The Lost Gardens of Emily Dickinson

By FERRIS JABR

the-lost-gardens-of-emily-dickinson

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –

I keep it, staying at Home –

With a Bobolink for a Chorister –

And an Orchard, for a Dome

Emily Dickinson

That orchard was real: a medley of apple, pear, plum and cherry trees tended by the Dickinson family during their lifetimes. Over the decades, subsequent owners of the Dickinson house, known as the Homestead, removed the orchard, replaced extensive flower and vegetable gardens with lawn, and even installed a tennis court; and a devastating hurricane in 1938 damaged the grounds.

This spring, however, the Emily Dickinson Museum has brought the poet’s beloved orchard back to life, planting a small grove of heirloom apples and pears grown by the Dickinsons — Baldwins, Westfield Seek-No-Furthers, Winter Nelis — on a sunny corner of the property near Triangle Street in Amherst, Mass.

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