My F.O.A.M. (Flowers on a Monday) is a bit different this week as the flowers/plants are not from my own garden. We are very fortunate to have in our “backyard” a unique museum that has become a living historic time capsule…The Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village. From Spring through Autumn Greenfield Village is an open air museum village, reconstructing life from the mid-17th century to the early 20th century. There are many historic buildings that Henry Ford purchased and had disassembled, brought to the Greenfield Village museum, then reassembled exactly as it had been originally.
The Village, as the locals call it, 240 acres of land; 150 acres are undeveloped forest, river and pastureland for sheep and horses. The remaining 90 acres have been developed with the historic buildings laid out like any city or village. There’s a “downtown” running along Main Street with businesses, courthouse, a church, restaurants and an Inn. and an old one room schoolhouse that contains the desk which Henry Ford sat as a boy. Walk down one of the many side streets and you will come across family homes, workshops, and a real working farm.
Spring is a magical time at the Village. Clara Ford was an avid gardener and the Village has done a wonderful job maintaining greenspaces and a variety of gardens and plants. In the Spring center stage goes to the many flowering trees!
My favorite building sits in the far northeast part of the Village and is called Cotswold Cottage. On one of his many visits abroad Henry Ford became smitten with the architecture of the Cotswold region in Great Britain. He had this home, along with its stone wall, brought back to the United States and reassembled stone by stone in the Village.
This home has wonderful gardens surrounding the property, both inside and outside the stone wall. On the east side of the home there are two gardens separated by a crushed limestone path. They are both sparse right now but, in another month, it will be completely full of lush green foliage and bursts of colorful blooms.
On the west side of the home is an open courtyard with two long flower beds that run the length of the limestone wall. From June through September they have a tea service in the courtyard compete with finger sandwiches, tea cakes, and scones with clotted cream and preserves. When the gardens are in full swing, I could spend most of the day just lingering around this area. I often wonder about the families who once lived in this house; what were their lives like, were they happy, what is their story…I hope to one day visit the Cotswold region and learn more about its history.