Saturday, 1 September 2012

The historic gardens at Stanley-Whitman House, CT.

Image citation: Historic American Buildings Survey HABS CONN,2-FARM,9-1
According to their website,  the Stanley-Whitman House in Farmington, CT.,  is a 'living history center and museum that teaches through the collection, preservation, research, and dynamic interpretation of the history and culture of early Farmington. Programs, events, classes, and exhibits encourage visitors of all ages to immerse themselves in history by doing, acting, questioning, and engaging in Colonial life and the ideas that formed the foundation of that culture.'

The 'Dooryard Garden Society' is a group of volunteers and museum staff who have recreated the only example representing authentic pre-1800 gardening in Connecticut.

Part of the challenge of recreating a 'dooryard garden' as early settler gardens are known is the research - finding evidence.  Especially since the gardens changed so much.  From gardens planted with species and cultivars brought from England to a mix of native and introduced as the gardeners had to adapt to a new climate and new plants.  

The garden contains a mix of fruits and vegetables, and flowers and herbs, most of which had a medicinal value. And all of the 80 or so taxa are 'period correct'.  That is to say, were available in the Colonies in the mid- to late 18th century. 

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