There are no archival pictures of this part of the property but we know that there were extensive vegetable and cutting gardens here. Produce from those gardens was delivered to the mansion, and sent by train to the family’s winter home in Boston. Garden staff still pick from the cutting garden for arrangements (created weekly by talented volunteers) displayed in the mansion. Blithewold’s horticulturists also use the Display Garden to demonstrate new plants and combinations as well as sustainable, pollinator-friendly gardening practices.
Three of Blithewold’s 1901 Lord & Burnham greenhouses, originally used for fruit and flower production, were restored in 2005. The footprint of the Palm and Rose houses that were taken down in the 1930’s, is traced in brick to the east of the remaining buildings. Over the winter, the greenhouses are heated and filled with Blithewold’s collection of tender plants, cuttings and seedlings of annuals, tender perennials, and vegetables grown for Blithewold’s many gardens. The head house still functions as a working potting shed as well as the garden staff’s office.
The vegetable garden is no longer plowed by a team of horses but it does feed Blithewold staff and volunteers as well as local needy families. Over 1000lbs of produce was donated to the East Bay Food Pantry over the first season of our partnership. The garden beautifully showcases the season’s succession of vegetables, companion planting, different mulches, planting methods, and staking techniques.
Wednesday, May 15
- Wednesday, June 19
Introduction to Watercolor
Thursday, May 23
Tree Mob at the Arnold Arboretum
Saturday, May 25
Behind the Scenes Tour
Marjorie’s dove tree turns 40
(May 16, '13)
It’s a lucky visitor whose gaze turns east along the path between the mansion and the Enclosed Garden, instead of west across the blooming North Garden and Great Lawn to Narragansett Bay. The western view is a compelling one to be sure and even I am caught up short by it every time I walk ...
The Costume Collection
(Jan 07, '13)
Many of you already know about the fabulous collection of gowns and accessories belonging to Bessie Van Wickle McKee that came home to Blithewold last year. Forty-one dresses with accessories, coats, and hats, had been given to the Colonial Dames … Continue reading