Frontispiece, Breck’s Book of Flowers, 1851
Sunday May 2d
1852 Have been to church and at noon went
into Mrs Howards with Mother & Henrietta
After meeting went with Oakes A & Mrs
S Ames to call on Mrs Perkins at Mr Kimballs
also called at Mr Nahum Williams
Mrs Kimball has her garden laid out quite
prettily but the walls are too narrow I think
Evelina was almost as interested in other people’s gardens as she was in her own. After church, she and her son, Oakes Angier Ames, and sister-in-law, Sarah Lothrop Ames, made a few calls around the neighborhood. The day “was cloudy + fair by turns,”* and as they visited, Evelina was able to see what others were doing in their yards.
The group stopped at the home of John and Lusannah Kimball, whose garden Evelina judged to be pretty, certainly, but “too narrow.” Perhaps Mrs.Kimball was building a perennial border, as opposed to the central bed configuration that Evelina used. Taste in gardening design was changing, with the latest ideal illustrated in Joseph Breck’s popular new book on flowers. Was this the look that Evelina was aiming to achieve in her yard?
The whole family seemed to be out and about, at least for the ride to and from the meeting house. The usual group, representing all three Ames households, was in attendance. It would be the last Sunday ever for this particular ensemble. In only two weeks, the Ameses would be back at church for a funeral for one of their own.
*Oliver Ames, Journal, Stonehill College Archives, Arnold Tofias Collection