Of course I couldn’t pass up a chance to have a real piece of history in my garden, clipped from a clip from a clip of the original specimen!
An info card came along with the cutting:
“This ivy is a direct descendent of ivy grown by Sir Walter Scott in Abbotsford, his home in Scotland.(Photo courtesy of Gardenvisit.com)
He gave a cutting of it to his friend and fellow author, Washignton Irving, to take to his home in the Hudson Valley, known as Sunnyside. Irving in turn presented a cutting to Reverend Franklin Babbitt, first rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Nyack. Irving was warden of Christ Church, Tarrytown, when young Babbitt was the assistant rector, and they became fast friends. When Babbitt shared his dream of founding a parish in Nyack, Irving- shortly before his death in 1859 – gave him ivy for what was to become the Memorial Garden of Grace Church.”
Sir Scott must have been generous with his ivy cuttings because there's also record of Abbotsford Ivy being planted in the garden of Secretary William H. Seward in Auburn, NY after his visit to Scotland in 1836. (photo courtesy of NYSparks.com)
In Clyde Edgerton’s wonderful book “The Floatplane Notebooks," a wisteria vine watches the growth of several generations of a 20th century Southern family, acting as one of the narrators of the story. I love the idea of an old vining plant bearing witness to a family saga. Old Abbotsford is now planted here in four places in the Pace e Bene garden. I hope that it will be happy there and start climbing my tree