Plainfield Garden Club

1919 Archives

This was obtained from the publication The History of the Plainfield Garden Club 1915 - 1965 by Victoria Furman

This was obtained from the publication The History of the Plainfield Garden Club 1915 - 1965 by Victoria Furman

March 1919

The little garden at Vauvillers – March 1919
Excerpt from Peonies of the Little Garden published 1923

We left Amiens one Sunday morning, passing Villers-Bretoneaux – where the Australian troops and some American engineers had made the stand that saved Amiens and the Western line – had gone through Hamelet, Hamel, Rayonvillers, Harbonnieres and Crepy Wood to Vauvillers. As the only woman in the party, I had been unanimously appointed in charge of the commissariat. It was noon when we reached Vauvillers. I chose a broken wall about fifty feet from the road as a good place on which to spread our luncheon. The car was stopped, the luncheon things unpacked, and we picked our way over the mangled ground to the fragment of wall. As I passed around the end I came upon two peony plants pushing through the earth. Tears brimmed. I could not control them. There had beeen a home and a cherished garden. As I stood gazing at the little red spears just breaking through the ground, a voice, apparently from the sky, inquired if Madame would like a chair. Looking along the wall I saw a head of an old peasant woman thrust through a tiny opening. She smiled and withdrew, appearing a moment later with a chair. It was her only chair. She then brought forth her only cup and saucer and her only pitcher filled with milk, and offered us her only hospitality!

Joined now by her venerable husband, we listened to their story. The hiding of their few treasures, the burying of their bit of linen, their flight towards Paris, the description of the outrageous condition of the one room left for them to return to, made us burn with indignation. It was her little garden that the peonies grew. The fruit trees and shrubs were gone, the neat garden walks were blasted into space, the many precious flowers were utterly destroyed. When she found that Madame, too, loved les belles pixcunes, she urged me to take one of the only two roots she had left!

To learn more, click: Alice Harding

1919 Directory Cover

1919 Directory page 1 and page 2

1919 Directory page 3 and page 4

1919 Directory page 5 and page 6

Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Plainfield Garden Club by Lucy Von Boskerck

Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Plainfield Garden Club by Lucy Von Boskerck

1915 - 1923 List of Meetings

1919 Meeting Minutes

1918 Lecturer

March 20th – Mrs. Gilbert "Pres"
April 10th Mrs. J. P. Stevens ??? Mr. Robert Pyle
April 29th Mrs. Dumont Mrs. Harding or "peonies"
May 8th Mrs. Eddy Mrs. Harrison "Pool & Rock Garden"
May 22. Mr. Norman Taylor (Brooklyn Botanic Gardens) "Wild Flowers of N.J."
June 12 Mr. Chas. Totty Madison, N. J. "Chyrsanthemums"
June 27. Dr. Leonard Plainfield

1919 Lecturer

May 9th Mrs. David K. Knowland Mr. Leonard B?? "Getting back to ??"
May 14. Mrs. Dunbar Mrs. Britton Spring Flower Show
May 28. Mrs. Fisk. Mr. ??? Gardens Past & Present
June 11 – Kenyon Gardens. Mr. Cook told of the work ??
June 25 Mrs. Laidlaw. Miss Tabor "The ?? and the Garden"
September 24. Mrs. Ivins. Mr. Totty. "Fall Planting"
October 23. Mr. Baynes at Congregational Family House
(Illustrated_ "Wild Birds & How to Attract Them"

1920 Meeting Minutes

1919 Meeting Minutes

1919 Meeting Minutes

For 1918

The Annual report read March 26th 1919

There is much that is interesting to tell of the Garden Club work during the past year.

The first lecture was given at the evening meeting at Mrs. John P. Stevens on April 10th where Mr. Robert Taylor gave an illustrated lecture on "Roses"

At Mrs. Eddy's meeting Mr. Harrison told us about "Pools and Rock Gardening" and Mr. Norman Taylor was delightful in his talk on "Wild Flowers of New Jersey," at the May meeting at Mrs. Mellicks.

Then we had Dr. Leonard on Dahlias. Mrs. Harding on "Peonies," and Mr. Toty on "Chrysanthemums."

Our final meeting was at Miss Helen Hydes where we had a very creditable Dahlia show. Mrs. Herring, Mrs. Barrowe, Mrs. Fisk, Mrs. Mellick and Mrs. Dumont sent very beautiful specimens.

It is pleasant to feel that our Club has done some ?? contribute only the pleasure of its members. Through ?? activity of our President, Mrs. Herring, the soldiers of the Base Hospital at Colonia have received many gifts in the name of the Plainfield Garden Club.

Mrs. Herring, assisted by members of the . . . .

[new page]

Annual Meeting March 26th 1919

The Annual Meeting of the Garden Club was held at the house of Mrs. Charles Hyde on March 26th at four o'clock.

? Members present

Minutes of the September 20th meeting read and approved. Also the Secretary's Annual Report which was most interesting followed by the Annual report of the Treasurer which showed a balance of $118.20

The Nominating Committee reported the following names for Officers for the coming year:

President – Mrs. Frank O. Herring
1st Vice President – Mrs. Horace N. Stevens
2nd Vice President – Mrs. John B. Dumont
3rd Vice President – Mrs. Fred G. Yates
Secretary & Treasurer – Mrs. Wm. M. Stillman
Executive Committee: Mrs. Howard Fleming, Mrs. N. H. Barnhart, Mrs. Wm. A. Connor
Mrs. Wallace took the chair while a motion was carried that the Secretary ? the ballot for the Officers named.

The President, Mrs. Herring then gave an interesting talk on the work she had done through the winter at Colonia and Raritan. She read a letter from the ?? of the Red Cross ? at Colonia expressing thanks to the Garden Club for all they had done through Mrs. Herring and asking that the carrying of flowers etc be continued.

It was decided by the Club that if Mrs. Herring was kind enough to continue the work the members would be ?? her with cars & flowers and would go over with her as often as possible.

Mrs. Horace Stevens reported going to Colonia with the money from the Garden Club - $10. Which was given to ?? Doll for vegetables, plants and seeds with the approval of the Commanding Officer.

Members of Club were asked to give any plants they could spare for that purpose.

Mrs. Ten Eck promised 1000 iris bulbs for Colonia and Raritan. Mrs. Ver Planck two forysthias. Mrs. Herring reported the need of plants for a large circular bed at Raritan. A motion was carried that the Club cooperate in this work.

Mrs. Herring spoke of the difficulty of getting acres to they ?? for flowers at Raritan.

A vote of ?? ?? sent to the retiring Secretary. Mrs. Morison and a receiving vote of thanks for our President for her faithful work of the past year.

Mrs. Herring then told the Club of the difficulties on getting lecturers – that it had been impossible to get a speaker in the usual spring meeting, it was decided not to have one this year.

After discussion it was considered better to leave the member & date of meeting additional to those called for in the Constitution than to the Executive Committee.

They had already changed Article VII which called for the Annual Meeting to be held the 2nd Wednesday in March – preferring it to be left to their discretion to fix upon a date.

Mrs. Herring asked the members to leave flowers at the Public Library when possible – they are much appreciated. Also to be more thoughtful in responding to the hostess as to whether they would attend meetings or not. After a round half hour & refreshments the meeting adjourned.

Sallie A. Hibbard
Sec'y pro tem

April 9th 1919

The regular meeting of the Garden Club was held at the home of Mrs. David M. Rowland on Wednesday, April 9th. Twenty-five members and a number of guests were present.

Mrs. Herring spoke of the work being done at Colonia, and Raritan, of seeds and vegetable plants bought for Colonia. Many lilac bushes have been ? out at Raritan, and large circular bed in front of the General Hospital Administration building is to be taken care of by a Member of the Club.

An appeal was made for the surplus from the house gardens.

Mrs. Herring told us of an invitation received by her from the New Rochelle Garden to attend a luncheon of that Club on Thursday, April 24th. The invitation included on other member of our Club. Mrs. Herring said she would accept and hoped some one would offer to go with her. Mr. Leonard Barron – Editor of the Garden Magaine – spoke to the Club on "Getting Back to Peace – in the Garden."

First bringing to us an appeal from the Committee for Devastated France that when we buy our vegetable seeds, we would include in the order some for France.

Mr. Barron said "No life will be the same as it was before the war & even in the gardnes at home." He then spoke of the Quarantine Bill No. 37 which will deprive gardens of many of the choice strains of well known garden flowers – including verbena – phlox drumondii, pansies ?? also no cyclamen, or azaleas can be brought in.

Mr. Barron brought to our attention a most valuable book on plant culture written by William Rohmen entitled "English Book of Gardens"

Mr. Barron offered to send Mrs. Herring – for the Club – a list of twenty plants that would grow in the shade (north side of the home)

Elizabeth A. Stillman

May 14th

The regular meeting of the Garden Club was held at the home of Mrs. Dunbar on May 14th.

Thirty members and several guests present.

Mrs. Herring told of an invitation received by her to attend a luncheon of the Flushing Garden Club to be held on Monday May 19th.

Mrs. Herring spoke of the work at Raritan – of the generous gift of bulk, toots, plants and shrubs from Mr. Randolph – which filled an Army truck; from Mr. Warren quantities of hardy perennials – From Mr. Peterson rake. Mr. Duer – seeds. The work at Camp Raritan is progressing finely in spite of a shortage of all garden implements. An appeal was made for lilacs and holyhocks.

Mrs. Van Bosckerck told of her visit to the Camp – and of Mrs. Herring's work among the sick soldiers carrying them ?? jelly & flowers, all winter an of their deep appreciation of her kindness.

Mrs. Conner was appointed Chairman – to see that flowers are taken to Colonia once a week for a month from the middle of May.

Mrs. Hibbard spoke of the meeting on June 11th when the Garden Club will be entertained at the Kenyon Gardens.

That Mr. Cooke will ell of the work of the children at the Gardens.

An appeal was presented from the "American Committee for Devastated France" for help in sending farming gifts – consisting of a spade, rake and hoe to France. Price $2.00 each. No action was taken.

We then listened to a delightful breezy spring time talk on "early flowers & shrubrs" from Mrs. Britton of the New York Botanical Gardens illustrated by blooming specimens from the Garden.

Elizabeth A. Stillman

May 24th 1919

The regular meeting of the Plainfield Garden Club was held at the home of Mrs. Francis M. Frost – on May 24th. Twenty members and several guests were present.

Mrs. Herring gave a short talk on the work at Raritan – of the generous gifts in plants, shrubs, and seeds received since the last meeting.

Two truck loads from the J&J Nurseries – on truck load from the Elizabeth Nurseries. 1000 Iris roots from Mr. Farr. Rose bushes from Mr. Peterson – 100 Chyrsanthemums from Mr. Totty – ??Throughly Mr. Shilow, Deer & Co. are sending a large gift of flower seeds.

Mr. Shilow then addressed the meeting on "Gardens – Past & Present" which was interesting and instructive.

After the lecture Mrs. Herring told us more of the progress of the work at Raritan - of the laying out of flower beds and of the Hospital garden which the soldiers delight in – where a summer house is being built – to which the sick soldiers can be taken in wheel chairs. Pipes have been laid to bring water to the garden which makes the care of the "green things" easier. The Camp officials do al they can to show their appreciation of the kindness and ?? effort of the President of the Garden Club, and of the generous friends who have given so abundantly.

In answer to an appeal from the American Committee for Devastate France for farming kits – each consisting of spade, hoe and rake ($2.50 a kit) it was our motion voted to send 12 kits.

Mrs. Herring announced that she had secured Miss Grace Tabor to speak at the meeting of June 20th.

The meeting was then adjourned.

Elizabeth A. Stillman

June 11, 1919

The Garden Club held a delightful out-of-doors under-the-tree meeting on June 11th at the Kenyon Gardens as guests of the Officers of that Association.

Mrs. Hibbard the President welcomed the Club with a few gracious words. Mrs. Herring responded. After a short business meeting the Club had the pleasure of listening to an interesting talk by Mr. F. M. Cook, the Superintendent of the Gardens. He told of the work of the many children on their own plots of ground, how the individual characteristics plainly showed in the way the work was done. Some children have been interested enough to have a vegetable garden at home as a result of the instruction received there.

Mrs. Herring spoke of her pleasure in attending the luncheon at the Flushing Garden Club and of the work of that Club. Also told of its progress of the work at Camp Raritan.

Since the last meeting plants have been given by Brooke Garden ? of Somerset St., seeds from Duer & Co., Woodland & Martine – & John F. Johnston have donated garden benches.

It was voted on mo?ing to re-new our Membership in the Woman's Farm & Garden Association.

After adjournment refreshments were served and all were interested in inspecting the childrens' garden plots.

Elizabeth A. Stillman

June 25th 1919

The Plainfield Garden Club held its regular meeting at the home of Mrs. Laidlaw on June 25th. Fifteen members were present.

The Club was fortunate in having Miss Grace Tabor – assistant Editor of the Garden Magazine – as lecturer for the day. She spoke with much enthusiasm about the delight of those present on "The House and the Garden." After the lecture the minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.

Mrs. Herring spoke of the planting being done at Colonia or rather ?? Raritan. And of flowers being distributed at Colonia once a week.

Mrs. Harding told us of her visits to Mrs. Wilmot's wonderful gardens in England – six different ones.

The Rock Garden was in full boom and very full. Various placed for holding the autumn flower show were discussed.

Members were asked to save containers in which to put specimen flowers for the exhibit. Mrs. Herring asked the members to express their opinions in regard to continuing the Garden Club – so many who belong show no interest – the question was fully discussed all agreeing that to give up the Garden Club would be a real loss to each member present. The way in which to deal with the "dead wood" was left to a future meeting.

The Secretary was instructed to express to Miss Tabor the pleasure her delightful talk had given the Club.

Elizabeth A. Stillman

July 9th 1919

The regular meeting of the Garden Club was held in Miss Stillman's porch on Wednesday July 9th. 10 Members and one guest present.

After the minutes of the previous meeting were accepted our President told us of the progress of the work at Colonia & Raritan, which was listened to with much interest.

A discussion followed of matters pertaining to the Club, among them that of the seeming lack of interest of many members. We wondered how they could be ?ched.

Mrs. Hibbard then read an humorous sketch written on the raising of a few vegetables at much expense of time & money. Mrs. Fleming and Mrs. Taliaferro both ??ned us with garden lore. Joyce Kilmer's "Tree" was read.

Elizabeth A. Stillman

August 13th 1919

The regular meeting of the Garden Club was held at the home of Mrs. Yates on Wednesday, August 8th. A delightful porch party from? Looking the lovely sunken garden. ?? members and a number of guests present.

Notice was given that the Executive Board had voted to omit the meeting of Spetember 10th. The next one will be held on September 24th at a the house of Mrs. Ivins, where we hope to have a talk from Mr. Fullerton.

Mrs. Herring told us that she was trying to arrange with Mr. Baijnes ? for our last meeting in October – subject "Our Wild Birds – How to Attract Them." The lecture will be illustrated and to be held in the Congregational Parish House on Thrusday the 23rd (instead of Wednedsay the 22nd). It will be open to the public for a small entrance fee. A letter was read from Miss Tabor regarding an evening lecture illustrated by moving pictures. Price $100. It was voted to engage her for our spring meeting. Mrs. Mellick offered to entertain the Club at that time.

A discussion was held on what would be good work for our Club in the line of "Town Improvement" – it was thought to begin with the care of the City Park would be a step in the right direction.

The President will appoint a committee to have the matter in charge. Mrs. Herring spoke of the growth of the work at Raritan, of many of her experiences there, the summer house is completed and finished. Mrs. Mead has give four large wicker chairs (from the Y.M.C.A. building that is being dismantled at this Camp) for the use of the convalescing soldiers in the summer house. The Secretary was instructed to send a note of thanks to Mrs. Mead. Committees were appointed for the Flower Show to be held on September 20th.
Mrs. Barrowe Chairman of Arrangements of Entries
Mrs. Mellick on same Committee
Mrs. Warren Chairman of ??asting Committee
Mrs. Conner Chairman for Tables for exhibits
Mrs. Otterman Publicity Chairman
Mrs. Herring said she would ask for Dr. Leonard assist in the Classification of Exhibits.

Elizabeth A. Stillman

September 24th 1919

The regular meeting of the Garden Club was held at the home of Mrs. Ivins on Wednesday September 24th. Twenty-nine members and several guests were present.

Mrs. Herring spoke of the great success of the Dahlia Show.

The Secretary was instructed to write a note of thanks to Mrs. Van Renesslear for his courtesy in allowing the Club to use the Hindron ? Automobile Show Rooms for the exhibition.

The President expressed a desire for a full attendance at the next meeting of the Club on October 8th at which time the future work of the Club would be discussed.

Mrs. Herring spoke of the Lecture to be given by Mr. Bayride ? on Thursday October 23rd "Wild Birds – How to Attract Them." Arrangements for which will be completed before the next meeting.

Notices given of a "tea" to be given by the Garden Club on Monday, September 29th in the summer house Hospital grounds at Raritan Arsenal as that Club members may see what has been done with seeds, plants and shrubs in one season to beautify the desolate Post under the direction and untiring work of our President.

Mrs. Warren was appointed Chairma of the Tea talk. Mrs. Dunbar Chairman of Transportation.

The Club then listened to a delightful informed talk by Mr. Totty of Madison on "Fall Planting." Mr. Totty brought many flowers from his garden to show what may be had in any late autumn garden.

Elizabeth A. Stillman

News clipping:


The Plainfield Garden Club had a most delightful social meeting yesterday afternoon at Camp Raritan, where the club has done much to ? the ch?? Barren waste into a refreshing park with many flourishing plants and bright blossoming flowers which, under the supervision of the faithful and untiring president, Mrs. F. O. Herring, were planted and ?? to grow in the most unpromising soil.

The members of the club and officers of the camp met in the summer house built at the club's direction for a friendly cup of tea.

The president thanked the officers for their co-operation and great interest in the efforts to make the wilderness blossom and the commandant of the post, Col. Andrews, responded, telling of their pride and pleasure to showing their floral display when guests arrived from Washington – for there was no other camp like theirs – and all the thousands of plants, gifts through the Plainfield Garden Club.

October 8th 1919

The last regular meeting of the Garden Club for 1919 was held at the home of Mrs. Heely (?) on Wednesday October 8th. 39 Members in attendance.

The report of the previous meeting was read and approved. The President then read the following motion which had been sent to each members

"At the meeting of the Plainfield Garden Club on October 8th the work for the coming year will be discussed. It being deemed ? to make such plans this ? as after the Annual Meeting the spring work is upon us.

A time has come in the life of our Club when the question arises whether or not we shall progress or stand still. Shall we take up some form of civic work entirely suited to one line of thought, something which will make us stand for work for others as well as a pleasure for ??.

Suggestions for such work from the members will be welcomed by the Executive Committee. Will you come to the meeting prepared to offer your suggestions and talk about the suggestions others?"

A lengthy discussion followed – ? suggestions ? works ? no dep?? New rok for the Club decided upon.

Mrs. Herring spoke of the pleasure the Lea – given under the auspices of the Garden Club at Raritan Arsenal, had given the Officers and Nurses and of those work that the Club come again. Mrs. Herring made an appeal for several thousand bulbs to be planted at Raritan this autumn.

It was voted that the club's balance in treasury over $20 be used for that purpose.

Mrs. Herring asked if a Member of the Club would take ? votes of the gardens at Raritan a this time. Mrs. Eaton offered to do so.

Our President gave notice that the Annual Meeting the Club would be asked to vote upon omitting the latter part of Article III in the Constitution reading "held for the second Wednesday in March of each year," as the Club voted back ? year that "The Annual Meeting shall be called at the discretion of the Executive Committee" The question of the always absent Member was brought up after the usual ?? discussion. Mrs. Warren made the following question "A Member absent from three executive meetings without sending an excuse to the Secretary shall forfeit her membership." Motion carried and ordered presented to be sent to each member with her bill for membership dues.

Members present were asked to send two or more glasses of jelly to Mrs. Van Bosckerck, our annual gift to the Plant, Flower and Fruit Guild of Plainfield.

Mrs. Herring spoke of the coming lecture to be given by Mr. Bayne on "Our Wild Birds. How to Attract Them" at the Parish House of the Congregational Church on Thursday October 23rd. Free to Members, others 25 cents. This lecture to take place of a regular meeting. Secretary to send notices as usual.

E. A. Stillman

Annual Report of the Plainfield Garden Club for 1919

Excuse to me, as I attempt the Annual Report of our Garden Club that the season of 1919 was the most interesting of the five years of the Club's life because of the variety of the many interests, and of the overflow of good things – pleasure at home and abroad.

The ? had nine regular meetings with an arrange attendance of 22. And one public lecture.

We have listened to lectures and ? talks from Mr. Barrow and Miss Tabor of the Garden Magazine. Mrs. Britton from the New York Botanical Gardens, Mr. Totty of Madison and our good friend Mr. Harlow from Philadelphia on such pleasing subjects as "Spring Flowers and Autumn Flowers, "Gardens Past and Present," "Home and the Garden," and "Crossing back to Peace in the Garden."

We were fortunate in having Mr. Baynes of Meriden, ? "The Bird Village" give us a lecture on "Our Wild Birds, How to Attract Them" illustrated by work unusual pictures taken by himself, when we were able to invite all bird lovers.

On June 11th a charming, out-of-doors, under-the-trees meeting was held for the Kenyon

[NOTE: Two news clippings are inserted featuring two gentlemen. 1) Edward J. Noble, chairman of the board of Life Savers Corporation, today was elected a director of the Commercial National Bank & Trust Company. 2)Leroy A. Lincoln, president of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, will be chairman of the annual convention of the Association of Life Insurance Presidents to be held here December 5 and 6. He will make the opening address.]

Gardens, as guests of the Officers of the Association. Mr. Cook, Superintendent ? of the works of the children in the Gardens and of its influence often in the home.

Our bird ? meetings were most informal and pleasing and held on the porches of the hostesses, we walked and listened to reading by members.

A delightful afternoon was spent at Raritan Arsenal, The Club gave a tea in the summer house in the Hospital Garden to the Officers and Nurses which was greatly enjoyed by all. The garden was in a riot of blooming beauty, we were astonished at the results of the interesting work of our President.

The Flower Show in September 20th was a great success as many exhibited that all share was filled with a remarkable collection of dahlias, asters, Calendars, marigolds, coxcombs, etc. The pleasure given the public paid for all the work attending such an exhibition.

We sent through ? Womans Farm & Garden Association 12 farming kits – each kit containing a spade a rake and a hoe. We reviewed our membership to that Association. We sent out usual contribution of jelly to be the Plant, Flower and Fruit Guild of Plainfield 120 glasses – which was gratefully acknowledged.

The work at Colonia was continued until the authorities decided to close the Hospital, many shrubs and plants were set out and seeds planted. Flowers were taken each week to the soldiers in the wards as long as allowed.

But the greatest thing of all was the phenomenal work done by our President at Raritan Arsenal. To describe it is beyond my words so I will read a clipping form the Courier-News which covers the ground

"Early in the spring or late in the autumn of 1918 some members of the Garden Club who had been constant in their visits to the hospital at Camp Raritan were asked by Colonel Andrews, the Commandant, if they could undertake the work of beautifying the grounds around some parts of the arsenal which, covers over one hundred acres.

The outlook was rather hopeless – for all who saw the place last year agreed that the vast expanse of yellow gravel and groups of underplanted buildings, the ??ddy made general appearance of the place, made them feel one requiring the most unbounded spirit of patriotism and unlimited faith.

Neither were lacking in the spirit of our President, and she undertook the work.

The camp authorities made fine ? and cuttings from home.

All about the sections of the Camp where the administration buildings are located, the ?? and other building have been painted a delicate gray, the Garden Club has surrounded these buildings into flower beds and borders without number.

The Club members have assisted Mrs. Herring by giving plants, shrubs and seeds constantly. The growers around Plainfield were appealed to and donated hundred of dollars worth of shrubs and plants. Duer of Philadelphia sent large gifts of seeds.

Mr. L. V. F. Randolph made a spirited gift of hundreds of crocus bulbs which planted against the gray buildings are a ?? valuable facet to our work, as well as many gladiola bulbs.

The waste places habe been made to ? to ? unbounded delight of the Camp authorities and they shy its fame ? gave abroad and in Washington it has come to be known as the "prettiest" ?? in the part of the country.

Plans were submitted by Mrs. Herring and accepted by the Colonel for large cement entrance posts which are now built and the gray surface will ?? be covered with Boston Ivy.

The group of Hospital buildings and there a most attractive little hospital garden has been made and wonderful to say flowered all summer. Posts were made of black cinders, rose arbors span the walks, and a charming large summer house has been built with a ?? green roof and butternut brown sides; over the lattice door a vine grew and flowers, and at one end a wide opening has been made with sloping ?? as that convalescents from the hospital wards near by can be rolled in their chairs through the garden into the summer house."

Whatever Mrs. Herring may say – the Club knows – it would never have been accomplished but for our President and her alone.

Respectfully submitted

Elizabeth A. Stillman

Base Hospital at Colonia

The meeting minutes of 1918 & 1919 reference the Club's volunteer efforts at the Base Hospital at Colonia. In particular, Mrs. Frank Otis (Henrietta or "Etta" B.) Herring, President of the Club from 1915 - 1921.

Here is some history on the Hospital: Colonia's WWI Hospital by Virginia Bergen Troeger

6 Films from the 1918 - 1940 era

One film shows the Base Hospital at Colonia with possibly Mrs. Herring, our founding member.

The first part of the footage could be of the Base Hospital. The films seem to be running backwards. The second half of the film may be of another garden . . .

Ellen Wilmott

In 1919, Mrs. Edward (Alice Howard) Harding '15 told the Club about her visit with Mrs. Wilmott.

Ellen Ann Willmott (19 August 1858 – 27 September 1934)[1] was an English horticulturist. She was an influential member of the Royal Horticultural Society, and a recipient of the first Victoria Medal of Honour in 1897. She cultivated more than 100,000 species of plants, and sponsored expeditions to discover new species. More than 60 plants have been named after her or her home, Warley Place.[2]

Early life

Man-made gorge at Warley Place
Ellen Willmott was born in Heston, Middlesex, the eldest of three daughters of Frederick Willmott (1825–1892), a solicitor, and Ellen Willmott (d. 1898).[1] In 1875 the family moved to Warley Place at Great Warley, Essex,[3] which had 33 acres (130,000 m2) of grounds; this was to be Ellen's lifelong home. The family were keen gardeners and developed Warley Place's gardens together. One of the most ambitious developments was an alpine garden, including a gorge and rockery (pictured), which Ellen's father gave her permission to create on her 21st birthday.[2]
Ellen received a substantial inheritance when her godmother, Helen Tasker, died. This enabled her to buy her first property near Aix-les-Bains, France, in 1890.[1][3]


Ceratostigma willmottianum, one of over 60 species named after Ellen Willmott or Warley Place.
Ellen Willmott inherited Warley Place on her father's death and continued to develop the gardens, indulging her passion for collecting and cultivating plants. She is thought to have cultivated more than 100,000 different species of plant.[3]
Willmott employed up to 104 gardeners, and was known for being a demanding employer; she would reputedly sack any gardener who allowed a weed to grow among her flowers. She only employed men in her garden; she was once quoted as saying "women would be a disaster in the border".[2]

Rosa willmottiae
She was also known for being a prodigious spender. In 1905 she bought a third estate in Ventimiglia, Italy.[1] Willmott used her wealth to fund plant-hunting expeditions to China and the Middle East,[1] and species discovered on these excursions would often be named after her. The expeditions she sponsored included those of Ernest Henry Wilson, who named Ceratostigma willmottianum, Rosa willmottiae and Corylopsis willmottiae after her.[4]
Willmott joined the Royal Horticultural Society in 1894 and became a prominent member, elected to the narcissus, floral (group B) and lily committees.[1] She helped to persuade Sir Thomas Hanbury, her neighbour at Ventimiglia, to purchase the site at Wisley which became the RHS Gardens and donate it to the society,[5] and was appointed a trustee of the RHS Gardens in 1903.[1]
Willmott was one of only two women, alongside Gertrude Jekyll, to receive the Victoria Medal of Honour in 1897 (newly instituted that year for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee).[3] In 1905 she became one of the first women to be elected a fellow of the Linnean Society of London. She also received the grande mιdaille Geoffroi St Hilaire from the Sociιtι d'acclimatation de France in 1912, and the Dean Hole medal from the National Rose Society in 1914.[1] She published two books; Warley Garden in Spring and Summer in 1909[1] and The Genus Rosa, published in two volumes between 1910 and 1914.[2] It includes 132 watercolours of roses painted by Alfred Parsons between 1890 ans 1908, which are now held by the Lindley Library in London. (Cory Bequest).[6] Ellen also commissioned Parsons R.A., Landscape-painter and Landscape designer, to paint her three gardens.[7] Queen Mary, Queen Alexandra, and Princess Victoria are known to have visited her at Warley Place.[8] In 1914 she initiated a bitter public spat with the horticulturalist E.A. Bowles about some observations on rock gardens made by Reginald Farrer in his foreword to one of Bowles' books.[9]
[edit]Later life

Willmott's prodigious spending during her lifetime caused financial difficulties in later life, forcing her to sell her French and Italian properties, and eventually her personal possessions.[3] She became increasingly eccentric and paranoid; she booby-trapped her estate to deter thieves and carried a revolver in her handbag.[4] She was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting in 1928, although later acquitted.[10]
Willmott died of atheroma and embolus of the coronary artery in 1934, aged 76.[1] Warley Place was sold to pay her debts[4] and the house was demolished in 1939, although plans to develop a housing estate on the site were rejected.[8] It was later designated as green belt and became a nature reserve.[4]

Ellen Ann Wilmott

Penn State in the World War

Listing for Colonel Andrews, the Commandant of the Raritan Arsenal and friend to Mrs. F. O. Herring.