Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

Katharine Sergeant White Papers

Part II: Box and Folder List - Garden Correspondence

Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library
Collection Number: M 56

Copyright 2006 by Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library


Description of Garden Correspondence:Front cover of White's book. Courtesy of Farrar, Straus & Giroux Publishers.
Garden Correspondence relates primarily to K.S. White's gardening series, Onward and Upward in the Garden, which appeared occasionally in The New Yorker between the years 1958 and 1970, after she had retired as an editor. The fourteen articles were later published posthumously by her husband, E. B. White. Although White considered herself a more skillful editor than writer, she never lost the desire to write, and she famously claimed that all editors should be writers.

The series initially began as a review of garden catalogs but quickly expanded into history, memories, critical reviews of books and botanical art, and general witty commentary on gardening and horticulture. Many of the letters in this collection, while not related directly to White's garden series, document her passion for gardening, including correspondence with gardening supply stores, seeking seeds and gardening supplies of all sorts for her gardens at her Maine home. These letters preserve the latest period of White's life and provides a detailed glimpse into her retirement years in North Brooklin, Maine.

Garden Correspondence is arranged into two groups, preserving the order in which White herself kept her garden correspondence organized - a chronological series and a correspondent/subject series.

Garden Correspondence, 1958-1970 is organized by date and comprises letters White received from hundreds of readers responding to Onward and Upward articles, many of whom received a personal response. This group contains incoming letters and carbon copies of many of the responses.

Garden Correspondence, A-Z is arranged alphabetically by correspondent, form, or subject. The correspondents include writers and illustrators of garden books and articles whom White featured in her series - perhaps most notably, Elizabeth Lawrence - seedsmen, hybridizers, nurserymen and gardening goods suppliers, botanists, Garden Club members, and publishers.

Garden Correspondence, 1958-1970

Box Folder Contents Date
1958 Garden Correspondence
17 1 Various correspondents, many in response to KSW's Onward and Upward in the Garden article, "A Romp in the Catalogues," published in The New Yorker, 1 Mar 1958  
    Incoming, 36 letters 20 Feb 1958 - 3 Dec 1958
    Outgoing, 25 letters (24 carbon; 1 original)

6 Mar 1958 - 20 June 1958

    2 newspaper clippings  
17 2 Various correspondents, many in response to KSW's Onward and Upward in the Garden article, "Floricordially Yours," published in The New Yorker, 14 Mar 1959  
    Incoming, 38 letters 14 Mar 1959 - 30 Dec 1959
    Outgoing, 27 letters (carbon) 23 Mar 1959 - 5 Aug 1959
1959 Garden Correspondence
17 3 Various correspondents, many in response to KSW's Onward and Upward in the Garden article, "Before the Frost," published in The New Yorker, 26 Sept 1959  
    Incoming, 22 letters

23 Jan 1959 - 18 Nov 1959

    Outgoing, 17 letters (carbon) 2 Feb 1959 - 23 Nov 1959
1960 Garden Correspondence
17 4 Various correspondents, many in response to KSW's Onward and Upward in the Garden article, "The Changing Rose, the Enduring Cabbage," published in The New Yorker, 5 Mar 1960  
    Incoming, 47 letters 8 Jan 1960 - 24 Sept 1960
    Outgoing, 26 letters (carbon) 11 Feb 1960 - 5 Oct 1960
    3 newspaper clippings  
17 5 Various correspondents, many in response to KSW's Onward and Upward in the Garden article, "War in the Borders, Peace in the Shrubbery," published in The New Yorker, 24 Sept 1960  
    Incoming, 30 letters 19 Sept 1960 - 10 Feb 1961
    Outgoing, 23 letters (carbon) 23 July 1960 - 13 Mar 1961
    1 newspaper clipping  
1961 Garden Correspondence
17 6, 7 Various correspondents, many in response to KSW's Onward and Upward in the Garden article, "Green Thoughts in a Green Shade," published in The New Yorker, 11 Mar 1961  
    Incoming, 56 letters 8 Mar 1961 - 11 Jan 1962
    Outgoing, 36 letters (carbon) 22 Mar 1961 - 5 Feb 1962
    2 newspaper clippings  
1962 Garden Correspondence
18 1-3 Various correspondents, many in response to KSW's Onward and Upward in the Garden article, "For the Recreation & Delight of the Inhabitants," published in The New Yorker, 9 June 1962  
    Incoming, 71 letters 30 Mar 1962 - 7 Nov 1962
    Outgoing, 51 letters (carbon) 19 Jan 1962 - 13 Nov 1962
    1 newspaper clipping  
1963 Garden Correspondence
18 4 Various correspondents  
    Incoming, 12 letters 7 Feb 1963 - 19 July 1963
    Outgoing, 13 letters (carbon) 18 Feb 1963 - 31 July 1963
    1 newspaper clipping  
    1 photograph  
1964 Garden Correspondence
18 5 Various correspondents  
    Incoming, 11 letters 22 Nov 1963 - 17 Nov 1964
    Outgoing, 6 letters (carbon) 4 Dec 1963 - 14 Nov 1964
1965 Garden Correspondence
18 6 Various correspondents, many in response to KSW's Onward and Upward in the Garden article, "An Idea Which We Have Called Nature," published in The New Yorker, 18 DEC 1965  
    Incoming, 13 letters 5 Mar 1965 - 29 Mar 1966
    Outgoing, 9 letters (carbon) 7 Apr 1965 - 28 APR 1966
    2 typed memos to KSW from Ebba Jonnsen (New Yorker staff)  
    Xerox of poem by KSW that appeared in the 27 Mar 1926 New Yorker  
    Typed excerpt, "The Root Glen and its Foundation" (from unknown publication)  
1966 Garden Correspondence
18 7-9 Various correspondents, many in response to KSW's Onward and Upward in the Garden article, "The Million-Dollar Book," published in The New Yorker, 10 Dec 1966  
    Incoming, 50 letters 29 Dec 1965 - 4 Jan 1967
    Outgoing, 29 letters (carbon) 19 Jan 1966 - 29 Dec 1966
    1 newspaper clipping  
    1 memo to KSW from Fred Keefe (The New Yorker staff)  
1967 Garden Correspondence
19 1-3 Various correspondents, many in response to KSW's Onward and Upward in the Garden article, "The Flower Arrangers," published in The New Yorker, 4 Nov 1967  
    Incoming, 52 letters 7 Jan 1967 - 27 Dec 1967
    Outgoing, 30 letters (carbon) 7 Jan 1967 - 27 Dec 1967
    1 photograph  
    2 newspaper clippings  
19 4 Various correspondents, many in response to KSW's Onward and Upward in the Garden article, "More About the Arrangers," published in The New Yorker, 11 Nov 1967  
    Incoming, 24 letters 8 Feb 1967 - 1 Dec 1967
    Outgoing, 13 letters (carbon) 28 Mar 1967 - 1 Dec 1967
19 5 Various correspondents, many in response to KSW's Onward and Upward in the Garden article, "Winter Reading, Winter Dreams," published in The New Yorker, 16 Dec 1967  
    Incoming, 14 letters 5 Dec 1967 - 21 Dec 1967
    Outgoing, 10 letters (carbon) 5 Dec 1967 - 27 Dec 1967
1968 Garden Correspondence
19 6-7 Various correspondents, many in response to KSW's Onward and Upward in the Garden article, "Winterthur and Winter Book Fare," published in The New Yorker, 21 Dec 1968  
    Incoming, 37 letters 18 Dec 1967 - 7 Oct 1968
    Outgoing, 22 letters (carbon) 5 Jan 1968 - 4 Oct 1968
1969 Garden Correspondence
19 8 Various correspondents  
    Incoming, 14 letters 10 Jan 1969 - 22 Aug 1969
    Outgoing, 9 letters (carbon) 17 Jan 1969 - 1 May 1969
1970 Garden Correspondence
19 9 Various correspondents, many in response to KSW's Onward and Upward in the Garden article, "Knots and Arbours -- And Books," published in The New Yorker, 28 Mar 1970  
    Incoming, 16 letters 2 Apr 1970 - 18 Aug 1970
    Outgoing, 4 letters (carbon) 5 Apr 1970 - 22 Aug 1970
1971 Garden Correspondence
19 10 Various correspondents  
    Incoming, 11 letters 29 Mar 1971 - 21 Sept 1971
    Outgoing, 1 letter (carbon) 7 June 1971
1972-1977 Garden Correspondence
19 11 Various correspondents  
    Incoming, 9 letters 6 Sept 1973 - 1 Apr 1977
    Outgoing, 2 letters (carbon) 13 Jan 1972 - 15 Sept 1973

Garden Correspondence, AZ (arranged alphabetically by correspondent and subject)

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

Box Folder Contents Date
20 1 Alldredge, Charles  
    Alldredge to KSW, 39 letters 15 Mar 1959 - Dec 1961
    KSW to Alldredge, 16 letters (carbon)  
20 2 Bell, Leonie  
    Bell to KSW, 7 letters 25 July 1967 - 19 Sept 1967
    KSW to Bell, 5 letters (carbon)  
    Copies of 3 botanical drawings of Rosa damascena "Kazanlik" by L. Bell 5 July 1966
20 3 Baritone, John  
    Britton to KSW, 6 letters 1 Nov 1960 - 16 Aug 1961
    KSW to Britton, 5 letters (carbon)  
20 4 Bruce, Harold  
    Bruce to KSW, 10 letters 10 Sept 1968 - 16 Mar 1976
    KSW to Bruce, 6 letters (carbon)  
20 5 Burpee Seed Company  
    Burpee to KSW, 5 letters 5 Jan 1961 - 15 Jan 1969
    KSW to Burpee, 5 letters  
    Typed biography of David Burpee, president of W. Atlee Burpee Co.  
20 6 Furtmuller, Leah Cadbury  
    Furtmuller to KSW, 10 letters 18 Feb 1962 - 18 Apr 1969
    KSW to Furtmuller, 12 letters (6 original; 6 carbon)  
    Clipping of KSW New Yorker article, "Onward and Upward in the Garden: An Idea Which We Call Nature," printed 18 Dec 1965  
    Art catalog for Daffinger Blumkarten floral paintings  
    Art catalog for Bilder aus dem Schroll Verlag (floral prints and paintings)  
20 7 Garden Authors (authors mentioned in Onward and Upward in the Garden articles)  
    Various correspondents  
    Incoming, 38 letters 30 Sept 1959 - 26 Dec 1968
    Outgoing, 32 letters (carbon) 7 Oct 1959 - 11 May 1968
    Article, "Let's Unscramble the Lilies," by Jan de Graaf (from Popular Gardening) 1962
20 8 Gardenside Nurseries, Inc.  
    Gardenside to KSW, 7 letters 21 Feb 1959 - 15 May 1964
    KSW to Gardenside, 4 letters (carbon)  
20 9 George, D. S. Nurseries  
    George Nurseries to KSW, 1 letter (addressed "Dear Customer") n.d.
    Order catalog for Flower Clematis, printed by James I. George & Son, Inc.  
20 10 Joseph Harris Seeds Company (Charles B. Wilson, manager)  
    Wilson to KSW, 54 letters 2 June 1958 - 24 Jan 1975
    KSW to Wilson, 28 letters (carbon)  
    1 newspaper clipping, "Cabbages, Roses, & Writers" (from unknown publication)  
    Pamphlet, "Facts on the Use of Pesticides," prepared by the New York State College of Agriculture, Ithaca, NY  
    Harris Flower & Vegetable Seeds 1959 Price List  
20 11 Houdyshel, Ethel (Mrs. Cecil Houdyshel)  
    Houdyshel to KSW, 7 letters 6 Aug 1959 - 5 Nov 1960
    KSW to Houdyshel, 5 letters (carbon)  
20 12 Irish Moss Blanc Mange (correspondence on)  
    Various correspondents  
    Incoming, 11 letters  
    Outgoing, 7 letters (carbon)  
    TMs, original manuscript of a "Department of Amplification" article on carrageen written by KSW and published in the New Yorker 23 June 1965; contains autograph pencil corrections in author's hand  
20 13 Johnson, Lady Bird  
    Johnson to KSW, 2 letters 8 May 1966 - 20 Mar 1969
    KSW to Johnson, 1 letter (carbon) 14 May 1966
20 14 Knopf, Alfred A.  
    Knopf to KSW, 27 letters  
    KSW to Knopf, 13 letters (carbon)  
    Katherine Caraccioli (secretary of A. Knopf) to KSW, 1 letter  
    William A. Koshland (A. A. Knopf, Inc. staff) to KSW, 2 letters  
    KSW to Koshland, 1 letter (carbon)  
    Jane Garrett (A. A. Knopf, Inc., editor) to KSW, 3 letters  
    KSW to Garrett, 2 letters (carbon)  
21 1-4 Lawrence, Elizabeth  
    Lawrence to KSW, 94 letters (93 original; 1 carbon) 8 Apr 1959 - 11 June 1977
    KSW to Lawrence, 32 letters (carbon)  
    Lawrence to E. B. White, 1 letter n.d.
    TMs, Through the Garden Gate article (from the Charlotte Observer) written by E. Lawrence; review of The Flower Garden, A Handbook of Practical Garden Lore, by Ida D. Bennett (1903)  
    TMs, Through the Garden Gate article (from the Charlotte Observer) written by E. Lawrence; review of Flowers Native to the Deep South, by Caroline Dormon  
    TMs, "The Burning Bush," article written by E. Lawrence in response to KSW Onward and Upward in the Garden article of 14 Mar 1959  
    TMs, "82 Bridge Street," written by E. Lawrence  
    Typed list of nurseries (excerpt from E. Lawrence, A Southern Garden, 1942)  
21 5 Leighton, Barbara  
    Leighton to KSW, 48 letters 30 Dec 1958 - 25 Sept 1972
    KSW to Leighton, 26 letters (carbon) 23 Mar 1959 - 29 Sept 1972
    1 letter (TLS) to E. B. White from Julie Hayden re: Barbara Leighton - KSW Correspondence  
    Invitation to "Focus on Home Gardening, 1961" Panel Lecture 1961
21 6 Merry Gardens (Mary Allen Ross)  
    Mary Allen Ross to KSW, 8 letters 26 Mar 1959 - 18 June 1975
    KSW to Mary Allen Ross, 6 letters (carbon) 15 Feb 1961 - 1 Mar 1972
    Merryspring Foundation, Inc. pamphlet  
    "Message from Merryspring" newsletter 1 May 1975
    Merryspring Foundation, Inc., price list  
21 7 Morse, John D. (The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum)  
    Morse to KSW, 8 letters 26 Dec 1967 - 2 Jan 1969
    KSW to Morse, 6 letters (carbon) 6 Jan 1968 - 13 Jan 1969
21 8 New York Botanical Garden  
    H. W. Rickett (senior botanist) to KSW, 2 letters 9 Dec 1966 - 15 Feb 1967
    KSW to H. W. Rickett, 2 letters (carbon) 19 Dec 1966 - 30 Jan 1967
    John F. Reed (curator of the Library) to KSW, 1 letter 18 Oct 1971
    Frank J. Anderson (Assistant to the Librarian), 2 letters 1 Nov 1971 - 28 Jan 1972
    KSW to Frank J. Anderson, 2 letters (carbon) 1 Dec 1971 - 25 Feb 1972
22 1 Nurseries, General  
    Various correspondents  
    Incoming, 51 letters  
    Outgoing, 37 letters (carbon)  
    Xerox article, "Special Sessions at Corvallis," by Charles H. Potter (from American Nurseryman) n.d.
    Article, "Honesty Plant Offers Everlasting Seedpods" (from Flower & Garden Magazine)  
    Seed Annual catalog, printed by D. M. Ferry & Co.  
    9 Gardenside Gossip catalogs, printed by Gardenside Nurseries, Inc., Shelburne, VT Fall 1949 - Fall 1961
    Seeds of Rare Plants catalog, printed by Rex D. Pearce, Merchantville, NJ 1938
    7 Fine Lilies & Lilacs catalogs, printed by Strawberry Hill Nursery, Rhinebeck, NY 1953 - 1957
22 2 G. Park Seed Company  
    G. Park to KSW, 14 letters 2 Apr 1959 25 Jan 1973
    KSW to G. Park (carbon), 15 letters 9 Apr 1959 - 2 Feb 1973
22 3 Publishers  
    Various correspondents  
    Incoming, 33 letters 8 Mar 1960 - 29 Apr 1963
    Outgoing, 20 letters (carbon) 16 Mar 1960 - 2 May 1963
    Gambit Inc. Publishers, Spring 1969 publication preview catalog 1969
22 4 Ranger, Lynn M.  
    Ranger to KSW, 64 letters 18 Sept 1959 - 2 Nov 1962
    KSW to Ranger, 31 letters (carbon) 16 Sept 1959 - 15 Oct 1962
22 5 Reactions Against "The Flower Arrangers" article  
    Helen Richardson Andrew to "Editor of The New Yorker", 1 letter (TLS; xerox) 5 Feb 1968 - 12 Mar 1968
    Xerox article, "The Worm with the Green Thumb, Turns," by Helen Richardson Andrew (President of Garden Club Federation of Maine) in response to KSW's Onward and Upward in the Garden article titled "The Flower Arrangers" (never published)  
    Autograph memo (signed) to KSW from Leo Hofeller (The New Yorker staff) 28 Feb 1968
    2 copies of rough draft of response letter from KSW to Helen Richardson Andrew (contains autograph corrections and editorial remarks in KSW's hand) 12 Mar 1968
    Clara H. Rosenbaum to "Editor of The New Yorker", 1 letter (TLS; Xerox) 24 Jan 1968
   

Xerox article, "400,000 Members Can't Be Wrong!" by Clara H. Rosenbaum (member of the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc.) in response to KSW's Onward and Upward in the Garden article titled "The Flower Arrangers" (never published)

23 Jan 1968
    Rough draft of response letter from KSW to Clara H. Rosenbaum (contains autograph corrections and editorial remarks in KSW's hand)  
22 6 Reference, General  
    Typed copy of article, "Jane Austen and the English Landscape School," by Elsa Rehmann (from Landscape Architecture, April 1935)  
    Typed note for book by KSW 14 Feb 1969
    Excerpt from the Periodical of the Royal Horticultural Association with plate of John Wedgewood  
    Autograph note (of unknown writer) of quotes re: M. S. Merryman, quoted from The Art of Botanical Illustration by Wilfrid Blunt  
    Article, "Three Famous Women Gardeners," by Betty Massingham (from Country Life, 15 Sept 1960)  
    Excerpt cut from KSW's Onward and Upward in the Garden, 10 Dec 1966  
    Typed note by KSW on Julie Hayden  
    Typed copy of speech by Susan L. Wearn about Ellen Shipman to the Garden Club of Maine August 1959
    Xerox of TL from KSW to Barbara Dicks n.d.
    TLS from Sarah Boyden to "Rebecca" with attached article, "Which Flowers are Right?" by Sarah Boyden (from Chicago Sunday Sun-Times) n.d.
    Newspaper clipping from The Washington Post  
    Publication announcement and order form for Natives Preferred, by Caroline Dormon  
22 7 Rose Growers  
    Various correspondents  
    Incoming, 18 letters 8 Nov 1950 - 11 Sept 1962
    Outgoing, 13 letters 25 Mar 1960 - 9 May 1970
22 8 Roses, General  
    Various correspondents  
    Incoming, 8 letters 1 Apr 1960 - 3 July 1961
    Outgoing, 5 letters (carbon) 8 Mar 1960 - 22 Dec 1961
    Booklet, Horticultural Society of New York Bulletin, volume 11 196[?]
    Typed notes for KSW from Louise Seaman Bechtel re: Scent in Roses n.d.
    Fruit and flower catalog (in French)  
    Newspaper clipping, "World Famous Roses" (from unknown source)  
23 1 A. P. Saunders Nursery (Miss Silvia Saunders)  
    Silvia Saunders to KSW, 18 letters 18 Sept 1952 - 18 Sept 1970
    KSW to Silvia Saunders, 9 letters (carbon) 11 Mar 1958 - 6 Jan 1967
    Hybrid Peonies price list for 1961, printed by Silvia Saunders, Clinton, NY  
    2 brochures, Hybrid Peonies price lists for 1952-3 and 1955-7, printed by Silvia Saunders, Clinton, NY  
    Typed memo to KSW from Gene Kinkead (The New Yorker staff)  
23 2 Sedles, George  
    Sedles to KSW, 8 letters 15 Oct 1960 - 5 Aug 1964
    KSW to Sedles, 8 letters (carbon) 26 July 1961 - 27 July 1964
23 3 Smith, Georgiana Reynolds (Mrs. Anson Howe Smith)  
    G. Smith to KSW, 11 letters 11 Nov 1967 - 19 Mar 1969
    KSW to G. Smith, 5 letters (carbon) 18 Nov 1967 - 13 Jan 1969
    Brochure, "Programs of Distinction," Flower Arrangement Lecture Series by Mrs. Anson Howe Smith  
    Publication announcement and order form for Table Decoration: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, by Georgiana Reynolds Smith  
    4 color prints of flowering plants  
23 4 Smith, Isadore (Mrs. A. W. Smith)  
    I. Smith to KSW, 13 letters 6 Dec 1967 - 2 July 1976
    KSW to I. Smith, 8 letters (carbon) 15 Dec 1967 - 14 Apr 1976
23 5 Strawberry Hill Nursery (A. D. Rothman)  
    Incoming, 8 letters 9 May 1959 - 7 Sept 1960
    Outgoing, 7 letters (carbon) 20 May 1959 - 17 July 1960
23 6 W. Tillotson's Roses (Mrs. Dorothy Stemler)  
    Stemler to KSW, 29 letters 7 Mar 1958-25 Mar 1972
    KSW to Stemler, 10 letters (carbon) 16 Apr 1958 - 26 Feb 1975
    Stemler to "The New Yorker", 1 letter  
    KSW to Louise Bechtel re: Will Tillotson, 1 letter (carbon) 1 Apr 1959
    Louise Bechtel to KSW re: Will Tillotson, 2 letters 4 Apr 1959 - 4 May 1959
    KSW to Mrs. Patricia Wiley (daughter of Mrs. Dorothy Stemler) re: Dorothy Stemler's death, 1 letter 10 Sept 1976
    Patricia Wiley to KSW re Dorothy Stemler's death, 1 letter 30 Sept 1976
    Typed memo by KSW, "For 1960 Garden Piece," excerpt from letter from Mrs. Edwin DeT. Bechtel, 4 May 1959  
    Excerpt from letter from Dorothy Stemler, 16 May 1961  
23 7 Virus in Tulips and Lilies  
    Various correspondents  
    Incoming, 10 letters 7 Nov 1960 - 22 Mar 1961
    Outgoing, 12 letters (carbon) 31 Oct 1960 - 5 Apr 1961
    KSW to US Department of Agriculture, 2 letters (carbon)  
    US Department of Agriculture to KSW, 2 letters  
    typed copy of article, "Broken Tulips," by Dr. E. van Slogteren (from the Daffodil and Tulip Yearbook -1960, Royal Horticultural Society)  
    Copy of TLS to John C. Wister from Willis H. Wheeler re: divisions of broken tulips  
    Netherlands-American Trade magazine, May 1961, published by the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce in the United States, Inc.  
    Article, "The Tulip: Parts 1 & 2, Its Early History," by Adrian Frylink (from Garden Journal of the New York Botanical Garden, Jan-Feb 1954; Feb-Mar 1954)  
    Leaflet, Spring-Flowering Bulbs, printed by the US Department of Agriculture  
23 8 Wayside Gardens Company  
    Incoming, 21 letters 10 Oct 1959 - 13 Sept 1971
    Outgoing, 15 letters (carbon) 10 Oct 1959 - 25 Jan 1971
23 9 White Flower Farm  
    Incoming, 38 letters 22 Oct 1958 - 1 Mar 1974
    Outgoing, 10 letters (carbon); 1 letter (original) [1958] - 27 Feb 1974
23 10 Willis, Margareth Reeves  
    Willis to KSW, 21 letters 25 Sept 1959 - 14 Feb 1971
    KSW to Willis, 10 letters (carbon) 2 Oct 1959 - 15 Sept 1965
    Excerpts from letter to KSW from Margareth Willis  

PART I: Description
PART II: Box and Folder Content

Full List of Guides to the Collections
Abbreviations Used in Guides