For the Grantham Garden Club’s May event, Program Director Emma Kalaidjian arranged for a field trip to visit Jenny Cooke’s exceptional garden in Lyme, NH. Jenny is a member of her local garden club with the adorable name Pardon My Garden. Her club holds no meetings, has no budget, and certainly needs no apologies. They simply visit one another’s gardens. If the other members’ gardens are even a bit as beautiful as Jenny’s, they are very beautiful indeed.
Twenty-four club members wandered around Jenny’s extensive gardens through delightful pathways and charming alcoves, and were amazed at the volume and variety of flowers, shrubs, and trees. Jenny’s is a garden of lovely sights, smells, and sounds—the sight of the flowers, the smell of the spice bush blossoms, the sounds of 20 different species of birds singing their spring songs.*
Jenny patiently answered questions about gardening, her water feature, and the stones that crops up artfully throughout her garden. I have no doubt that club members will take some of Jenny’s ideas into their own gardens. When asked about a mushroom-like stone structure, Jenny had an unexpected answer. Jenny explained that they were staddle stones, which were made and used in England and other European countries beginning in the 1500s. Farmers supported their granaries with four staddles to protect the grain from hungry vermin. I googled ‘staddles’ and learned from Wikipedia that today they are much sought after garden ornaments and found the picture below of a staddle-supported granary.
The club wants to thank Jenny for inviting us into her fabulous garden and being such a delightful hostess. She has inspired us all.
*Marty Gearhart used Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology free Merlin app and identified these 20 birds species in Jenny’s garden: Bobolink, Tree Swallow, Robin, Crow, House Wren, Song Sparrow, Goldfinch, White-crowned Sparrow, Yellow Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Common Yellowthroat, Baltimore Oriole, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, Tufted Titmouse, Savannah Sparrow, Indigo Bunting, and Red-bellied Woodpecker.