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The Rescue Of An Old Place | by Mary Caroline Robbins



These chapters, which originally appeared in Garden and Forest, were written partly to acknowledge a debt for many practical suggestions derived from its pages, which helped us in our efforts to bring harmony and beauty out of neglect and desolation in one of the "abandoned farms" of Massachusetts; and at the same time to show the pleasure and interest we found in endeavoring to create a garden and forest of our own. The experiments that I relate are by no means completed, and the mistakes made will call for sympathy, as the sue-cesses will claim congratulations; but to those who will kindly go with me along the way we have come, at all events the story ought to show what can be done with moderate expense, by the aid of such excellent publications as are now within reach of every one, and bow, by loving labor, the old may be made to add charm and dignity to the new, while the new lends purpose and meaning to the old. What has given so much delight in doing, must, it seems to me, give pleasure when told, and it is in this hope that I venture to detail our very simple experience.

TitleThe Rescue Of An Old Place
AuthorMary Caroline Robbins
PublisherHoughton, Mifflin And Company
Year1892
Copyright1892, Mary Caroline Robbins
AmazonThe Rescue Of An Old Place

When Epicurus to the world hid taught.

That pleasure was the thief est good, (And was perhaps i the right, if rightly understood).

His life he to his doctrine brought. And in a garden's shade that sovereign pleasure sought.

Abraham Cowley

To J. H. R. I dedicate. These Records Of Our Happy Years Of Work And Hope.

-I. The Old Place
In a coign of the cliff between lowland and highland, At the sea-down's edge between windward and lee, Walled round with rocks as an inland island, The ghost of a garden fronts the sea. A girdle of...
-The Old Place. Continued
We Buy The Old Place From this, and from the fact that, situated as it was between the two villages, it formed absolutely a part of neither of them - to us an advantage rather than a drawback, but ...
-II. Planting Willows And Pines
Willow! in thy breezy moan I can hear a deeper tone; Through thy leaves come whispering low Faint sweet songs of long ago - Willow, sighing willow! Mrs. Hemans. Who liveth by the ragged pine...
-Planting Willows And Pines. Part 2
The Barren Hillside The most exposed portion of the place being thus provided for, we turned our attention to the barren hillside, which was a pretty hopeless-looking spot for trees of any kind. Th...
-Planting Willows And Pines. Part 3
We Hunt For Trees So we waited, as anxiously as the prophet Elijah, for the first sign of rain, and when at last the brassy heavens veiled themselves in cloud about the middle of August, we started...
-III. A Baby Forest
The seed has started, who can stay it? See, The leaves are sprouting high above the ground. Already o'er the flowers its head; the tree That rose beside it, and that on it frowned, Behold! is but a sm...
-A Baby Forest. Part 2
Stray Ladies At the foot of the hill, at each end, is a clump of White Birches, ladies of the woods that have strayed from their home, and lost themselves on this waste, and rustle their thin leave...
-A Baby Forest. Part 3
The Sufferings Of The Young Oaks We have in our experiments endeavored to make use of such materials as lay at hand, though well aware that nurseries and gardens could have helped us on our way mor...
-IV. Clearing Up
The dense hard passage is blind and stifled, That crawls by a track none turn to climb To the strait waste place that the years have rifled Of all but the thorns that are touched not of Time; The thor...
-Clearing Up. Part 2
Grading The Knoll While all this spring and fall cleaning was going on, the heavy labor of grading was in progress. Teams and men were coming and going, heavy scrapers were plowing part of the litt...
-Clearing Up. Part 3
Are The Willows To Be In The Way People question us about our Willows, and ask whether we are to make a hedge of them or allow them to grow up into trees. If you allow the Willow-trees to grow up,...
-Clearing Up. Part 4
The Planting Of Trees By Schools And Colleges It is the custom in some of our high-schools for the graduating class to plant a tree in the neighborhood of the school-house and for a long period it ...
-V. On The Perversity Of Certain Trees
My wind has turned to bitter north, That was so soft a south before; My sky, that shone so sunny bright, With foggy gloom is clouded o'er. Arthur Hugh Clough. Apology Due To My Trees M...
-On The Perversity Of Certain Trees. Part 2
Hemlocks Are Perverse Of the perversity of Hemlocks I could write a volume. I knew something of their waywardness in the State of Maine, but even in Massachusetts, where everything is regulated by ...
-On The Perversity Of Certain Trees. Part 3
Information Comes Too Late But all these trees give us care and trouble, and much disappointment, like everything on which one's heart is set, and then we are always finding out things just too ...
-VI. The Wreck Of An Ancient Garden
A brave old house! a garden full of bees, Large dropping poppies, and queen hollyhocks, With butterflies for crowns, - tree peonies, And pinks and goldilocks. Jean Ingelow. A Wonderful Bag ...
-The Wreck Of An Ancient Garden. Part 2
Some Highbred Old Blossoms. A Fragrant Vine They must have family records of interest, these ladylike old blossoms. Those yellow Daffodils, with their long green ribbons, have nestled up against th...
-The Wreck Of An Ancient Garden. Part 3
Roses Of Ye Olden Time No longer supported by the fallen house, a Trumpet Creeper, which trailed along the ground, has been clipped into a compact bush. A venerable Althaea, which we did our best t...
-VII. A New Perennial Garden
Pluck the primroses; pluck the violets; Pluck the daisies, Sing their praises; Friendship with the flowers some noble thought begets. Edward Youl. It Requires Genius To Make The Trossachs In...
-A New Perennial Garden. Continued
What We Did To Them We needed sods for the terraces we were making, and so began by removing the turf around the trees, leaving narrow strips of grass to walk upon. This furnished us with three wid...
-VIII. A Venerable Orchard
O blessed shades! O gentle cool retreat, From all the immoderate heat, In which the frantic world does burn and sweat! Abraham Cowley. Neath cloistered boughs, each floral bell that swingeth,...
-A Venerable Orchard. Part 2
Old Apple-Trees The year we took possession, three trees at this point - a Baldwin, a Rhode Island Greening and a Russet - furnished us with about a dozen barrels of apples. In addition, there are ...
-IX. A Struggle With The Web-Worm
Devoured by worms, like Herod, was the town. -Longfellow. Nine hundred thousand reptiles blue. -H. Bennett. The Villain Ous Web-Worm IT is a delightful thing to own an orchard, but ...
-A Struggle With The Web-Worm. Part 2
Webs On The High-Road Far and near, not only are the Wild Cherry trees, already infested with the odious black knot, left to spread a second plague among the fruit-trees, but whole orchards are all...
-A Struggle With The Web-Worm. Part 3
An Awful Vision Of The Future A vision of opening the front door in the morning to find the house encased in an enormous web, under which the worms are feeding on the shingles, and glaring at you f...
-X. Planting Trees On A Lawn
The gods who mortal beauty chase, Still in a tree did end their race. Andrew Marvell. We Make Our First Experiment Tn Moving Large Trees WHEN our house was built, and the lawn prepated fo...
-Planting Trees On A Lawn. Part 2
Success Encourages Us To Flout In April we moved in the same manner a Silver Maple, which has grown nine feet and ten inches, and a stocky White Willow, which has been put quite near the house to g...
-Planting Trees On A Lawn. Part 3
Trials With Hemlocks Against these trees we have no charges to make of either stubbornness or ingratitude; given the conditions, the results are all, and more than all, we had a right to expect. Th...
-XI. Reclaiming A Salt Meadow
Ye marshes, how candid and simple, and nothing withholding and free, Ye publish yourselves to the sky, and offer yourselves to the sea. Sidney Lanier. THE ornamental part of the place once un...
-Reclaiming A Salt Meadow. Part 2
A Marsh Will Swallow Everything Piles of stones, rubbish, sand, boughs, trunks and roots of trees, old crockery, ashes, the debris of our own and other people's places, it swallows them all withou...
-Reclaiming A Salt Meadow. Part 3
Reclaiming A Salt Meadow He who undertakes to change the face of nature must needs have patience. Monarchs like Nebuchadnezzar may hang gardens in the air in a few months, or a Louis Fourteenth may...
-XII. Terraces And Shrubs
How could such sweet and wholesome hoars Be reckoned, but with shrubs and flowers} Marvell. The Lot Too Small For A House CONTINUING our practical efforts, we were moved to enlarge around...
-Terraces And Shrubs. Part 2
Other Terraces Behind the house, on the basement-level, is still another curved terrace, from which a grassy cart-path leads down to the swale and the hot-beds, and here the various walls are utili...
-Terraces And Shrubs. Part 3
We Give Our Shrubs An Airing Anybody can put in a tree or a shrub and let it alone, but it takes nerve to wheel it about like a baby in a go-cart. We have neighbors who employ the conventional m...
-XIII. Evergreens In Spring
Come to me, Quoth the Pine-tree, I am the giver of honor. My garden is the cloven rock, And my manure the snow; And drifting sand-heaps feed my stock, In summer's scorching glow. ...
-Evergreens In Spring. Part 2
Pines Need Water This year the warm days in April so quickened all vegetable life, that, when we set forth in the middle of May in search of new trees for the hill, we found to our surprise that th...
-Evergreens In Spring. Part 3
We Come Home With A Load Of Little Trees When at last we came to the clearing, we found Pines in plenty, but, unfortunately, the soil was rocky, and the trees were hard to dislodge, and did not com...
-Evergreens In Spring. Part 4
Hemlocks At The Arnold Arboretum. No Foreign Park Shows Such A Sight I was shown one day at the Arnold Arboretum, near Boston, the north side of a hill, steep and rocky, but clothed with giant Heml...
-XIV. The Love Of Flowers In America
Fables were not more, Bright, nor loved of yore; Yet they grew not, like the flowers, by every old pathway. Leigh Hunt. A false statement. WHILE we and our neighbors are doing our best ...
-The Love Of Flowers In America. Part 2
Many Women Experienced Botanists Many women are experienced botanists in their own locality, and can tell where every wild flower of the region is to be found. They rejoice, too, in the discovery o...
-The Love Of Flowers In America. Part 3
Wearing Of Flowers Not A Merfachion American women wear flowers for adornment more generally than the women of any other country. This of itself is proof of the genuineness of their love for flower...
-XV. The Rose-Chafer
All the fields which thou dost see, All the plants, belong to thee; All the summer hours produce. Fertile made with early juice. Man for thee doth sow and plow, Farmer he, and landlord thou I -Anac...
-The Rose-Chafer. Part 2
Thg Rose-Bugs Find Overlea Unhealthy Probably the rose-bugs do not publish a morning paper, or they would learn that the lawn at Overlea is an unhealthy situation for their race, and that their unp...
-The Rose-Chafer. Part 3
A Legend Another legend belongs to the potato-beetle, which some of the farmers in this neighborhood vow will not trouble potatoes planted in a hill with beans; but this is merely a legend. We have...
-XVI. Sufferings From Drought
In heat the landscape quivering lies; The cattle pant beneath the tree; Through parching air and purple skies, The earth looks up in vain for thee, For thee, for thee it looks in vain, O gent...
-Sufferings From Drought. Part 2
Our Catalpa Suffers From Changes In The Weather Upon the sandy knoll where our house is situated, and especially along the street, in places only accessible to a very long hose, the trees and turf ...
-Sufferings From Drought. Part 3
A Melancholy Confession Of Un-Thrifl Among the searching questions that are put to the members of the Society of Friends, in their meetings for the investigation of personal character, one of the q...
-XVII. The Blessing Of The Rain
The garden trees are busy with the shower That fell ere sunset; now methmks they talk. Lowly and sweetly as befits the hoar. One to another down the grassy walk-Hark! the laburnum from his openi...
-The Blessing Of The Rain. Part 2
Its Humanness A garden after a shower has always an especial charm; everything is sweeter and fresher, even in its often bedraggled condition. I have a passion for dabbling in water-coloring of thi...
-The Blessing Of The Rain. Part 3
New Birth After A Rain. The Flower Princesses The dusty foliage emerges brilliantly shining and fresh. Every shower seems to bring a new spring, and the world never fails to be surprised at the ren...
-XVIII. Discouragements
Even now the devastation is begun. And half the business of destruction done. Goldsmith. O rivers, forests, hills, and plains! Oft have ye heard my cantie strains; But now, what else for me rema...
-Discouragements. Part 2
An Insidious Foe We pursued our insidious foe from tree to tree with the shears, and beheaded him with great slaughter. But, alas! it was only a realization of the old nursery sneer, about cutting ...
-Discouragements. Part 3
The Saw-Fly Another discouragement comes in the worm which saws off the small branches of the Oaks, and leaves the ground strewn with twigs, as after a storm; but that supercilious insect disdains ...
-Discouragements. Part 4
A Vista In-Sisted Upon We have another disturbing visitor who insists upon a vista, which involves the sacrifice of a fine clump of Lilacs and Buckthorn, that shuts off a view of the northern part ...
-XIX. A Water Garden
Little stieains have flowers a many. Beautiful and fair as any; Tvoha strong, and green bur-seed; w-herb with cotton-seed; (head with eye of jet, he water violet the flowering-bush you meet, the pl...
-A Water Garden. Part 2
Wild Flowers In The Pool The pool is close to an old gray fence, over which the wild vines clamber, and against which the Milkwort, with its stiff stems and smooth leaves, stands up erect, its pani...
-A Water Garden. Part 3
A Tiny Terrace The little green-turfed terrace is encircled with flowers that thrive in this warm nook, where the morning sun shines hotly, and where its southwestern rays are tempered by the shade...
-A Water Garden. Part 4
Condition Of The Trees On The Hill The little Oaks and Maples have thriven, and are showing green against the already withering grass. The soil is yearly improving by letting it lie fallow, and the...
-XX. Landscape Gardening
Therefore am I still A lover of the meadows and the woods And mountains; and of all that we behold From this green earth; of all the might; world Of eve and ear, both what the; half create And what pe...
-Landscape Gardening. Part 2
It Is Hopeful Sign To Be Convinced That You Know Nothing The conviction that you know nothing is always a hopeful, if a depressing sign. When the painter feels that his finished picture is a wretch...
-Landscape Gardening. Part 3
Hectic Of The Dying Year. Autumn Beauty Ofthe Meadow In this mature beauty, which is far more permanent than the more exquisite spring loveliness, there is a great charm. The monotony of July green...
-Landscape Gardening. Part 4
Good Applet Must Not Be Sacrificed But a Seek-no-further, which bears several barrels of early apples that are very good eating, is not easily to be sacrificed, even to the demands of a landscape, ...
-XXI. The Waning Year And Its Suggestions
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness! Close bosom-friend of the maturing son. Keats. Nature never did betray The heart that loved her; 't is her privilege Through all the years of this our li...
-The Waning Year And Its Suggestions. Part 2
Late Blossoms Well mingled with these more delicate plants should be those hardy perennials that lift their gallant little heads and smile in the very teeth of winter. The hardy Chrysanthemum, the ...
-The Waning Year And Its Suggestions. Part 3
A Lesson Learned But as the summer wanes, and we turn once more from nature to our own minds for refreshment and solace, we begin to consider what the year's efforts have brought to us, and to refl...
-The Waning Year And Its Suggestions. Part 4
Unselfish Toil Kelps The Character The planter also grows in unselfish zeal as his plans increase in scope. He prepares for the future race, not alone for his own joy. The trees he disposes for ano...
-XXII. Utility Versus Beauty
Happy art thou, whom God docs bless With the foil choke of thine own happiness; And happier yet, because thou'rt blest With prudence how to choose the best: In books and gardens thou hast placed arigh...
-Utility Versus Beauty. Part 2
The Harvest Overeules Everything It is of no use to summon any one. That grass must be cut to-day, or the hay must be turned, or forked over, or got in, or whatever - there is no appeal; harv...
-Utility Versus Beauty. Part 3
The Puzzle Gives Pleasure The problems of the old place will continue to develop and add puzzle to puzzle in our uninstructed minds; we may pay dear for our whistle, but we shall have the whistle a...
-Utility Versus Beauty. Part 4
September Chases June How swift the silent succession of the months 1 September seems to tread upon the train of June, it is so quickly here, so quickly gone. The Goldenrod is the first plume of th...









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previous page: The Villa Gardener | by J. C. Loudon
  
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