way of a garden, which she thus recalls in an address on horticulture, given in her later years:--
“My earliest horticultural recollections go back to an enclosure, usually called a yard, in the rear of my father's house in New York.
When my little brother and I were turned out to play there, we might just as well have picked the bugs off the rosebushes as the buds, of which we made wicked havoc.
Not knowing what to do with the flower border, we barbarized instead of cultivating it. Being of extremely inquiring minds, we picked the larkspurs and laburnums to pieces, but became nothing the wiser for the process.
A little daily tuition might have transformed us into a miniature Adam
and Eve, and might have taught us some things that these old friends of ours did not know.
But tuition to us then meant six or eight daily hours passed in dry conversation with the family governess or French master.
No one dreamed of turning the enamelled pages of the garden for us. We grew up consequently with the city measure of the universeyour own house, somebody else's, the trees in the park, a strip of blue sky overhead, and a great deal of talk about Nature read from the best authors.
Much that is most beautiful in the works of all the poets was perfectly unintelligible to us, because we had never seen the phenomena referred to; or if we had seen them, we had not been taught to observe them.
You will ask where we passed our summers?
In travelling, or at the seashore, perhaps.
But we took our city measure with us, and were never quite at home beyond its limits.”
She adds: “I state these facts only to show how ”