This week, our field team members worked in Derby house garden, which was built in 1762 as a wedding present. The Derbys’ raised seven children in this house. Nowadays, it’s been transferred to the newly formed Salem Maritime National Historic Site. Our work was focused on the Derby house garden, which contains more than 150 varieties of heirloom annuals, perennials and bulbs.
The goal of our project this week is to restore the Derby garden into a presentable resource for the visitors to admire. Before we came here, the plants were not correctly planted and there were weeds everywhere. After our hard work-we removed the plants that didn’t belong here and took away the weeds-there is walking space in the beds and plants are at the right place. Though we were faced with some challenges this week, like the thorn of the roses and the heat, we still enjoyed ourselves working here. Learning the scientific names of some plants and pruning the roses highlighted immensely my working experience here. My favorite thing about this project is identifying the plants in the garden.
Additionally, the educational session of this project greatly broadened our horizons to the biological and horticulture fields. We have Stacey from Mather High School and Margie from Minuteman National Historical Park help us identify the plants and learn about some characteristics about them. Margie also generously taught us about the historic stories about Derby and how this historic site came into being. What’s more, we learned how to use soil knife digging out the roots to remove the excessive weeds and plants completely. We are very lucky to have Stacey and Margie to turn to for help with identifying the plants. Margie has dedicated herself to National Park Service for many years. Before she was transferred over to Minuteman National Park as a director, she worked at the Olmsted center for more than 20 years. Thanks to Margie and Stacey’s help, we distinguished the weeds from the plants that should be in the beds. Stacey willingly taught us how to prune the roses, which is vital to our work.
Such a marvelous week have we spent in the Derby house garden!