How does Mary's Garden Grow?
How does Mary's Garden Grow?

Mary Beekman is a four-year-old ghost who resides in The Beekman Mansion, and considers Brent and Josh her “imaginary friends.” Follow Mary Beekman’s Diary each week to learn what it’s like to be a young child in early 19th century America.

Some of the seeds in my little garden are beginning to sprout into seedlings.  But some are not even showing. I don’t know why. I water them all at the same time and I am most careful to walk in a straight and steady path between the rows. Sometimes one foot steps down to one side or the other if I go too quickly.  But if I hold each arm out to the side it is easier not to tip over. I marked my rows with a stone.  Mother uses string to mark her rows. I found a stick and made some holes where I know I had planted seeds.  I wanted to see if anything was happening under the ground. I did find some of my seeds.  They looked just the same as when I first poked them with my finger under the earth.  But some of them had a tiny green spot and had just begun to split their covering.  I found a big, fat worm.  I called the boys to come and pick it up.  I know they are going fishing later today.  They could use the worm.  They really want to surprise Mother with a turtle. There are some very big turtles in the pond.  Mother likes to make turtle soup.  It is so good and tastes just like chicken. But there are no drumsticks.

Mother came over to my garden then and wanted to know what I was doing.  She did not seem very pleased to see all the seeds uncovered.  She told me to cover them back up very carefully and just to wait a few more days.  I felt badly but then Josh told me when he was smaller, he did the same thing. His mother was also not happy. Brent was nodding his head and said he had done it also. I finished my garden work and went to play.  I think I will try and forget about the seeds until I can see them all.

This is what Mother’s book says about some of the herbs we planted:*


American Cookery by Amelia Simmons    1798

Herbs, useful in cookery:

Thyme, is good in Soups and Stuffings
Sweet Marjoram, is used in Turkeys
Summer Savory, ditto, and in sausages and salted beef and legs of Pork
Sage, is used in Cheese and Pork, but not generally approved
Parsley, good in soups, and to garnish roast beef, excellent with bread and butter in the spring
Penny Royal, is a high aromatic, although a spontaneous herb in old ploughed fields, yet might be more generally cultivated in gardens, and used in cookery and medicines
Sweet Thyme, is most useful and best approved in cookery.


by Mary Beekman

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