Following a picnic at Bear Cave near
After seeing the 12.5 acres on the
Kay would later write in her book, Reflections, "After thirty months of waiting, watching, hoping, and planning, we had first possession by just one hour! Do you wonder that we felt we were truly meant to live here?"
The Boydstons intended to use the property as a vacation home, but the war and job situation found them moving here from
The name stuck. Although there weren't many ferns found on the property when they bought it, Kay tirelessly planted ferns, wildflowers, cultivated flowers, shrubs and trees.
Fernwood not only was a vacation respite for family and friends in those days, but Kay led garden tours and taught classes on gardening and the craft arts. She shared her love of nature, horticulture, and the arts and crafts with her new neighbors and friends. She was an amateur horticulturist and a highly regarded fern expert in addition to a weaver, silversmith, printmaker, dyer, miniaturist and writer. In those early days, Kay wrote countless letters to colleagues in search of new plants for Fernwood. Accounts have stated that she could get by on very little sleep, so she would plant into the night by the headlights of her car.
In 1964, Kay and Walter were retired and facing the
reality of caring for their now 16 acres.
As Fernwood celebrates 50 years as a public garden, visitors will notice a purposeful focus on Fernwood's history -- and its future direction -- in programming, events, and exhibits.
In April, noted artist
In honor of Kay's weaving and spinning interests, the
"Fernwood remains today a special place for people to visit every month of the year," Executive Director Carol Line said.
"I do think Kay would smile to see people winding down the hill to see spring wildflowers and school buses with children entering our property to learn about the natural world, and to know that Fernwood is still the place where art and nature and horticulture come together and where the water wheel still spins."
(c)2014 the South Bend Tribune (South Bend, Ind.)
Visit the South Bend Tribune (South Bend, Ind.) at www.southbendtribune.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services