The woman he built it for was Cassie Hendricks Stearns Simpson and it's her story told in A Gathering of Finches. Today thousands of visitors come to the garden and Friends of Shore Acres rescued the garden from ruin in the 1970s returning it to its glorious beauty. At Christmas time, volunteers string hundreds of thousands of lights among the plants and provide umbrellas for guests so even if it's raining (which it often is!) visitors can still enjoy the fabulous beauty of this sea side garden.
I spent many days in that garden, gazing into the Japanese pool, meandering through the rose garden, imagining the pergola covered with ivy. The guest house still stands and each year a lucky person's name is drawn to be able to spend a night in that house. So far, our name hasn't been picked! But that didn't keep me from dreaming. That story, of this garden being given as a gift, was part of the unanswered question that drove me to research and write that novel. What kind of woman would inspire all of this...and why didn't anyone talk about her? I had to answer that question but it was the garden that asked it.
Have you ever looked into the history of a garden to find a story waiting to be told?
This and That