St. Mary's City in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
...about the Corner of Vansweeringens Garden fence
Van Sweringen's inventory contains an intriguing landscape clue — "a pair of garden Sheares." What does this indicate? Shears were typically used to trim ornamental plants, such as yew or boxwood. They are very rare in Maryland. Their presence suggests that Van Sweringen planted more than just vegetables here. A small formal garden, perhaps with boxwood and flowers, may have been another amenity Van Sweringen offered to his guests. The Dutch were leaders in horticulture and gardening in the 17th century.
In the 17th century, gardens were traditionally divided into beds separated by pathways. To improve drainage, soil was often added, held in place by edgings of either wood or plans.
Garden shears are rarely found by archaeologists. The specimen seen here was found at Oxon Hill Manor in Prince George's County
"... seamen of the Mann of War had been in my garden and tooke what they had occasion for as Cabbidges and the like... [the next day I] ... found my garden all destroyed by the sheep and Cattle that went in and at a breach betweene the palisadoes."
This valuable reference to the garden comes from the testimony given by Van Sweringen in 1684.
Erected by Historic St. Mary's City.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial Era • Horticulture & Forestry.
Location. 38° 11.121′ N, 76° 26.028′ W. Marker is in St. Mary's City, Maryland, in St. Mary's County. Marker can be reached from Old State House Road west of Point Lookout Road (Maryland Route 5), on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 47414 Old State House Road, Saint Marys City MD 20686, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Keep It Clean (here, next to this marker); …Adjourn to the Arbour at Vansweringens (a few steps from this marker); Brewing and Baking (a few steps from this marker); ...and Coffee House (a few steps from this marker); A Busy Kitchen (a few steps from this marker); The Kitchen (a few steps from this marker); The Servants (a few steps from this marker); The Cooling House (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Mary's City.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 4, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 4, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 89 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 4, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.