COVID-19 has forced the DRHS to curtail much of its activity this spring and summer – but one area that has continued strong is GARDENING! Our DRHS gardening volunteers were able to continue their efforts in a safe and socially distant way, and the DRHS gardens have never looked more beautiful than they do this year, a reminder that some things continue even in the midst of hardship. Thank you to all of our gardening volunteers, as they not only beautify the properties but make an important contribution towards the preservation and maintenance of our historic properties and lands.
In honor of their hardwork, we would like to highlight volunteer Ashley Mohrman and she was kind enough to answer some of our questions, in her own words.
Ashley, why did you pick this role?
Mary Ott and Jayne O’Farrell who currently Co-Chair the Historic Garden Committee asked me to lead a group of gardeners for the King Caesar House several years ago. I’ve had the opportunity to work on many committees with DRHS since my 1991 membership when I first moved to Duxbury and this volunteer role was perfect to combine my love of historic homes and gardening!
What draws you to gardening?
My mother was a wonderful gardener and she influenced me at an early age to have an appreciation of all things green! She also did community planting in my home town, so contributing your hard work and knowledge has always been important to me. Gardening is a labor of love! It’s a team sport with shared interests and you are always learning new ways of doing things and making things grow. Our Historic Garden Committee has worked with amazing volunteers who have shared their expertise and financial help to make the King Caesar House grounds and gardens what they are today. Our lime light hydrangeas that we planted several years ago have just bloomed and it is joyful to see their beauty in the Friendship Garden of the majestic King Caesar House.
What was your biggest accomplishment and challenge this year in your Volunteer Role?
We have a dedicated group of volunteer gardeners that have consistently helped to make the grounds and gardens of the King Caesar House so attractive this summer. Everyone pitches in to help with pruning, weeding and watering every week. It has been difficult not have visitors enjoy the King Caesar House this summer during the pandemic to learn more about the history of the Ezra Weston family who built the King Caesar House in 1809. The silver lining has been that we’ve all had extra time to get things in such good shape this summer! I know that we all look forward to getting back to sharing the fruits of our labor with others who visit the King Caesar House.
What is your favorite DRHS property and why?
That’s a hard one! If you asked me several years ago, it would have been the Bradford House during our successful Re-imagine Bradford campaign and renovation or much earlier, it would have been Cedarfield on Clark’s Island, since our summer visits there were special for my family during the annual Clark’s Island Picnic. This summer, I’ve focused on the King Caesar House, so would have to say the King Caesar House for now!
Anything else you’d like to share about your Volunteer Role?
Sharing my love of gardening and history with others is fun! I’m always learning about the soil, sea, and history of Duxbury and the DRHS properties. My volunteer and community involvement with DRHS has given me much in return during my 30 years as a member.
If you’d like to learn more about volunteering in the DRHS gardens, please contact co chairs Mary Ott and Jayne O’Farrell at firstname.lastname@example.org.