Revolutionary roots: a founding father’s garden flourishes in downtown Annapolis
Nestled in the quaint and crowded streets of Annapolis, in the shadow of the United States Naval Academy and the Maryland statehouse, stands a garden that captures an era within its sturdy brick wall. Built before the Revolutionary War by William Paca, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the original garden was lost when the grounds were buried beneath a hotel complex in the early 1900s. Then, 30 years ago, the gardens were unearthed, and the long process of restoration began. Today the house and garden are open to the public and offer a striking example of an 18th-century property. Walking through the Paca Garden is to experience a remarkable urban landscape full of interesting ironies and more than a little history.
The Paca Garden offers much more than history to today’s gardeners. Given the garden’s small scale – it covers only two acres -visitors can apply techniques used here to their own backyards. As Director of Collections and Public Programs Lucy Coggin puts it, This tightly designed, little urban garden relates more to most people’s home landscape than larger public gardens.” The Paca Garden features wonderful examples of intensively planted vegetables and fruit, seasonal displays that blend native with introduced species, formal parterres, and informal beds with undulating curves and stepped-up plantings that speak to today’s naturalized style of landscaping. The current enthusiasm for native American wildflowers is well reflected here, where the same trend was in vogue 230 years ago, though at that time these species were new to the gardening world.
Magic mountain: strong lines and bold arches transform a California hillside
‘FIVE ACRES +/-. Old home,” was all the sign said. It was a cold, wet November evening on Sonoma Mountain, about an hour’s drive north of San Francisco, and it was growing dark. But my wife and I were tempted, and turned in for a look. The house and land were both old and derelict. Along with our disappointment at the state of the property, however, came the realization that we were never going to find paradise ready-made. The extent to which we would make our dream a reality would depend on our ability to transform what we were given. But was this the raw material?
Having decided that this was the place where we would live and stay, the process of transformation began. I immediately started drawing the lines and laying out the spaces. The orchard would be an essential element. We had room for a meadow and, of course, there was to be a real garden–not one of the “landscaped yards” I saw all around me, but a creation to involve, indulge, and reward us for the next 30 years. It would be a compilation of stored images–fragments of old gardens, memories of summer days at friends’ homes. But the garden grew from subliminal promptings as well as conscious memories. There was no Master Plan.
Summer vacations are on. And predictably, your children are excited for this is the longest vacation they get to enjoy. It is a time when their daily routine goes for a toss. Long hours of play and frenzied activity often throw children’s lives out of gear; undesirable practices like skipping meals and ignoring basic hygiene become the norm. Have your child’s vacations started on this note too? If yes, how well prepared are you to deal with this situation?
Be careful… Probably, your children would have started indulging in their favourite pastimes ignoring their daily routine such as impromptu holidays, casual day outs-the most thrilling experience they crave to have etc. Naturally, these fun-filled activities give your children immense pleasure but in turn these create problems for both of you. So what you need is to be a bit careful having an eye over their activities.