What Lay Beyond the Gate?

Crossing through the deer gate Antonia and I continued our walk among the broadleaved rhododendrons when unexpectedly I spotted a small family cemetery ahead. Steeped in years of geneological research I was immediately intrigued and gravitated to the site full of curiosity, and knowing how special what I was about to encounter would be. I know of such a Hall cemetery buried deep in the woods of New York I’ve yet to uncover and explore! Here was another intact and on display! It was there I discovered the story of the Parrish family who had moved to this very property in the 1800’s. David Parrish had worked, synchronistically, with Luther Burbank and he and his wife Sarah, their six daughters and four sons moved to this homestead in 1893 to continue with Burbank’s research into the growing of potatoes! Apparently David planted 160 acres of potatoes, all the way down to the shore’s edge. Lore has it that many acres fell into the ocean during the earthquake of 1906.

After reading the simple markers we continued, wondering what we would next encounter in our path. The last thing we would ever have imagined came next!

Yes! Toy trains! Seriously! We found these workers building a track on which an old model train replica, replete with many artifacts, would soon be on full display! And just beyond the train track lay yet another gate, through which we entered, where we found ourselves here.

Enchantingly, the gardeners of the Mendocino Botanical Gardens have created a wonderfully beautiful vegetable garden upon the old garden plots of Sarah Parrish! Her apple trees remain as tribute to her early endeavors.

Just adjacent to the old apple tree sat this charming shed, which I loved!

Can you imagine such a garden deep in the forest? It is quite an experience, I must tell you. I was incredibly struck by the beauty of this rainbow chard, living next to the old rose arbored gate.

Other structures that excited and inspired me were this wonderful rebar teepee upon which flowers and vegetables began their mutual ascent.

And I was so impressed with this strong and practical structure upon which raspberries were merrily climbing and expanding with leisure and consent.

This bright spot of companion calendula nourished the eye, heart and soul…

…as did this lovely stretch of perennials framing more vegetables close by.

Venturing ever so much more slightly toward the back we spotted this old house, which I later confirmed was, indeed, the family home of the Parrish family. Imagine the stories this house might share could it only? Do you see the two geese meandering up the drive, only adding to the charm?

As with all good journeys, our intended visit to the rhododendon gardens reaped far more treasures than we had bargained for. May you be so blessed.

Love and holiday blessings,
Kathryn xoxox

16 Responses to “What Lay Beyond the Gate?”

  1. How Gorgeous, mom! You’ve captured it so well here!

    What a Lovely way to honour the Parrish family and the Beauty they left behind for us to enjoy.

    Love you,

  2. Hi, Antonia. So glad I got to share this with you. I bet Sarah Parrish has a big smile on her face, wherever she is. Thanks, dear. Love, Mom xoxo

  3. Bellissimo!

  4. Hi, Theresa! Welcome! My love to you and your family! And thank you. Kathryn xoxo

  5. Hi Kathryn!
    My heart just sings when I see gardens like this!
    It is so interesting that there was this connection with Luther Burbank…that is an echo from one of your recent adventures!
    I just love the whole feeling of this place. I have not been to this section before and it has such a nostalgic air. I love the old fruit trees sheltered by the eucalyptus windbreaks. I think there is no place I would rather be that in a sheltered spot near the coast. In my own garden I grow berries, and it is just the feeling you show here that I have tried to capture in my own garden. I love the mix of old fashioned companion plants like calendulas.
    Your post was such a treat to see. I will have to visit this spot in the future!
    Happy memorial day!

  6. Hi, Philip! Yes, you would LOVE this garden! It is utterly charming and right up your alley. And, yes, I loved the synchronistic thread of having just posted about Luther Burbank and then discovering someone influenced by him. What is really fascinating is that I looked up David Parrish in the census data and in 1900 and 1920 he’s listed as a Native American! In the 1910 census he’s listed as white. Since some of the gravemarkers have symbols on them which the MBG has attributed to the background of the Native American wife of one of the Parrish sons, now I’m really curious about the Parrish’s. Perhaps I can learn more. So far not. Glad you came along for the journey! Kathryn xoxo

  7. Thanks for posting these photos, full of ideas and inspiration! I especially love that teepee and the colorful plants inside it — as opposed to around it and not climbing up the poles, which is what we’re so used to seeing with teepees. I also like its unusual color. Cute shed. And the rainbow chard – just spectacular!

  8. Oh that looks lovely – especially the apple tree and apple shed. I’ve visited Mendocino many times but never been to the these botanical gardens. Clearly, I’ll need to go. Thank you for taking us along with you.

  9. What an incredible adventure and find! I’m so inquisitive, I would have gone in too, looked under things, moved things around.
    I appreciate the fact that so many “living tributes” are found on top of the family plot. I like this idea. I want something that lives and gives to others to grow above my final resting place. There is no greater end than becoming “compost” for future generations to build upon.
    Shirley Bovshow

  10. Hi, Jen, thanks for coming along. Yes, the rainbow chard was truly beautiful! I grow mine as much for the beauty as the food! Kathryn xoxo

  11. Welcome, Green Bean! Oh, yes, do go. They occupy many acres and have many treasures to explore! Did you catch my earlier post on their heathers? Unbelieveable! Kathryn xoox

  12. Hi, Shirley, I guess this might well be true, that the old family is commingling with the vegetables and flowers and trees. I understand what you are saying and I’m sure this is a natural inclination for a gardener. Thanks for the visit! Kathryn xoxo

  13. That was a fun adventure, Kathryn.

  14. Hi, Donna! How nice to see you here this morning! I’m so glad you enjoyed the journey! Kathryn xoxo

  15. I show my husband your toy trains in the garden, and he is very impressed! The is such a neat garden with serious hobby and cool toys.

  16. Welcome, Vue Jardin! Yes, I included the train photo for the men! It will be a fun feature at the Botanical Gardens, for sure. I’m glad I was able to share the garden with you and that you enjoyed it! Kathryn xoxo

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