During this season of giving thanks, we are celebrating gardens that inspire us. This year, we invite you to join us by giving to the Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum in Lynchburg, VA!
The Anne Spencer House and Garden is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places and home of acclaimed poet and civil rights activist Anne Spencer.
Anne Spencer (1882 – 1975) is an important figure of the black literary and cultural movement of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s. She was an internationally acclaimed poet, gardener, wife and mother, librarian, teacher, and civil rights activist who also helped to establish the Lynchburg, VA, chapter of the NAACP. Anne's home became a salon for many intellectuals and for African American travelers who found hospitality when laws of segregation barred them from hotels. In troubled times, Anne sought refuge in her garden and in her writing cottage, Edankraal—a combination of the words "Edward," "Anne," and "kraal (the Afrikaans word for enclosure or corral)”—which was built for her by her husband, Edward. Her garden surrounded the cottage and provided her both a place of retreat and inspiration for her poetry. More than 30 of Anne’s lyric poems were published in her lifetime and she was the second African American poet to be included in the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry. Anne’s poetry gave voice to her thoughts, reactions, and, quite often, her indignation. She was an outspoken advocate for the rights of all beings, including civil rights, women’s rights, and respect and dignity for all.
Anne's sophisticated garden design evolved through the years and embodies her love of color, which she used without hesitation and in unexpected combinations. With assistance from Lynchburg's Hillside Garden Club, which currently maintains the garden, restoration efforts began in 1983. Utilizing the existing framework and substantiated by archival photographs and family memories, the garden was restored to capture its original spirit of the late 1930s. Of note is that many of the bulbs, flowers, shrubs, and roses are all Anne's own plantings. In 2007, the Hillside Garden Club assumed responsibility for a second major restoration of the arbor, pergola, and the pond, painting them Anne's original, colorful robin's egg blue. Over the years, the Garden Conservancy has provided the Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum guidance and preservation assistance for these projects.
You can help support her legacy by joining us today to raise awareness and much needed funds to support the building of visitor and volunteer facilities at the Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum.
Today, we ask that you help support Anne Spencer's legacy
and show your love and commitment to gardens by joining us in supporting this important cultural and historic landmark!
To ensure your gift is allocated to the Anne Spencer House and Garden, select "Please allocate my donation to the Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum" on the donation form. 100% of gifts designated this way will be donated to the Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum.
Give the Gift of Gardens!
A gift membership to the Garden Conservancy is the perfect gift for the garden enthusiasts in your life!