A Statement of Purpose

Since 2012 I have been responsible for
the garden at the Pry House Field Hospital Museum on Antietam National Battlefield. The Pry House garden began as a 19th century style medicinal and kitchen garden, including medicinal plants, herbs, and vegetables. As close as possible, these plants mirrored those available to the Pry Family in the 1860s, meaning heirloom varieties. Since then, the garden has transformed to focus exclusively on medicinal plants, becoming an exhibit of the flora that was employed by military and civilian caregivers in the Civil War Era.

I am strictly an amateur, with no real experience in growing a garden. The purpose of this blog is to document my experiences as I learn by doing. It is anything but authoritative and I welcome any comments and advice for a greenhorn. Please be kind!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New Plants and Planting in the Rain

Last Friday was one of the days that I look forward to all year. Along with April Deitrich and Judy Candela, my coworkers here at the museum, I went to the annual Landis Valley Herb and Garden Faire in Lancaster County, PA. It's a long drive, but the incredible volume and variety of plants for sale at the Landis Valley Museum every Mothers Day Weekend makes it worth the trip.

Though it is so easy to be distracted by all of the beautiful and unusual plants, I was on a mission to acquire new medicinal plants for the Pry Garden. I made a two-page wish list and both April and Judy got their own copy. I was hoping to scratch a few more items off the list than I did, but I came home with a good haul and we all had a great time. It all seemed to be over too quickly!

Here are some pictures from the trip:

heirloom tomatoes and other vegetables

April and Judy!

Plant Sitting! The museum would babysit your plants while you kept shopping!

Even though I did not get as many different plants as I wanted, I still had a lot to plant.

I also had to plant the the seedlings that I have been growing at home since winter.

Tomatoes from seed!
Saturday was our scheduled planting day, but unfortunately the weather did not cooperate. We had rain throughout most of Friday night and Saturday. That kept most of our volunteers away and made the garden paths very muddy. Luckily a few dedicated volunteers did come out to help and we had a two-hour stretch without and rain, and even a little blue sky!

Standing in the mud!

Refreshments for volunteers

For a brief time, it was a beautiful day!

 Thanks to those who came out and helped! It really made an ambitious day possible!

Despite the thick mud, it's not looking too bad!


  1. I'm happy so much was planted and weeded!
    It's really looking great.
    Can't wait to see it again once everything has had a chance to grow more.

  2. Growing a garden is fertilizer for the soul.

  3. Plenty of bone meal!

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