Life in gardens: Mr. Hesse

2 Mr. Hesse, Wash, D.C. 1928 or 29, Library of Congress“Mr. Hesse, Bot.[anic] Gardens,” Washington, D.C., 1928 or 29, by National Photo Company, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Years later, did he go back and say, “I remember it as so much bigger. . . “?

1 Mr. Hesse, Wash, D.C. 1928 or 29, Library of Congress

The little boy was almost certainly the son of George Wesley Hess, who was Superintendent and then Director of the U.S. Botanic Garden from 1913 to 1934. There are more photos of the family and the Garden here.

I bless thee, Lord, because I GROW
Among thy trees, which in a ROW
To thee both fruit and order OW.

— George Herbert, from “Paradise”

The winter garden: Rockwood

Rockwood, Delaware, 1982 HABS, Library of Congress“Conservatory interior looking southwest,” Rockwood, near Wilmington, Delaware, 1982, by David Ames, via an Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (all photos here).

Built between 1851 and 1854 in the Rural Gothic Revival style, the estate still exists as the Rockwood Park and Museum.

Designed for Joseph Shipley, a member of one of the leading Quaker mill-owning families in the area, Rockwood is an unusually complete and effective statement of early Victorian taste in the tradition of A.J. Downing and John Clauduius Loudon. The mansion house reflects both early Victorian romanticism and the picturesque merger of irregular architecture and naturalistic landscape. When taken in conjunction, the architecture, the plan, the garden and the remaining furnishings depict a total physical sensibility that is fast vanishing from America.

— 1986 HABS report

Rockwood, Delaware, 1982 HABS, Library of Congress“Conservatory, detail of cast iron columns looking northeast.”

Rockwood, Delaware, 1982 HABS, Library of Congress“Conservatory, roof and northwest wall looking north.”

More winter gardens are here. And more abandoned greenhouses here on the blog Messy Nessy Chic.

The winter garden: diplomatic cacti

Mexican Embassy cacti, Library of Congress“Mexican ambassador Don Manuel Tellez standing amidst potted cacti in the embassy’s conservatory, Washington, D.C.,” ca. 1925, by National Photo Company, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Amb. and artist in cactus garden, Mexican Amb.'s residence, via Library of CongressR.G. Gunther, a Mexican artist, and the Secretary of the Embassy, M.Y. DeNegu, among the cacti on May 28, 1929, also via Library of Congress.

More winter gardens are here.

After she left he bought another cactus
just like the one she’d bought him
in the airport in Marrakesh. . .

Next week he was back for another, then another. . .

— Matthew Sweeney, from “Cacti