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08 Mar
Fri / 2013

A Garden in Vogue

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I have nothing close to a green thumb. While I have fond memories of my dad’s vegetable garden, in the past year alone I have somehow managed to kill an assortment of herbs, succulents, and a fig tree. However, I have still retained my love for the work that those with green thumbs can do! At Rienzi, we’re in the midst of the gardens’ loveliest season, and there are a variety of camellias and azaleas in bloom. To honor Rienzi’s gardens, we chose a British garden-themed book, Women and Their Gardens: A History from the Elizabethan Era to Today, by Catherine Horwood, as our History Book Club selection for March.

Not only does the book detail a fascinating relationship between women and the world of horticulture and botany, I also came across an interesting connection to Rienzi: the stylish notion of “white” gardens in the mid-20th century. According to Horwood, white gardens came into vogue after the writer Vita Sackville-West created a White Garden at Sissinghurst, the country estate where she lived with her husband, diplomat Harold Nicolson. Sackville-West’s White Garden, full of Rosa mulliganii, phlox, agapanthus, and lilies, is credited with spawning white gardens throughout the world—and perhaps even the White Garden at Rienzi!

Rienzi’s White Garden is especially spectacular in March. Winding pathways weave through the bountiful garden full of azaleas: G. G. Gerbing, Fielder’s White, and Kate Arendall; spirea, a saucer magnolia, and other native trees.

Stop by Rienzi to see the gardens while they’re in bloom! If you can’t make it, check out the slideshow above with some recent photographs.

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About Casey Monahan

Casey Monahan

Casey Monahan joined Rienzi as education assistant in 2010. She received her B.A. in art history and history from the College of the Holy Cross, and her M.A. in art history from the University of Houston. At Rienzi, the Massachusetts native works with docents, tours, and other public programs. 

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