gatherer of simples, 118.

  Gaultheria, 118.

  Gem of the Prairies Rose, 468.

  Genista tinctoria. _See_ Woad-waxen.

  Geraniums, 244.

  Germander, 59.

  Germantown, Pennsylvania, gardens at, 11, 12;
    sun-dial at, 371 _et seq._

  Ghosts in gardens, 431.

  Gilly flowers, 5.

  Ginger, Wild, 343.

  _Girls' Life Eighty Years Ago_, 31.

  Glory-of-the-snow, 137.

  Gnomon of sun-dial, 379 _et seq._

  Goethe, cited, 431.

  Goncourt, Edmond de, quoted, 248, 249.

  Gooseberries, 338, 339 _et seq._

  Goosefoot, 59.

  Gorse, 221, 222.

  Grace Church Rectory, sun-dial of, 364, 374.

  Grafting, 391.

  Grape Hyacinth, 255 _et seq._

  Graveyard Ground-pine, 434.

  Green apples, 200 _et seq._

  Green, color, 138, 233 _et seq._

  Green galleries, 385.

  Greenhouse, of James Beekman, 19;
    of T. Hardenbrook, 19.

  Ground Myrtle, 439.

  Groundsel, 292.

  Guinea-hen flower, 447.

  Gypsophila, 175.


  Hair-dye, of Box, 99.

  Hampton Court, Box at, 94.

  Hampton, garden at, 14, 58, 60, 95, 101.

  Hancock garden, 30.

  Hawdods, 265.

  Hawthorn, 292, 300.

  Hawthorne, Nathaniel, quoted, 153, 299.

  Headaches, 309.

  Heart pea, 184.

  Heather, 221, 222.

  Hedgehog Roses, 464.

  Hedgerows, 399 _et seq._, 403 _et seq._

  Hedges, of Box, 99;
    of Lilac, 143-144, 406;
    of Privet, 406, 408;
    of Locust, 406.

  Heliotrope, scent of, 319.

  Hermerocallis. _See_ Lemon Lily.

  Hemlock hedges, 406.

  Henbane, 434.

  Hepatica, 259.

  Herbaceous border, 113 _et seq._

  Herber, 113, 384.

  Herbert, George, quoted, 114.

  Herb twopence, 61.

  Hermits, 245.

  Herrick, flowers of, 216.

  Hesperis, 421-422.

  Hiccough, 342.

  Higginson, T. W., quoted, 74.

  Hips of Roses, 472.

  Holly, 406.

  Holmes, Oliver Wendell, quoted, 91, 139-140, 226, 268, 301, 313.

  Hollyhocks, 5, 6, 33, 52, 332 _et seq._, 336.

  Honesty. _See_ Lunaria.

  Honeyblob gooseberries, 338.

  Honey, from Thyme, 303;
    in drinks, 393.

  Honeysuckle, 182, 332, 450.

  Honeywort, 33, 442.

  Hood, quoted, 228-229.

  Hopewell, Lilacs at, 148.

  Houstonia, 260.

  Howitt Garden, 223.

  Howitt, Mary, quoted, 326, 330, 345.

  Humming-birds, 243.

  Hundred-leaved Rose, 460, 469.

  Hutchinson, Governor, garden of, 54.

  Hyacinths, 257.

  Hydrangea, 182;
    blue, 260;
    at Capetown, 261.

  Hyssop, 54.


  Iberis. _See_ Candy-tuft.

  Independence Trees. _See_ Catalpa.

  Indian Hill, 144, 415 _et seq._

  Indian Pipe, 455.

  Indian plant names, 293 _et seq._

  Innocence. _See_ Houstonia.

  Iris, 427. _See_ also Flower de Luce.

  Italian gardens, 75 _et seq._


  Jack-in-the-pulpit, 154.

  Jacob's Ladder, 265.

  James I., quoted, 62.

  Japan, flowers from, 40, 67, 157, 158, 406.

  Jenoffelins, 17.

  Jewett, S. O., quoted, 38, 49.

  Joepye-weed, 145 _et seq._

  Johnson, Dr. Samuel, dial motto of, 219.

  Jonquils, 318.

  Joseph and Mary, 437, 438.

  Josselyn, John, quoted, 4 _et seq._, 8.

  Joy-of-the-ground, 441.

  Judas tree, 158.

  June Roses, 464.


  Kalendars, 355.

  Kalm, cited, 128, 203, 408.

  Karr, Alphonse, quoted, 272, 302, 453, 454.

  Katherine flowers, 435.

  Keats, cited, 223 _et seq._

  Kiskatomas nut, 294.

  Kiss-me-at-the-garden-gate, 135.

  Kitchen door, 69.

  Knots, described, 54 _et seq._


  Labels, 217.

  Labrador Indians, sun-dials of, 359.

  Laburnum, 168, 169, 231.

  Ladies' Delights, 48, 133 _et seq._

  Lad's Love. _See_ Southernwood.

  Lady's Slipper, 293.

  Lafayette, influence of, 241;
    dial of, 357.

  Lamb, Charles quoted, 360.

  Landor, Walter Savage, quoted, 140, 362-363, 415, 420.

  Larch, 300.

  Larkspur, 33, 162, 267 _et seq._

  Latin names, 291.

  Lavender, 5, 33, 121.

  Lavender Cotton, 5, 61.

  Lawns, 53, 240.

  Lawson, William, quoted, 56.

  Lebanon, Cedar of, 29.

  Lemon Lily, 45, 80.

  Lennox, Lady, Box sun-dial of, 97-98.

  Leucojum, 234-235.

  Lilacs, at Hopkinton, 29, also 140-153, 318 _et seq._, 406.

  Lilies, 180.

  Linen, drying of, 99;
    bleaching of, 99.

  Linnæus, classification of, 282;
    horologe of, 381-382;
    discovery of daughter of, 431 _et seq._

  Liricon-fancy, 45.

  Little Burgundy Rose, 467.

  Live-forever. _See_ Orpine.

  Live Oaks, 16.

  Lobelia, 33, 271-272.

  Loch, 259.

  Locust, as house friend, 22-23;
    blossoms sold, 155;
    on Long Island, 156;
    in Narragansett, 401 _et seq._;
    in a hedge, 406-407.

  Loggerheads, 265.

  Lombardy Poplars, 27.

  London Pride, 45, 443.

  Longfellow, quoted, 141;
    garden of, 102, 431.

  Lotus, 74.

  Lovage-root, 343.

  Love divination, with Lilacs, 150;
    with Apples, 205 _et seq._;
    with Southernwood, 349.

  Love-in-a-huddle, 435.

  Love-in-a-mist, 435.

  Love lies bleeding, 287.

  Love philtres, 118 _et seq._

  Lowell, J. R., quoted, 48-49, 89, 227, 277.

  Luck-lilac, 150.

  Lunaria, 5, 33, 170 _et seq._

  Lungwort, 437-438.

  Lupines, 33, 163, 253, 275 _et seq._

  Lychnis. _See_ Mullein Pink; also London Pride.

  Lyre flower. _See_ Dielytra.

  Lyres, 385, 386.


  Madame Plantier Rose, 71, 463, 464.

  Magnolia-on-the-Ashley, gardens at, 16.

  Magnolias, 26, 71, 155-156.

  Maiden's Blush Roses, 466.

  Maize, 293-294.

  Maltese Cross, 443.

  Manheim, Rose for rent in, 470.

  Maple, only Celtic plant name, 292.

  Marigolds, 33, 52, 315 _et seq._

  Maritoffles, 17.

  Markham, Gervayse, cited, 40, 54, 115.

  Marsh Mallow, 434.

  Marsh Marigold, 294.

  Marvell, Andrew, quoted, 231, 239, 381.

  Mather, Cotton, quoted, 337, 342.

  Matrimony Vine, 185, 449-450.

  Mayflower, 166, 291, 299.

  Maze, described, 54-55;
    in America, 55;
    at Sylvester Manor, 106.

  Meadow Rue, 175-176.

  Meet-her-in-the-entry, Kiss-her-in-the-buttery, 135.

  Meeting-plant, 348.

  Meet-me-at-the-garden-gate, 135.

  Meredith, Owen, quoted, 166.

  Meresteads, 3.

  Meridian lines, 355.

  Mertensia, 438.

  Michigan Roses, 62, 468.

  Mignonette, scent of, 319.

  Milkweed silk, 328, 331.

  Mills, for cider-making, 203.

  Minnow-tansy, 127.

  Mint family, 117-264.

  Miskodeed, 294.

  Missionary plant, 25.

  Mitchell, Dr., disinterment of, 129 _et seq._

  Mithridate, 123.

  Moccasin flower, 293.

  Mole cider, 212.

  Molucca Balm, 436-437.

  Money-in-both-pockets, 170 _et seq._

  Moneywort, 60-61.

  Monkshood, 266, 329, 433.

  Moon vine, 430-431.

  Moosewood, 452 _et seq._

  Morning-glory, 181-182.

  Morristown, sun-dial at, 359, 374.

  Morris, William, quoted, 240, 425.

  Morse, S. B. F., lines on sun-dial motto, 363.

  Mosquitoes, 74.

  Moss Roses, 345, 465, 466.

  Mottoes on sun-dials, 88, 360, _et seq._

  Mountain Fringe. _See_ Adlumia.

  Mount Atlas Cedar, 29.

  Mount Auburn Cemetery, sun-dial at, 373.

  Mount Vernon, garden at, 11-12;
    sun-dial at, 369.

  Mourning Bride, 297, 339 _et seq._

  Mulberries, 27.

  Mullein Pink, 174.

  Musk Roses, 464, 469.


  Names, old English, 284 _et seq._

  Naked Boys, 455.

  Napanock, garden at, 69-70.

  Naushon, Gorse on, 222;
    sun-dial at, 374.

  Nemophila, 315.

  New Amsterdam, flowers of, 17-18.

  _New England's Prospect_, 3.

  New England's Rarities, 5.

  Nicotiana, 423.

  Nigella, 33, 434, 435.

  Night-scented Stock, 421-422.

  Nightshade, 448.

  Night Violets, 422.

  Noon-marks, 355.

  None-so-pretty, 135.


  Oak of Jerusalem. _See_ Ambrosia.

  Obesity, cure for, 122.

  Old Man. _See_ Southernwood.

  Oleanders, 52, 329-330.

  Olitory, 113.

  Open knots, 57-58.

  Ophir Farm, sun-dial at, 376 _et seq._

  Opyn-tide, meaning of, 143.

  Orange Lily, 50.

  Orchard seats, 192.

  Orpine, 444-445.

  Orris-root, 259.

  Osage Orange, 69, 406.

  Ostrowskia, 262.

  "Out-Landish Flowers," 58.

  Oxeye Daisies, introduction to America, 25.

  Oxford, sun-dial at, 97.


  Pansies, 134, 318.

  Pappoose-root, 293.

  Parkman, Francis, Rose Garden of, 471.

  Parley, Peter, quoted, 343.

  Parsons, T. W., on Lilacs, 153.

  Parterre, 58 _et seq._

  Pastorius, Father, 11.

  Patagonian Mint, 347-348.

  Patience, 6.

  Paulownias, 29.

  Peach blossoms, 158.

  Peacocks, 395 _et seq._

  Pear blossoms, scent of, 318.

  Pedestals for sun-dials, 374 _et seq._

  Pennsylvania, sun-dials in, 370 _et seq._

  Penn, William, encouraged gardens, 11.

  Peony, 42 _et seq._

  Peppermint, as medicine, 118.

  Pergolas, 82-83, 385 _et seq._

  Peristyle, 389.

  Periwinkle, 62, 439 _et seq._

  Perpetual Roses, 468.

  Persians, colors of, 253;
    plant names of, 292;
    flower love of, 462.

  Persian Lilac, 152.

  Persian Yellow Rose, 320, 469.

  Peter's Wreath, 41-42.

  Petunias, 179, 423.

  Phlox, 40, 45, 162, 423.

  Piazzas, 388-389.

  Pig-nuts, 332.

  _Pilgrim's Progress_, quotations from, 201.

  Pinckney, E. L., floriculture by, 14.

  Pine at Yaddo, 90.

  Pink-of-my-Joan, 135.

  Pinks, as edgings, 34, 47, 61, 292, 422-423.

  Pippins, 345.

  Plane trees in Pliny's garden, 97.

  Plantain, 197, 443-444.

  Plant-of-twenty-days, 42.

  _Platycodon grandiflorum_, 262.

  Playhouse Apple tree, 199.

  Pliny, quoted, 342, 349;
    gardens of, 96-97.

  Plum blossoms, 157-158.

  Plume Poppy, 175 _et seq._

  Plymouth, Massachusetts, early gardens at, 3.

  Poet's Narcissus, 318.

  Pogonia, 247.

  Poison Ivy, 403.

  Polling, of trees, 387.

  Polyantha Rose, 467.

  Polyanthus, as edging, 62.

  Pomander, 212.

  Pomatum, 209-210.

  Pompeii, standards at, 87 _et seq._

  Pond Lily, 345.

  Pony Roses, 467.

  Poppies, 163-164, 243-244, 309 _et seq._, 431.

  Pops, 337.

  Portable dials, 356-357.

  Portulaca, 178-179.

  Potatoes, planted by Raleigh, 230.

  Potocka, Countess, quoted, 327.

  Pot-pourri, 471.

  Preston Garden, 15-16, 18, 24, 101.

  Prick-song plant. _See_ Lunaria.

  Primprint. _See_ Privet.

  Prince Nurseries, 26 _et seq._, 230.

  Privet, 54, 317, 406, 408.

  Provence Roses, 459.

  Prunella, 264-265.

  Prygmen, 99.

  Pudding, 304.

  Pulmonaria, 437-438.

  Pumps, old, 67-68.

  Pussy Willows, 155, 247.

  Puzzle-love, 435.

  Pyrethrum, 242.


  _Quabbin_, 419.

  Queen Anne, hatred of Box, 94.

  Queen's Maries, bower of, 103.

  Queen of the Prairies Rose, 468.

  Quincy, Josiah, 407.


  Ragged Robin, 291.

  Ragged Sailors, 265.

  Rail fences, 399 _et seq._

  Railings, 62.

  Raleigh, Sir Walter, garden of, 230.

  Rapin, René, quoted, 94, 323;
    on gardens, 227.

  Red, influence of, 251.

  Remontant Roses, 468.

  Rent, of a Rose, 469 _et seq._

  _Rescue of an Old Place_, cited, 103, 290.

  Rhodes, Cecil, garden of, 261.

  Rhododendrons, 42, 182, 244, 245.

  Ridgely Garden, 57, 60, 95, 101.

  Ring dials, 356.

  Rock Cress. _See_ Arabis.

  Rocket. _See_ Dames' Rocket.

  Rose Acacia, 185, 406.

  Rose Campion, 33, 174, 175.

  Rose Garden, at Yaddo, 81 _et seq._

  Rosemary, 5, 55, 59, 110.

  Rose of Four Seasons, 467.

  Rose of Plymouth, 295.

  Rose Tavern, 470.

  Rose tobacco, 475.

  Rose-water, 472.

  Rossetti, D. G., picture by, 380;
    quoted, 380.

  Roxbury Waxwork. _See_ Bittersweet.

  Rue, 5, 110, 123 _et seq_, 434.

  Ruskin, John, quoted, 243, 283, 255, 279, 309.


  Sabbatia, 295.

  Saffron-tea, 118.

  Sage, 125 _et seq._

  Sag Harbor, sun-dial at, 362.

  Salpiglossis, 262.

  Salt Box House, 128.

  Sand, in parterres, 56, 58.

  Santolina. _See_ Lavender Cotton.

  Sapson Apples, 201-202.

  Sassafras, 343.

  Satin-flower, 170 _et seq._

  Sauce Saracen, 472.

  Scarlet Lightning, 443.

  Scilla, 255.

  Scotch Roses, 48, 464, 469.

  Scott, Sir Walter, sun-dial of, 219, 377.

  Scythes, 391.

  Seeds, sale of, 32 _et seq._

  Serpentine Walls, 414.

  Setwall. _See_ Valerian.

  Seven Sisters, 435.

  Seven Sisters Rose, 463.

  Shade alleys, 59.

  Shaded Walks, 64.

  Shakespeare Border, 217 _et seq._

  Sheep bones, as edgings, 57-58.

  Shelley, Garden, 223.

  Shell flower, 436-437.

  Shirley Poppies, 255, 312.

  Simples, 115.

  Skepes, 354, 391 _et seq._

  Slugs, in Box, 95.

  Smithsonian Institution, sun-dials in, 357-358.

  Snakeroot, 423-424.

  Snapdragons, 33, 175.

  Snowballs, 71.

  Snowberry, 169.

  Snowdrops, 234.

  Snow in Summer, 47.

  Snow Pink. _See_ Pinks.

  Soldier and his Wife, 438.

  Sops-o'-wine. _See_ Sapson.

  Sorrel, 6, 240, 332.

  South Carolina, gardens of, 14.

  Southernwood, 5, 341, 348 _et seq._

  Southey, Robert, quoted, 266.

  Spenser, Edmund, quoted, 54;
    flowers of, 215, 284.

  Spider-flower. _See_ Love-in-a-mist.

  Spiders in medicine, 303, 343.

  Spiderwort, 435-436.

  Spiræas, 189.

  Spitfire Plant. _See_ Fraxinella.

  Spring Beauty, 294.

  Spring Snowflake, 234, 235.

  Spruce gum, 332.

  Spurge, Cypress, 434 _et seq._

  Squirrel Cups, 260.

  Squirt, for water, 390.

  Star of Bethlehem, 34, 235.

  Star Pink. _See_ Pink.

  Statues in garden, 85, 389.

  Stockton, Richard, letter of, 30-31.

  Stones, for edging, 58.

  Stonecrop, 135.

  Stone walls, 399 _et seq._

  Strawberry Bush. _See_ Calycanthus.

  Striped Grass, 438-439.

  Striped Lily, 61.

  Stuyvesant, Peter, garden of, 18-19.

  Succory. _See_ Chicory.

  Summer-houses, 392.

  Summer Roses, 468.

  Summer savory, 124.

  Summer-sots, 17.

  Sun-dials of Box, 62, 80, 87, 88, 97 _et seq._

  Sun-flowers, 178, 287.

  Sunken gardens, 72-73.

  Sunshine Bush, 189.

  Swan River Daisy, 263, 264.

  Sweet Alyssum. _See_ Alyssum.

  Sweet Brier, 6, 25, 48, 302, 464, 465.

  Sweet Fern, 2.

  Sweet Flag, 343.

  Sweet Johns, 285.

  Sweet Marjoram, 124.

  Sweet Peas, 33, 178, 224.

  Sweet Rocket, 34.

  Sweet Shrub. _See_ Calycanthus.

  Sweet Williams, 34, 162, 285 _et seq._

  Sylvester Manor, gardens at, 104 _et seq._

  Syringas, 71.


  Tansy, 6, 126 _et seq._

  Tansy bitters, 128.

  Tansy cakes, 128.

  Tasmania, Thistles in, 26.

  Tea Roses, 320, 469.

  Telling the bees, 393.

  Temperance Reform, 204.

  Tennyson, on blue, 266;
    on white, 420-421.

  Thaxter, Celia, cited, 311.

  Thistles, in Tasmania, 26.

  Thomas, Edith, quoted, 229.

  Thoreau, H. D., quoted, 148, 197, 198, 199, 275, 276, 345, 346, 417.

  Thoroughwort, 145 _et seq._

  Thrift, sun-dials in, 97;
    as edging, 61-62.

  Thyme, 34, 60, 302 _et seq._

  Tiger Lilies, 45, 162.

  Toad-flax, 450 _et seq._

  Tobacco. _See_ Nicotiana.

  Tongue-plant, 347-348.

  Topiary work in England, 408;
    at Wellesley, 409 _et seq._;
    in California, 412.

  Tradescantia. _See_ Spiderwort.

  Trailing Arbutus, 299.

  Traveller's Rest, sun-dial at, 350, 370.

  Tree arbors, 199, 384-385.

  Tree Peony. _See_ Peony.

  Trillium, 154, 457, 458.

  Trumpet vine, 449-450.

  Tuckahoe, Box at, 102, 105.

  Tudor gardens, 55.

  Tudor Place, garden at, 103.

  Tulips, 18, 138, 168.

  Turner, cited, 61, 236.

  Tusser, Thomas, quoted, 115.

  Twopenny Grass, 61.


  Valerian, 34, 313 _et seq._

  Van Cortlandt Manor, garden at, 20 _et seq._

  Van Cortlandt, Pierre, 21.

  Vancouver's Island, 26.

  Van der Donck, Adrian, quoted, 17-18.

  Velvet Roses, 466.

  Vendue, 50-51.

  Venus' Navelwort, 33, 441-442.

  Versailles, Box at, 97.

  Victoria Regia, 74-75.

  Vinca. _See_ Periwinkle.

  Viola tricolor, 134.

  Violets, edgings of, 71;
    in backyard, 154;
    gallant grace of, 166;
    scent of, 259, 317-318.

  Viper's Bugloss, 273-274.

  Virginia Allspice. _See_ Calycanthus.

  Virginia, sun-dials in, 369-370;
    Rose-bowers in, 385;
    lyres in, 385.

  Virgin's Bower. _See_ Adlumia.


  Wake Robin. _See_ Trillium.

  Walden Pond, 198, 345.

  Walpole, New Hampshire, garden in, 237 _et seq._, 464 _et seq._

  Walton, Izaak, 127.

  Wandis, 62.

  Warwick, Lady, sun-dial of, 98;
    gardens of, 84, 85, 110;
    Shakespeare Border of, 217.

  Washings, semi-annual, 99.

  Washington, Betty, sun-dial of, 370.

  Washington Family, in England, 367;
    sun-dial of, 367 _et seq._

  Washington, George, sun-dials of, 357, 368.

  Washington, Martha, garden of, 12-13.

  Washington, Mary, sun-dial of, 369;
    garden of, 370.

  Wassailing, 206.

  Waterbury, Connecticut, sun-dial at, 379.

  Waterford, Virginia, bee-hives at, 393.

  Water gardens, 73-74.

  Watering-pot, 391.

  Watson, Forbes, cited, 425, 433.

  Waybred, 443-444.

  Weed-smother, 300.

  Weeds of old garden, 8, 48, 52.

  Wellesley, gardens at, 409 _et seq._

  Well-sweeps, 68, 390.

  White animals on farm; 416 _et seq._

  White Garden, 415 _et seq._

  Whitehall, home of Bishop Berkeley, 194, 195.

  White Man's Foot, 443-444.

  White Satin, 170 _et seq._

  White, value in garden, 157, 255, 419.

  Whiteweed, 291. _See_ Oxeye Daisy.

  Whitman, Walt, quoted, 152-153.

  Whittier, J. G., sun-dial motto by, 373-374.

  Wild gardens, 237 _et seq._, 453-454.

  Wine-sap. _See_ Sapson.

  Winter, in a garden, 327 _et seq._

  Winter posy, 131.

  Winthrop, John, quoted, 1, 3.

  Wistaria, 166, 182, 188 _et seq._, 232.

  Woad-waxen, 24, 25.

  Wordsworth, W., quoted, 193.

  Wort, 113.

  Wort-cunning, 113.


  Yaddo, garden at, 81 _et seq._

  Yew, 406.

  York and Lancaster Rose, 62, 460 _et seq._

  Yucca, 293, 429-430.


  Zodiac, signs of, on sun-dial, 376.



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE:

A prescription symbol on page 304 is represented in this text as "Rx".

Obvious errors in spelling and punctuation have been corrected without
comment. One example of an obvious error is on page 126 where the word
"perservation" was changed to "preservation" in the phrase: "...
preservation of all perishable food...."

With the exception of obvious errors, inconsistencies in the author's
spelling and use of punctuation and hyphenation are left unchanged,
as in the original text.

One error which has been retained in this version is on Page 415, where
the attribution line for the poem reads "Walter Savage Landor" while the
correct author of the poem is Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Illustrations have been moved to the nearest, most appropriate paragraph
break.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Old-Time Gardens - Newly Set Forth" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home