May 17 About eight Oclock this morning
Orinthia & I rode to Mr Manlys to get some plants for
our garden He kept us there a long while talking
about them and calling over the long names untill we
almost despaired of getting any At last we got a few
and come home & set them out & called at Mr
Savages, got a few there This afternoon we have had
a shower. I mended the stockings &c &c
With help from her boarder and young friend, Orinthia, Evelina was making headway everyday in her garden. Early this Saturday morning, the two women rode once again to Edwin Manley’s for plants. Mr. Manley, a knowledgeable and somewhat eccentric fellow, kept the ladies “there a long while” discussing the selection of plants, going over their Latin names and properties. Let’s hope that Evelina’s impatience to be on her way didn’t spoil his clear appreciation of the flowers he could offer her.
From Mr. Manley’s, the eager gardeners went on to yet another source for plants. William Savage was an employee at the shovel shop. Unlike Mr. Manley and Mr. Clapp, he lived in the neighborhood of North Easton. He grew petunias, which were a fairly new flower for the home gardener, among other plants. Evelina was collecting all kinds of specimens for her parlor garden.
Other growers were less sanguine than Evelina about the prospect of the coming growing season. Old Oliver, Evelina’s crusty father-in-law, noted in his daily journal that “this was a fair day in the forenoon with a strong south west wind it was cloudy in the afternoon + a verry little rain and rather cool. the ground is verry wett + the season backward about doing the planting”. Backward season or not, the planting – and gardening – had to go forward.