Gage Garden

This year, all-volunteer “Gage Gardeners” successfully improved the appearance and structure of the Gage House grounds.  This is undoubtedly a labor of love, with hard work and out-of-pocket donations supporting the effort.  Susan Adair took the initiative to coordinate this year’s yard work, following Pam Poulin’s lead last year, followed by the participation of many volunteers this year.  A vision statement and 3-year plan were developed early this year.

Notably, Jann DeCirce and her family have faithfully kept the lawn mowed this season, which is the mainstay of the attractive appearance of the Gage House property.  Her husband and son also pitched in to repair the Gage Foundation’s mower and helped to keep the effort going.

Marci Nolan donated and planted the gorgeous flowers in the big urn on the lawn, the red, white, and blue plants in the flower boxes on the porch, and the other potted decorations (the Town of Fayetteville contributed the huge container of purple petunias on the corner).  Dave Kellogg and others donated and planted marigolds, cosmos, and other flowers that added to the attractiveness of the grounds.

Dave Kellogg almost single-handedly kept the Walnut Street side of the house weeded.  We have patiently waited for rain in order to assess the drainage system installed earlier this year thanks to Al Byrne and many other volunteers who dug the trench and pulled out weeds and rocks from the ground.  Dave Kellogg and a friend fixed the outdoor water faucet so that we now have running water that is high enough off the ground to put a bucket under it!  Now we need a hose long enough to reach around to the other side of the house where another faucet will hopefully be installed in the future.

Marci is leading the investigation of the source of the water coming out of the ground on the west side of the house (the front of the house faces north) which prohibits any gardening until the problem is resolved.  In the meantime, she and Dave are coordinating needed maintenance repairs that may be contributing to the ground water problem.  We give our heartfelt thanks to the professional consultants who donated their time, advice, and skills to helping us out.

After we understand the situation of where the water is coming from and are able to successfully dry out the west lawn, we will begin an heirloom flower garden similar to Matilda’s garden as shown in the photo at the Gage House taken by L. Frank Baum.  Matilda loved her garden, tending to it with care and creativity.  She sat quietly in her garden on a daily basis for respite and inspiration.  We hope that the green thumbs of many more volunteers will help us keep up the good work and that we will find the funds to fix the drainage problem and invest in the heirloom garden.

Susan Adair

Matilda Joslyn Gage Footer