Early B&W Pictures: The Stone House Interior Construction The Builder Early Family Garden Pictures Early Slides: Background Spring in the Garden Other Seasons Propagation Specimens The Stone House Introduction The First Anderson Rhododendron: Early Garden Pictures

The first Anderson Garden was situated an eight-acre woodland. A half-mile dirt road connected us to the outside world. Until I was in second grade, we had no electricity and pumped water from the well by hand. It isdifficult believe this is only twenty miles to New York City.

The old Sayre homestead lay across the lake and included another stone house. During the Battle of Springfield in the Revolutionary War, the British looted and burned the entire town. Only four houses (including Sayers') survived.

Next door was the childhood summer home of Eleanor Gural, who with her husband Bill bought the Anderson Garden in 1961. Thanks to the Gurals, the garden is nearly intact today, despite intense development pressure from the bordering housing and the interstate highway that has replaced the lake.

In summer, filtered shade from the deciduous trees cooled the garden paths and the thousands of rhododendrons. When the leaves fell, they provided rich mulch for the plants.

The lake offered a refreshing place to take a dip in the summer, as long as we stayed clear of the snapping turtles. In winter, we explored the lake and several swamps on ice skates, and watched the fish under the black ice.