Adelma Simmons became interested in herbs while working for a department store. She was a distributor who saw that specialty stores were beginning to sell fresh herbs. She read many books on herbs and soon retired from retail and worked full time in her gardens. Goats were the first crop that Simmon’s raised on her famous property in Coventry, Connecticut, and herbs were well-suited for the site as well. She had over thirty gardens and just as many employees until her death in December of 1997.

Prior to her death she reintroduce the United States to herbs through her lectures, daily tours, and Sunday teas. She was known to have an imposing personality. Her home, where she taught cooking classes, was not up to fire code. She believed that changing the building to meet fire codes would be damaging to Caprilands charm. She eventually refused to allow fire inspectors inside her home.

I visited Caprilands last week. My mother took my sister and I as children. I can only remember having gone once, but my mother promises that we made several trips there. I think that it was probably these visits that caused me to love gardening.

I am not able to remember these gardens during their glory days (pre 1998). Although I have been able to find a few photographs of the gardens during their hayday, they are relatively undocumented online.

On my most recent visit I took nearly three-hundred photographs. Below are two dozen of them.


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