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, April 06
- Wednesday, October 05
Saturday, April 16
- Saturday, October 08
Wednesday, May 04
- Wednesday, June 08
Watercolor Painting at Blithewold with Artist Mary Ellen Dwyer
Wednesday, May 04
- Monday, October 10
Stephen Procter Sanctuaries and Destinations: Clay Vessels in the Garden
Tuesday, May 31
- Tuesday, July 05
Archives and Collections Tour with Curator Margaret Whitehead
Thursday, June 02
Drought-Tolerant Container Plants Workshop
Ranunculus are here!
(May 27, '16)
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 of heat. They have since recovered, but not without making our hearts skip a beat thinking they may go by […]
Springing into action
(May 06, '16)
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 transplanted Cosmos and Zinnia seedlings that will eventually be planted in the Cutting Garden. We are trialing about a dozen […]
A Boy’s Trip to Europe, 1869
(Apr 27, '16)
In 1869, 16-year-old Israel Pardee left his home in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, for a one-year educational journey through Europe, accompanied by his younger sister Anne. Israel (known in the family as Izzie) was Bessie McKee’s older brother and became Marjorie Van Wickle’s favorite Uncle. Izzie and Anne had joined the family of their father’s friend, Dr. […]