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Flowers

garden planted by John and Jennie  MacneillThroughout her life Montgomery kept a garden. Her garden at the Macneill homestead in Cavendish was one of her favorite places. When John and Jennie Macneill, relatives of Montgomery (Refer to the L.M. Montgomery Institute's CD ROM, The Bend in the Road, for the family tree) and owners of the site, read the first volume of the Selected Journals when it appeared in 1985, they were touched by how much Maud Montgomery had loved the old homestead and its flowers, orchard, and walks. They uncovered the old cellar of the house and restored the stone dyke and well. Each spring they plant a garden with the flowers Maud described as loving most and which she could easily have grown at the Macneill home: California poppies, nasturtiums, Johnny jump-ups, cosmos, marigolds, pansies. The Site of L.M. Montgomery's Cavendish Home is open to tourists from May through October.

In 1905, while she was writing Anne of Green Gables, Maud described her Cavendish garden this way: "It is the greatest pleasure my days bring to me to go out to my garden every morning and see what new blossoms have opened overnight. At such moments my heart fairly bursts with its gladness. photo of Apple TreeOh, what a wise old myth it was that placed the creation of life in a garden" (SJ,I,307). In Leaskdale, Norval, and finally Toronto, Montgomery visited her garden as a friend.

Her novels make full use of gardens. The most memorable ones may be Hester Gray's in Anne of Avonlea and Cousin Jimmy's magically protected garden in Emily of New Moon. Jane, in the late novel Jane of Lantern Hill (1937), learns to plant flowers in Prince Edward Island and later picks out a house for her parents to buy on the ravine in Toronto, where ferns and wild columbines grow. Jane's house and setting are modeled on Montgomery's home "Journey's End" on Riverside Drive. Every novel gives flowers and gardens some special, often symbolic, place. In The Blue Castle, Valancy Stirling's pitifully unblooming rose bush suddenly bursts with gorgeous red when Valancy herself breaks free from her clan.

go to LM Montgomery Institute at UPEI Website go to University of Guelph Website go to Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace Website go to Virtual Museum of Canada Website go to Confederation Centre of the Arts Website go to National Library of Canada Website go to English Home Page go to French Homepage John and Jennie Macneill's gardens John and Jennie Macneill's gardens John and Jennie Macneill's gardens John and Jennie Macneill's gardens