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Inscription

Inscription

The Green Garden is a fitting introduction to the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens. As the highest point and central position within the estate, it is the perfect place to commemorate Beatrix Farrand’s contributions to Dumbarton Oaks, and her intimate relationship with the Blisses. In 1933, along with Ruth Havey, Mrs. Bliss began designing a tablet inscription to celebrate Farrand’s work to be installed on the brick wall in the Green Garden. Originally intended to be in Greek, Mrs. Bliss—after several consultations with various Latin scholars—decided the inscription should be written in Latin distich (a two-line verse or couplet) because certain verbiage did not make sense in Greek. The tablet, installed in 1935, reads: “Dumbarton Oaks. Somnia sub patulis videant nascentia ramis sidera fausa ferant omnia et usque bona. Testimonio amicitiae Beatricis Farrand nec illorum immemores qui postero aevo vitas veritati erunendae impenderint. Hanc tabellam posuerunt Robertus Woods Bliss uxorque Mildred.” In Garden Ornament at Dumbarton Oaks, the Latin is translated as, “May they see dreams springing from the spreading bough; may fortunate stars always bring them good omens. Witness to the friend of Beatrix Farrand, not unmindful of those who in a later age shall have spent their lives bringing forth the truth. This tablet has been placed by Robert Woods Bliss and his wife Mildred.”

Inscription commemorating Beatrix Farrand in the Green Garden

Image: Photographer unknown, ca. mid-1930s

 

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