Another Memorial Day has come and gone, so marking the unofficial start of summer and with it all of the yard work; I know I spent most of my holiday weekend separating mums and planting flowers. Well, work on the Whaley House gardens is in full swing as well! Or at least it will be once this rainy week passes. Plans are being made to instill new life in the flower beds this summer so our Gilded Age Gardens can thrive once more.
Those on the garden committee are faced with interesting questions of historical accuracy while planning these gardens, however. First, the Whaleys never would have had a substance like Weed ‘n Feed to kill the dandelions and feed the grass, so should a museum be true to history or should we update the yards to today’s standards? You walk a thin line between aesthetically pleasing and inaccurate. Second, we can’t simply run out to the nearest nursery and buy whatever flowers suit our tastes, but research about not only the varieties of flowers, but also the various strands of each flower must be done. Most of our roses and tulips are varieties that the Whaleys could have had in their own gardens!
So, the next time you visit the Whaley House keep this in mind. What kinds of things might you expect from gardens at a museum such as ours? What are you favorite pieces of the Whaley House landscape? And if you’re interested, contact us to find out how you can help with our flower gardens.