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Monday, March 9, 2009

Ripped to Shreds: The Mary Livingston Ripley Garden

By The Queen of Free

The dainty, charming Mary Livingston Ripley Garden was ripped asunder on January 20, 2009 by the million+ Inaugural visitors.

They smashed fences installed to keep them out and protect the grace of Mary Garden.

Compare the pictures above with that at the Mary Garden Web site.

Signs posted at the garden's two entrances announce to visitors the plight of Mary Garden which lies between the Hirshhorn Museum and the Arts and Science Building on the Mall:

"It will take time and quite a bit of replenishment to rehabilitate the Garden"

Dotting the garden are bits of yellow and purple flowers poking their heads from the few remaining bulbs bursting from the ground and from tree buds.

Despite the bare ground, walking along the curving path through the garden is still a pleasurable exercise.

On May 25, 1988 the Smithsonian Institution's Women’s Committee laid a plaque on the Independence Avenue entrance in honor of Mary Livingston Ripley who spearheaded the creation of the garden on land originally designated for a parking lot. She was married to the Smithsonian's eighth Secretary.

Last summer on its wee 1/3 acre plot 1,260 varieties of plants grew at Mary Garden, say the signs which carry optimistic wording that the Earth can rejuvenate itself. Yes, it can.

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