Colonial Williamsburg®

What's New on History.org: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website

The Ancient Gardener's Instructor: Dispatches from Wesley Greene

April 16, 2014

From the Garden: Of Redbud and Celery

From the Garden: Of Redbud and Celery

The Redbud, known to the botanists as Cercis Canadensis, is now illuminating the woodlands with its rosy pink blooms.  This is one of the first of our native trees to flower and precedes the Dogwood in the gay march of sylvan delights that fill the margins of Virginia forests.

Blooming redbud

It was known in …

Continue Reading »

April 9, 2014

From the Garden: Prolific pleasantries

From the Garden: Prolific pleasantries

Pilewort

This week I wish to relate a cautionary tale of flowering plants so prolific in their habit that, despite their beauty, one may wish to avoid lest they overwhelm the garden.

The first is known as lesser Celandine, Figwort or, by the ancients, Pilewort for it use in relieving that most irritating of maladies.  …

Continue Reading »

April 2, 2014

Ha-ha! The secret wall revealed

Ha-ha! The secret wall revealed

I went to visit the Governor’s Palace to observe, now that it is unoccupied after Lord Dunmore’s hasty retreat, if the gardens have suffered in the current confusion.  The gardener, a Scotsman by the name of John Farquharson, who has chosen to support the patriot cause rather than follow his master into exile and infamy, …

Continue Reading »

March 26, 2014

From the Garden: Of ditches and daffodils

From the Garden: Of ditches and daffodils

Asparagus trench with shells

Campernelle Narcissus

We are making an experiment with a new asparagus bed on the advice of Mr. Joseph Prentis, a Williamsburg attorney who keeps a fine garden on the edge of town.  Being a person of methodical disposition he has left us his Monthly Kalendar compiled between the years …

Continue Reading »

March 19, 2014

From the Garden: Frost cracks and hot beds

From the Garden: Frost cracks and hot beds

Despite all of our attentions, the Bay tree has suffered a fatal frost crack on its upper trunk.  The trunk was wrapped as a precaution against just this injury earlier in the year but it has proven insufficient.

Frost crack

What is most puzzling is that the crack appears on the north side of the …

Continue Reading »

March 12, 2014

From the Garden: Of iris and marigold

From the Garden: Of iris and marigold

It is at this time of year that nature holds its breath.  Too soon to bid the winter storms farewell and yet we are surrounded by the harbingers of spring.  Jonquils dance their breezy ballet and crocus huddle close to the still cold ground.  This week the first of the reticulate Iris (Iris reticulata) have …

Continue Reading »


Switch to our mobile site