Orchard and Garden

Charles Rogler has placed valuable improvements upon the home farm, including a commodious frame dwelling, good barn, corn cribs and other farm buildings, an orchard containing 250 apple and 100 peach trees, besides other fruit.

– From Culter’s History of Kansas, Chase County Part 8, Bazaar Township

child in hollyhock garden

Postcard front: Vernias and Hollyhocks, July 15, 1915

child in hollyhock garden

Postcard back text


by read by Linzi Garcia | from Memories of Irene Rogler Palenske

It was a mid-afternoon in August – well into the drought – and Mary had taken Albert to the grove of fruit trees near the house to pick what few peaches had ripened. As they plucked the fruit from the lower branches and filled their basket, they heard the spatter sounds of rain on the leaves above their heads. Mary sat down the basket and stepped into the clearing, where it appeared to be – not raining, but snowing. Albert was delighted and ran out into the snow, but immediately began to beat at the flakes that covered him.

Mary screamed and rushed to snatch him up and run toward the house. The snowstorm was grasshoppers . . . countless grasshoppers falling like a green blanket on everything.  The day grew dark as she ran. They were hovering above her, blotting out the sun. Then they fell around her, smacking the dry ground like bullets. She burst through the door, slammed it behind her and held Albert tightly. Then she set about nailing towels, tablecloths and blankets over the windows and doors to keep out the advancing horde.

She stayed in the house with Albert, watching the seams and cracks for an invader, and when it came, it was Charles – first pounding on the door, then bursting through it – his arms laden with apples from the far orchard. He dropped them on the floor. They rolled toward her and around her feet – green and small.

“I’m going to try to save some peaches,” he cried. Before he pulled the door closed behind him, she saw the cottonwood trees in the front lawn, stripped bare of leaves.

Mary filled the large kettle with water, put it over the wood fire, and the rest of the afternoon prepared and preserved the apples and peaches Charles rescued.

– From A Living History by Jon Roe – The Wichita Eagle-Beacon, January 25, 1981
A Rugged Land, A Rugged People

The Log Cabin – built after 1859, restored in 1960

Maud Rogler’s garden and produce in 1950

Please enjoy Grandma’s Garden.

Maud Rogler was an avid gardener. Her family enjoyed the health and financial benefits of fresh garden vegetables at their doorstep. The garden today contains daylilies and irises gathered by volunteers from local family farmsteads.

Also included in the plantings are several fragrant herbs. Please feel free to touch or pet the herbs listed below to experience their fragrance.

Basil – Nothing tastes better than basil in tomato soup. Traditionally used as a supplementary treatment for stress, asthma and diabetes in India. It is a symbol of love in present day Italy but was a symbol of hatred in ancient Greece.

Bee Balm – Bee Balm holds a magical property thought to attract fairies. Once used in business-related spells for money and success. Carry a few leaves in your wallet to attract money. For success in a job interview or business meeting, rub the leaves on your skin before the meeting.

Lavender – The calming smell of lavender induces relaxation and relieves stress. Everyone, in today’s world, needs a lavender plant to pet.

Oregano – Oregano is awesome in spaghetti sauce and on pizza! Oregano promotes good fortune and good health. Since ancient times, magic spells to bring happiness and good luck used oregano. Growing oregano near your home offered protection from evil.

Rosemary – Rosemary is a very strong, pungent herb that is a wonderful complement to poultry and rich beef dishes. Thought to improve the memory, Shakespeare said “Rosemary for remembrance”. It has other uses too, if we could just… remember…them.

Russian sage – The fragrance of Russian Sage is a sage-like smell mixed with lavender scents. It is a beautiful specimen plant. The leaves of the Russian sage plant are slightly toxic and should never be eaten.

Sage – Sage known as the Thanksgiving smell, has the magical property to banish evil and aids in spiritual purification. Sage has medicinal uses ranging from indigestion, gas, liver complaints, excessive perspiration, excessive salivation, anxiety and depression.

Thyme – Thyme has small, pungent leaves on thin woody stems and is used often in French cooking. Sleeping pillows made with thyme contain magic to repel nightmares.

Thank you for visiting. We hope you enjoy the garden plants and petting the fragrant herbs during your garden visit. Breathe deeply the grassland breezes as you relax in the garden and take a moment to enjoy the quiet and peaceful sounds of the surrounding hills and creek before you leave.

– Contributed by Sherry Ferguson