Thoughtful musings on various topics by interesting people at Blithewold

Educating Marjorie

Marjorie Van Wickle was born in 1883 in Cleveland, Ohio.  Little is known about her early education until the family moved back to Hazleton, Pennsylvania, in 1892.  There her parents, Augustus and Bessie Van Wickle, … Read more.

Night Blooming Cereus

  Night Blooming Cereus One hundred years ago, on August 1, 1916, The Bristol Phoenix announced to the town that a rare horticultural event was taking place at Blithewold.  Bessie had been cultivating a Night … Read more.

The News

I love new plants.  It always feels a little bit like Christmas morning when I see a new plant come into flower for the first time–except I have to be patient as it unwraps itself. … Read more.

Cosmos on my mind

    It’s been a hot and humid July week.  Any delusions I had of enjoying a cool, temperate summer have evaporated into the extreme humidity.  However, on the bright side, flowers are bursting out … Read more.

Happy Years At Blithewold

In the summer of 1978, eighteen months after the death of Marjorie Lyon, the East Bay Bulletin interviewed Tillie McDonnell, Marjorie’s long-time cook. Tillie had worked for Marjorie for more than forty years, and remained … Read more.

Garden fireworks

Happy Fourth of July weekend!  It’s that time of the summer when we finally begin to take a step back from our full-speed-ahead mode of May and June.  Just when Gail, Sean (our intern this … Read more.

Blithewold’s Golf Club House

In 1895, when Augustus and Bessie Van Wickle purchased the 70 acre property on Ferry Road that became Blithewold, they had grand plans to make their ‘Country Place’ into an idyllic, restful retreat to share … Read more.

One Hundred Years Ago

JUNE 1916 As I write this in the middle of May we have the heating on in the offices. The Third Floor group just had lunch on the North Porch – a favorite spot to … Read more.

Ranunculus are here!

  Spring is definitely in full swing here and already hinting at summer!  It was so warm this week that the lovely spring blooms we’ve been anxiously awaiting buckled a bit with the first blast … Read more.

Springing into action

Despite the wretched weather this week, we ushered in May with a flurry of activity.  The volunteers helped us pot up 100 dahlias in preparation for planting out in the gardens next month.  They also … Read more.