Being grateful is an emotion that is often overlooked. As gardeners, we are elated when that particular bud opens into bloom. Satisfaction is found when we eat that first homegrown tomato from the garden. The sweet heat from a Shishito pepper surprises our tastebuds and reminds us that the next one could be hotter or not. No matter the circumstance, being grateful should be a part of our daily existence.
I recently read a book, Harper Counts Her Blessings. This book made me reflect on how we can move throughout our day without reflecting on exactly what we are thankful for. This is a great book for parents and grandparents to have on hand when offering up a simple lesson about being grateful.
Jenny Rose Carey is a fellow garden writer. I was introduced to her first book, Glorious Shade, at a Garden Writers event a few years ago. We share a love of a few things like the color pink, as well as shade gardens. After reading this book, I knew a visit was imminent. We discussed a visit and then the period of unexpected pausing hit. When GardenComm International‘s Region 2 announced an in-person meeting, Northview was a featured garden, I knew this garden was calling me.
THANKFUL FOR THE HISTORY
For the past 25 years, Jenny and Gus have reimagined Northview into not just their home, but a popular place for garden aficionados around the world to visit. Thanks to Wilmer Atkinson for keeping such good records to document the journey of Northview. Mr. Atkinson was the founder and editor of the Farm Journal. When he acquired the land, it was just over 150 acres. There are trees on the property that provide glorious shade and date back to the days when Mr. Atkinson planted and beautified the grounds.
As with many perennials, over time the land Mr. Atkinson called home was parceled off and sold. Today, Northview is just under five acres and includes a divinely beautiful carriage house. As I sat in the carriage house, I imagined how thankful Jenny Rose Carey must be. The carriage house is well-lit, surrounded by walls of great garden books, a fireplace, and a kitchenette…all in the midst of the garden. I am grateful to have enjoyed a few moments in the room where Jenny writes.
A GRATEFUL GATHERING
Northview is not just another beautiful garden. It is a working garden, a teaching garden, as well a the perfect environment for experimentation. Using minimal watering techniques, and using the right plant in the right places, Jenny has curated whimsical places throughout the garden to pause.
Pausing to see what plants Jenny has included embracing the local wildlife and seasonal plantings which fall victim to the same wildlife as they need nutrition. These living examples are all a part of the lesson plan found at Northview. Armed with a delightful Head Gardener, Hanna von Schlegell, and Joe Giampa, a local artist and carpenter, Jenny has all the helpby