Eudora Welty House & Garden Unveils Renovated Potting Shed
March 16, 2023
The Mississippi Department of Archives and History's (MDAH) Eudora Welty House & Garden today announced the opening of the renovated Eudora Welty House & Garden (EWHG) Potting Shed. The Garden Club of Jackson awarded a grant to the Eudora Welty Foundation to renovate the interior of the Welty family garage, which was originally built along with the family home in 1925 and has been converted into a much-needed potting shed and workshop.
“For the first time, this potting shed allows our garden volunteers, Cereus Weeders, a proper, dedicated space with the right equipment they need to do the weekly, hands-on work of preserving the Welty garden,” said Jessica Russell, EWHG director. “It also provides the EWHG a special opportunity to serve our local community.
Both Eudora Welty’s prose and personal correspondence are rich with imagery from the natural world. Eudora Welty once said, “I wish I had a sign to tell me what I had better do that day, write or work in the garden.”
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author mentioned in her published works more than 150 types of plants and flowers, many of which grow around her home to this day.
For Eudora Welty, gardening was not a distraction from her writing; it was an inspiration for it. Her biographer, Dr. Suzanne Marrs, observed that for Welty, “the garden and writing were linked at some profound level.”
The design team, Arkansas-based company Natural State Design, LLC (NSD), hand-selected aged materials, board by board, to blend with the building’s historic period. NSD worked closely with Welty staff and retired garden consultant Susan Haltom to meet a wide variety of needs and purposes.
Today, the Welty garden is largely maintained by the dedicated “Cereus Weeders,” a volunteer organization named after Eudora Welty’s Night-Blooming Cereus Club, a group of friends who frequently entertained themselves by attending Night-Blooming Cereus flower-watching parties in Jackson in the 1930s.
Images: Candace McKenzie, MDAH; Above: Niece Mary Alice Welty Welty was in attendance for the reopening of the shed on March 16, 2023.