Thursday, March 7, 2019

Spring Flower Bulb Donation

Thanks to Princeton's Ace Hardware for donating their unsold spring bulbs to the Friends of Herrontown Woods! FOHW's vice president, Perry Jones, coordinated this donation, and helped fill up the back of Old Green with the partially filled boxes.

The bulbs will help recreate the english garden that once graced the grounds of Veblen House. Fortunately, we have photos of what the grounds looked like in the 1950s, while the Veblens were still alive, supplied to us years back by longtime resident of the Veblen House, Bob Wells. The photos show a clear emphasis on tulips, daffodils, and primrose. Elizabeth Veblen no doubt inherited her love of gardening from a youth spent in England.

Now is the time to identify all the boulders in these photos. That's Elizabeth in the photo, enjoying a brisk spring day, with daffodils holding forth along the edge of the field. The grounds were taken care of by Max Latterman, who had first worked for the Whiton-Stuarts before the Veblen's bought the house.

These low-growing yellow flowers are winter aconite, not to be confused with the closely related but highly invasive lesser celandine (also called fig buttercup).

The split rail fence that formed an oval around the Veblen House was planted with lilies and peonies, with fruit trees nearby. Some posts from that fence remain standing, due to having been made of rot resistant black locust.

Another photo with Elizabeth posing at the back of Veblen House. One of the house's two balconies, possible added by the Veblens, the better to view the garden, can be seen just up and to the left behind Elizabeth.

Looking the other direction, towards the Veblen Cottage from the back side of the house, this photo shows the curious structures that once graced the grounds: a dovecote and a hay barrack.

A dogwood tree, tulips and primrose, all cared for by the Veblens, her friends in the Dogwood Garden Club, and longtime caretaker Max. The son of the Kennedys, who lived nearby, said that going to the Veblen House felt like walking into a Beatrix Potter story.