Thoughtful musings on various topics by interesting people at Blithewold

JANUARY 1904 – EGYPT “This fascinating Eastern land!”

January 1904, Marjorie and Helen Macartnay left Italy to begin their long journey to Cairo – a long train ride to Brindisi; a steamer to Alexandria; and then another train to Cairo.  Marjorie’s first impressions … Read more.

Channeling Julie Moir Messervy

She makes garden design look so easy. Last Thursday for the second time in exactly a decade Julie Moir Messervy enraptured the Garden Design Luncheon crowd with her graciousness, easy-going wit, energy, style, and utterly pragmatic approach … Read more.

Marjorie’s European Tour, 1903-1904

When nineteen-year-old Marjorie Van Wickle graduated from school in May 1903, she found herself pressured by her mother, Bessie McKee, to join a group of socially prominentyoung women who would spend a season being “presented” … Read more.

First opportunities

I’m probably not alone in preferring to work indoors whenever it’s cold and wet outside; and in going absolutely bonkers if I can’t get outside whenever the sun is warm and the air is soft … Read more.

Every Green Pocket Counts

For the last three years I have not let up begging our gardens intern, Lilah “Weed Woman” Anderson to write a guest post for the blog – on any garden topic of  her choosing (vegetable … Read more.

What month is this?

The Mayflower (Korean spicebush/Viburnum carlesii) is in bloom along with the tulips – which makes me think it must be May … but there’s snow in the forecast (a very slight chance) for Sunday … … Read more.

Tiptoe through the tulips with me

We scheme and we plan and we cross our fingers and we hope for a succession of blooms and then when everything blooms at once we say “Oh — Wow.”  There’s a brilliant carpet of … Read more.


The house is full of ghosts today With happy going to and fro – They swim and sing and laugh and play This joyous group from years ago. Aunt Bessie and the Commodore Two dear … Read more.

The touch

Gail has been focused – I’d say “fixated” if that didn’t have a wrong sounding tone – on getting the seedlings transplanted by May 1. So yesterday I worked on basils and Nicotianas and thought … Read more.

Best intentions

  Just as soon as the dust has settled from the frenzy of December 25 and even before all of the gifts we’ve been given have found a permanent place in our homes (and gardens!) … Read more.