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Object ID 2009.115.01
Title "The World Was My Garden: Travels of a Plant Explorer"
Object Name Book
Author David Fairchild
Published Date 1938
Description "The World Was My Garden: Travels of a Plant Explorer"
by David Fairchild (1869-1954), assisted by Elizabeth and Alfred Kay

DDC call number 712.6

David Fairchild was a botanist who resided in Chevy Chase at 8922 Spring Valley Road ("In The Woods"). Fairchild was the man responsible for bringing the cherry blossom trees to the Tidal Basin in Washington D.C.

Chevy Chase references in book:
p. 290
p. 313
p.316
p. 327
p. 345
p.355
p.361
p. 364
p. 394
p. 408
p. 410
p.412
p.414
p.416
p.444
p.464
p.472
p.475

Excerpts from book:

"Mrs. Bell agreed at once that we should not plan to spend our lives on a city street. We both wanted' to be as far out in the country as possible, so we began looking for a place beyond the suburbs of Washington.
Mrs. Hubbard's gardener, Peter Bissett, knew of a tract of land near Kensington, Maryland, through which Rock Creek flowed. It was ten miles from the Capital and a mile beyond the end of the Chevy Chase , street-car and the road was terrible. He took us to see it and we fell in love with the place at first sight and bought it that summer." (p. 313)

"It was early autumn before the final papers were drawn and Marian and I really owned our forty acres in the woods of Maryland. We imme-diately carried some plants out to start a little nursery in a bend of the brook.

The autumn leaves were turning as we made our way up through the scrub pines and dogwoods to the large white oaks which crowned the hill. The squirrels were gathering nuts from the shagbark hickories over-looking Rock Creek and a row of tulip poplars gleamed a rich gold in the autumn sunlight. Like children, we waded in the brook, chased the squirrels and built a fire of twigs beneath the oaks. When night came, we could not bear to leave, and, as we had sent out a hammock and a comfortable steamer chair, we spent our first night there under the oaks, and watched the dawn break through our own forest in Maryland…

…It was soon evident that Marian loved every tree on the place, even the scrub pines which covered the hill on which we proposed to build our house. She flatly refused to have any of them cut down, and, not knowing where to put the house, we compromised by building a garage in a space among the pines just large enough to squeeze it in.

So afraid was Marian that the wrong trees would be cut, that long after the garage was built and we had turned it into a living room and added bedrooms, a sleeping porch, and a kitchen, a hickory tree still stood so close that the door could scarcely be opened, and spindling scrub pines obstructed the view from every window. " (pp. 316-317)

"I became interested in the gardening work among children in the public schools and sent for trees of the drooping cherry to give to each school in the District of Columbia. This shipment arrived from Yoko-hama in May, 1907, and the officials of the Chevy Chase car line, for whom I also ordered three hundred trees to plant along the line, pro-vided a special car to bring out a boy from each school. The Superin-tendent of Schools accompanied them and, with Mori to help me, I showed every boy how to dig and ball and cut back a tree for planting." (p. 327)


Copyright 1938, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York