Secchia Garden Lecture: The Passage of Time in the Garden

Maintaining her Connecticut garden for more than 50 years, it’s evident that Sydney Eddison has been “gardening for a lifetime.” Eddison will speak as part of our Master Lecture Series on Tuesday, April 17 at 7 p.m. in the Grand Room. Her lecture, “Change: The Passage of Time in the Garden,” will take the audience through her garden’s extensive journey and holds tips and techniques for gardeners at every stage.

The passage below is the history behind Sydney’s love of gardening in her own words, and also gives a glimpse into her lecture:


I grew up during the thirties and forties in rural Connecticut.  My remarkable English grandmother wrote to my mother at least twice a week for more than thirty years. In 1941, she sent me a little letter and commented, “What a busy person you are with all your pets and your garden!”  I was eight at the time.

Growing up in the country surrounded by farms and hay fields, pastures and streams, woods and wild flowers, how could I not become a nature-lover and gardener?  But local gardening in those days had more to do with growing crops and vegetables than ornamental horticulture.

And when at last my husband and I bought an old farm house with a few neglected acres not far from where I grew up, the idea of making a garden began to form in my mind.  However, I had no training in horticulture; I didn’t even read much about gardens.  I had only energy and enthusiasm, a feel for the land, and the passionate desire to make this piece of ground ours.

Beginning gardeners don’t need advice, just an eagerness to interact with the landscape, the desire to make something, and a spade—I like a long handled pointed shovel best.  Dig a hole and plant something in it.  Start.  Don’t worry.  You can learn everything you need to know on the job, from books, from classes—if you are so inclined—and from other gardeners.  You’ll soon find yourself among friends.

Hear more from Eddison about her garden at this year’s Secchia Garden Lecture on Tuesday, April 17 at 7 p.m. The lecture is included with general admission and is free for members. Enjoy a bite to eat in our Taste of the Gardens Café before the event.  Please RSVP to or call 616-975-3144.

Thanks to Peter and Joan Secchia for making this annual lecture possible. 

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