At the end of September, 2011, friends and family of Barbara Bush surprised her with a special tribute, a wonderful garden on the Trust’s River Green, in the heart of Kennebunkport. Inspired by a needlepoint carpet she created in which the initials of her grandchildren were hidden amidst a bed of lovely pastel flowers, “Ganny’s Garden” brings that beauty to life. Ganny is the name Barbara Bush is lovingly called by her seventeen grandchildren, and their initials are randomly engraved in the stone walls which surround the garden. In addition, 17 trees have been included in the design, one for each grandchild. Once through a custom made arbor, visitors can follow a stepping-stone pathway past three beds of traditional, colorful flowers, including a rose named after the former first lady. Plaques and bronze features have been created including a copy of her favorite book, “Pride and Prejudice”, a pair of her famous mix-matched Keds and her iconic straw sun hat, all positioned as though she had just been there.
We at the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust are deeply saddened by the passing of Barbara Pierce Bush. The nation knew her as a beloved First Lady, with a warm smile, keen wit and the caring forthrightness of a grandmother. She was known for her tireless work for a more literate America and her steadfast belief in the benefits of volunteerism. That, after all, was the way she lived her life, a willing worker and advocate for cancer research, the homeless, the elderly, AIDS understanding and prevention and better schools. In Kennebunkport, we were blessed to also know her as a friend and neighbor. We could see “first hand” her deep love and devotion to her husband, family and those around her. We witnessed the joy she derived from her garden, her dogs and her community. For George and Barbara Bush, Kennebunkport was their “Anchor to Windward”, a place to play and pray and tighten the bonds of family and friendships. It was a place where love could be freely given and received, a place to relax from the burdens of a nation, a place to build up resources needed to meet the challenges ahead. We saw Barbara at the local market, at the library, walking the dog on the beach, even in the aisles of Wal-Mart. She was always patient, caring and gracious. We saw her wonderful humor, her generosity, her basic kindness, her decency. She was one of us, and she had earned our love, respect and admiration. May God bless you Barbara. Our lives were made richer for having shared a bit of your journey.
Support Ganny's Garden
A fund is being created to maintain perpetual care on both the “Anchor to Windward” and “Ganny’s Garden” to honor George and Barbara Bush and keep these memorials in their cherished community a source of beauty and pride. Donations to the fund can be sent to:
Anchor to Windward Fund
Kennebunkport Conservation Trust
P.O. Box 7004
Cape Porpoise, Maine, 04014
A card including your name will be sent to the Bush family acknowledging your gift.
We thank you!
You can enjoy this special property on Ganny's Garden Facebook page. Be sure to like us!