The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Garden was established in 1996 under the direction of Donalda Tiemann of Augusta, Maine. This garden features plants that were associated with Maine homesteads during the Revolutionary War/Colonial period in American history.
The DAR has both a national organization and state chapters. The National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution was founded on October 11, 1890, during a time that was marked by a revival in patriotism and intense interest in the beginnings of the United States of America. Women felt the desire to express their patriotic feelings and were frustrated by their exclusion from men's organizations formed to perpetuate the memory of ancestors who fought to make this country free and independent. As a result, a group of pioneering women in the nation's capital formed their own organization and the Daughters of the American Revolution has carried the torch of patriotism ever since.
The objectives laid forth in the first meeting of the DAR have remained the same in the 125 years of active service to the nation. Those objectives are: Historical - to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved American Independence; Educational - to carry out the injunction of Washington in his farwell address to the American people, "to promote, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge, thus developing an enlightened public opinion..."; and Patriotic - to cherish, maintain, and extend the institutions of American freedom, to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to aid in securing for mankind all blessings of liberty. Since its founding in 1890, DAR has admitted more than 930,000 members.
As with any period of time, there are many things that influence the selection of plants selected by those living during a particular period. There are practical reasons such as plant species used to make products helpful in everyday life such as witch hazel for medicinal purpose or butternuts for food. Some species are favored because they are reminders of the homestead and environs where individuals grew up.
For thousands of years, people have brought with them plants from home, wherever that might have been, to provide a comforting smell or flowering color. Each species planted in this garden has a story and a direct connection to that period of time associated with the American Revolution circa 1763 - 1787
American chestnut (Castanea dentata)
Flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa)
Cockspur hawthorn (Crategus crusgalli)
Fothergilla (Fothergilla major)
Witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
Hops (Humulus lupulus)
Black walnut (Juglans nigra)
Butternut (Juglans cinerea)
Japanese kerria (Kerria japonica)
Damson plum (Prunus domestica)
Complicata (apothecary) rose (Rosa gallica)
Prickly ash (Zanthoxylumm americanum)
Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) Peony (Paeonia sp.)