April showers bring May flowers…and vegetables.
Movies have scenes that end up, as they say, on the cutting room floor and don’t get included in the final film. Likewise, there are photographs that I intended to include in my book Weir Farm National Historic Site (Arcadia Publishing), but had to be cut due to space constraints. And the image above is one of them. It has never been publicly exhibited or available for acquisition as a print.
Weir Farm is known for much more than the art that has been created there for well over a century. It is also noted for its historic gardens and orchards, which make for inspiring artistic subject matter. The property’s Terraced Gardens and Secret Garden are very popular with visitors as is its Sunken Garden. The latter was so well designed that, in the late 1950s, a prominent photography team was dispatched by Treasury of American Gardens to feature the Sunken Garden in its magazine.
The gardens at Weir Farm were developed for more than just decorative reasons. They were sources of food as well. During World War II, citizens were encouraged by the government to grow Victory Gardens as a way to offset rationing at home and to provide produce for the troops overseas.
Nothing went to waste. When the gardens yielded a quantity of vegetables that was beyond what could be eaten, the excess was canned and stored. The pantry at the Weir House has replica mason jars on display holding faux string beans, corn, peas, carrots, and tomatoes.
I was motived to create the photograph because I was intrigued by the Lilliputian viewpoint and the crown-like composition of buds and stems. The tender shoots in the center are almost like a crowd gathered to admire the emerging yellow squash.
Click here to get a signed print of this and other photographs.
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