Visiting Martha Stewart’s Garden

Shaun Kass, Martha’s Head Gardener, and I pose in front of Martha’s conservatory.

Over a year ago I came up with a unique fundraising idea for my nonprofit, The Giving Gardens, a celebrity plant auction. I asked Martha Stewart if she would donate and she said yes! The auction named, Famous Digs, was held this past June (blog post coming soon!). So, in May I jumped in my truck with my fearless and spontaneous sister, Janet, and headed to Bedford, NY to pick up Martha’s donations.
Shaun Kass, expert horticulturist and Martha’s Head Gardener, was my contact. He told me prior to my visit that Martha would like to donate woodland plants. I had no idea what to expect. Since Martha and her staff had never met me and they knew nothing of The Giving Gardens before I sent them information, I actually thought I might drive all that way and come back empty handed. Thoughts of “Who’s Margaux Drake? Why is she here? And, We are REALLY busy, tell her to leave.” crossed my mind a few times. I mean they ARE really busy, right?
We pulled through the gate at Martha’s farm (after an accidental visit to Ralph Lauren’s home…but that’s another story;) and waiting for us were twenty-five beautifully vibrant woodland plants, perfectly potted and meticulously mulched…quintessential Martha, of course!
What was I saying in yesterday’s post about being blindsided with joy from strangers? Again, I was the recipient of…Pure Joy! Joy in that Martha and her staff “got it” and jumped on board to help The Giving Gardens grow. Thank you to Katie Goldberg, Jean Graham, Julia Eisemann, Shaun Kass and of course Ms. Stewart herself. Woo-woo…Plant-it-Forward Martha!!!
PS: Not all of Martha’s plant donations were auctioned. A few were saved for two Habitat for Humanity- Detroit installations where I had a chance to Plant-it-Forward with Governor Granholm and First Gentleman, Dan Mulhern. (blog post coming soon as well!)

Martha’s generous assortment of woodland plant donations

Shaun is standing next to me and I’m in shock to see the bounty!

Shaun explaining the types of plants he assembled.

A Japanese roof iris mulched with bald cypress collected from the farm.

Jack in the Pulpit

Plants were placed very carefully in the truck!

Once the plants were loaded we had a second to look around at just a few of Martha’s lovely gardens.
This is a lush shade garden.

My favorite, white flowers, popping up trough great foliage.

A view of the grounds with the pergola in the distance.

Astilboides, a shade plant that I’ve always wanted!

Do you know how intimidating it is to package a gift for Martha Stewart? But, I was not going to arrive empty handed! Here I am putting the finishing touches on my raw/vegan homemade truffles prior to our visit to the farm. They traveled from Michigan to New York perfectly packed in egg cartons in a refrigerated cooler. Did she even get them or try them? I have no idea. But, Shaun said he shared the box I gave him with his staff and they loved them! YAY!!!

Photo Credit: Jan Loridas


  1. Amanda

    September 16, 2010

    this made me laugh! I too once packaged a gift for Martha! A random connection to a person that worked for her…who knows if she ever received…but how we obsess, just in case!!