As February coasts in, cloaking itself in spring like temperatures, the holidays finally and totally behind us, my thoughts turn to Girl Scout cookies, Valentine’s Day and President’s Day.   Two of the greatest men to ever hold the office of president in this greatest country on God’s green earth were both born in February.  Reagan too was born in February, and in my opinion, should be included in the holiday, but I digress.  February is the month we pay homage to both George Washington & Abraham Lincoln.

Did you know Washington was an avid gardener and self-proclaimed landscape designer?  Mount Vernon was Washington’s home, which he adored.  Whenever he was able to return, he wished for nothing more than to enjoy “domestic ease under the shadow of my own vine and my own fig tree.”  “My own vine and fig tree” is an ideal; a visual reminder of peace, wholeness, health and salvation.  Washington filled his estate with flowers and vegetable gardens bordered by decorative paths and hedges.  Over his lifetime, he transplanted many varieties of shrubs and trees from western territories while importing exotic plants from Europe.  This guy knew what he liked and wasn’t afraid to experiment with different species and designs.  “It is true that to be a cultivator of land has been my favorite amusement… which at all times have been the most pleasing occupation of my life…”  And Sweeney’s feels very much the same.

Upper Garden at Mount Vernon

My Paper Whites continue to grow and bloom.  They’ve gotten so tall that I was certain their sheer weight would force them to fall over.  Alas, I was wrong.  When they begin to lean and list, simply give them a little drink, and they will straighten back up.  Magnificent!

May you all find solace under your own vine and fig tree, perhaps with a box of Samoas in hand.

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney