You've all heard me prattle on about visiting public gardens and private garden tours, like the Garden Conservancy's Open Days. I think they are wonderful opportunities to see how plants grow in your area and to glean new ideas for your own garden. I don't know if I've ever mentioned that many historic sites are always looking for volunteers to help in their gardens. I spent many years volunteering in the historic vegetable garden at Locust Grove, the Samuel F. B. Morse Historic Site and it was a delicious education.
Cindy Goodson, in her blog, Enclos*ure, did a lovely piece on Dumbarton Oaks Park, in Washington, D.C. She mentions that Dumbarton Oaks garden is well known, but the adjacent park was a well kept secret, until they put out a call for volunteers to bring it back to its former glory. Cindy has a wonderful photo gallery showing how gorgeous this landscape is, even before restoration begins. Good bones forgive a lot.
This story caught my eye because Dumbarton Oaks was designed by pioneering landscape architect Beatrix Farrand and the garden at right, Bellefield, is one of her designs, closer to my home, that is maintained by volunteers. So Dumbarton Oaks Park is hardly alone. The next time you're visiting a historic garden, ask if they're looking for help.
Photo: © Marie Iannotti