George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 11 March 1785]

Friday 11th. Mercury at 30 in the Morning, 34 at Noon and 41 at Night.

Left Colo. Masons about 12 oclock. Dined with Mr. Martin Cockburn, & came home in the afternoon.

Planted the Hemlock Scions which were brought home yesterday, 28 in Number in the Shrubbs—2 poplar trees wch. had been omitted (by an oversight) in my Serpentine Walks before; and 13 Weeping and 13 Yellow Willow trees alternately along the Post & rail fence from the Kitchen to the South ha-haw & from the Servants Hall to the Smith’s Shop.

Brought 9 Scions of the Portugal Peach from Mr. Cockburn with me.

The weeping willow is ordinarily Salix babylonica, but GW often interchanges the words “weeping” and “yellow.” Here he may be referring to S. alba vitellina, an introduced species. servants hall: The new dependency adjoining the mansion on the north was used for white servants. The blacksmith shop lay a short distance north of the servants’ hall.

The Portugal peach is a large clingstone. In sending a few pits to George Mason, Thomas Jefferson said the Portugal required more care than common peaches but, when carefully cultivated, was the finest he had ever tasted (BETTS [2] description begins Edwin Morris Betts, ed. Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book, 1766–1824: With Relevant Extracts from His Other Writings. Philadelphia, 1944. description ends , 91).

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