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The north garden was the orchard planted by Arthur and contained many varieties of fruits and nuts including figs, plums, hazelnuts, Japanese quince, and persimmon according to the remembrances of Evelyn Foote Gardiner (granddaughter). There were more fruit and nut bearing trees in the south orchard which was planted prior to the Foote’s arrival at the NSH.
As you walk back toward the house, turn left into the orchard at the end of the stone walkway border just a few paces up the footpath. Walk approximately 38 paces toward the edge of the orchard and look for the white tag designating the Persimmon Tree (Diospyros kaki). According to Evelyn’s map there were two of these trees. This one still produces Hachiya persimmons. Hachiya persimmons are the astringent type, containing high levels of tannic acid. It must be eaten when soft or your mouth will pucker up in an extremely uncomfortable way!
Turn around and look for the majestic Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera). It has a bat-house attached to it. It is a prominent tree from the Hudson Valley in New York, where Mary Hallock Foote grew up. It’s quite possible Mary had this planted to be a visual delight from the dining room windows.
This magnificent tree is deciduous and develops delicate tulip shaped flowers in the spring that are colored greenish yellow with a splash of orange at the base.
Walk a few steps more up the berm (into the end of the parking lot) and you will find a Hazelnut Filbert shrub. This is a Felix Gillet variety.