Or, How a Tree has a Spell Over Me
I want to share with you why I adore books and all things 'garden.' I began reading Restoring American Gardens, An Encyclopedia of Heirloom Ornamental Plants 1640-1940 by Denise Wiles Adams and as I skimmed the pages, I saw an entry for Magnolia grandiflora, one of my favorite trees (Ginkgo being the top pick in my book), but I digress. I was struck by this because a Magnolia shades the steps leading to my gardens at Ault Park- a lovely sight that makes me smile. It is my portal to my garden life. Work and house chores are on one side of the tree and as I pass underneath, I enter my garden world- gardens, weeds to pull and relaxation (isn’t weeding and relaxation one in the same?). According to the book, the earliest American citation for the tree was made by botanist and nurseryman, John Bartrum, ca.1760.
I was introduced to John, and his son William Bartram while studying early American history, another interest of mine. I was researching a paper, Jefferson's Gardens, or, what my classmates referred to as the shrubbery paper, when I read about Jefferson visiting Bartram’s nursery.