Monday, August 22, 2005
A Day of Unexpected Pleasure
Judith, Kristen and I arrived at Caprilands in North Coventry, CT around 10:30am on this delightful summer day full of expectation for our visit to the famed land of herbs. Something, however, appeared to be amiss. To begin with the gentleman who stood on the property seemed to barely notice our arrival as he continued to spray water on the ground which he said he needed to cleanse. We were not put off by this greeting, but continued to the Gift Shop looking for some direction to guide our tour. We spotted an Open sign and proceeded to go inside, but not before I took a pic of Judith and Kristen.
Once inside we witnessed a museum of a bygone era if that can be safely said of a gift shop frozen in time. The shop contained relics of jams and jellies, Christmas recipes,herbal dainties of all kinds. The rafters were filled with drying herbs left there from long ago.
From there we decided to inquire about the gardens. Much to our dismay the gardens had been abandoned in many respects. Weeds had overgrown such formerly beautiful gardens such as the Star Garden, the Shakespeare garden,the Colonial garden, and the Silver garden. The Silver garden was much touted in gardening circles that paid homage to Adelma Grenier Simmons whose herbal gardening, afternoon teas and luncheons were reputed to be special.
Even the garden of roses was overgrown and crowded, but it's nameplate remained.
I was taken with the cracked pot under some shady trees that must have contained other garden wonders.
One of my favorite plants was the sweet pea.It allowed a lovely winged creature to grace its blossoms.....I managed to take a few Sweet Pea seeds for my garden as a remembrance of the day!
Besides the many plants, we also visited with a kindly Border Collie, three cats and several chickens. Notice the chickens below. The white one sipped in the Saints garden while I snapped away. There also were Scottish Blackface sheep to enjoy.
After some repeated attempts to learn more of the farm, the gentleman ( executor of Caprilands) began to tell us about the place including some of the more remarkable specimens on the property. Below you see a native Vibernum bush with beautiful orange berries.
This path was a reminder of Frost's poem The Road Not Taken .....
Lastly we marveled at the main house which was built in 1740.
All in all we had a wonderful day in spite of the fact that Caprilands was not in its original glory. We imagined its former beauty and appreciated it's present beauty. I can only hope some gardening group will restore it for others to continue to enjoy.