Spring at Bellingrath Gardens
We will meet again, my friend, a hundred years from today;
Far away from where we lived and where we used to play.

We will know each other's eyes and wonder where we met;
A hundred years apart will not make us forget.

Yes, we will meet, I'm sure of that, but let's not wait til then,
Let's take a walk beneath the oaks and share this world again.
-- Ron Atchison
"Why did you do all this for me?" he asked.  "I don't deserve it."
"You have been my friend," replied Charlotte.  "That in itself is a tremendous thing."
-- from "Charlotte's Web" by E. B. White
Friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life.
and thanks to a benevolent arrangement, the greater part of life is sunshine.
-- Thomas Jefferson
Let me live in the house by the side of the road where the race of men go by;
The men who are good and the men who are bad, as good and as bad as I;
I would not sit in the scorner's seat, or hurl the cynic's ban;
Let me live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man.
-- Sam Walter Foss
I shot an arrow into the air, it fell to earth, I knew not where;
For so swiftly it flew, my sight could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air, it fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, who has sight so keen and strong that it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak, I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of my friend.
-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I am your friend and my love for you goes deep.  There is nothing I can give you,
but there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take.
-- from a letter written by Fra Giovanni, 1513
When you try your best, but you don't succeed,
When you get what you want, but not what you need,
And the tears come streaming down your face,
When you lose something you cannot replace,
Lights will guide you home,
And I will try to fix you.
My friend, I will try to fix you.
-- "Fix You" from the CD "X & Y" by Coldplay
As the economic depression of the 1930's worsened, friends quietly kept Mrs. Bellingrath aware
of families in need.  She would appear, checkbook in hand, begging for an azalea, camellia or
whatever bloom she saw in the family yard.  She would convince the stunned homeowner that
Bellingrath Gardens had been unable to locate one and then offer hundreds of dollars in an era
when $25 a week was a comfortable income.  She told a flowershop owner that her crocheted
afghans were the most handsome she'd seen and offered her $100 each for a dozen, knowing
the money would put the woman's niece in college, which it did.  After her sudden death in 1943,
the Catholic Bishop called Mr. Bellingrath and asked permission for a group of nuns to say a
prayer as a way of thanks for all she had done for them.  As the couple was Presbyterian, this
surprised Mr. Bellingrath, who asked, "How?"  Without his knowledge, she had been sending
flowers to the Catholic Providence infirmary every week.  The staff was instructed to place
flowers in anyone's room who did not have flowers sent by family or friends.
Her tombstone bears the inscription:  "I shall always think of you wandering through a lovely
garden, like that which you fashioned with your own hands, where flowers never fade and no
cold wind of sorrow blights our hopes and plans....And on your face, the peace of one whose
whole life through, walked with God.  --  Your Devoted Husband"
Bessie Bellingrath
~ ~ ~
The making of Bellingrath Gardens, ca. 1933
Most of the images on this page
were taken at Bellingrath Gardens.
Photos are courtesy of:

Sharon@Webshots; Mary@Flickr; Maureen@Flickr;
Joaquin@Wikipedia Commons
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