The Hormel Historic Home now has new tour to offer. The Secret Garden tour might appeal more to the younger visitor, but all are encouraged to try it. HHH Volunteer SarahLynn Zavoral and our History for Half Pints team wrote a tour curriculum to encourage guests to embrace the exterior garden as well as explore scenes and elements of gardens within the home.
The first group to experience this tour will be 6th graders from IJ Holton and we are excited to see where their imaginations lead them. The tour will engage all the senses as SarahLynn encourages the participants to listen, look and feel the garden. She will explain that gardens were, and still are, spaces for entertainment, and she will tell about how people played lawn games like croquet, board games like chess, and relaxed in a setting surrounded by nature, birds and flowers. The students will be challenged to find specific plants or flowers in the garden and to look for unique features they find puzzling or interesting.
Inside they will hear the general history of the George A. Hormel family and be shown how nature scenes were used in interior décor. In the historic library there are leaves underfoot, plants on the fireplace hearth and floral designs within the brick. The dark wood columns could be viewed as tree trunks in a tall forest-the imagination will set the stage. From the library, the students will be allowed to explore the rest of the house in search of other secret garden elements incorporated into the furnishings.
For this particular visit, the participants will also have the opportunity to paint nature scenes using watercolors. Lizzie Hormel, George A. Hormel’s oldest sister, was a talented artist whose work is displayed throughout the HHH. Guided by her examples, our guests will be encouraged to paint something they have seen or imagined while visiting the Hormel Historic Home. Nature can offer peace and calm, it can provide recreation, and it can hide and reveal things as the seasons change. We are happy to have this new experience to provide guests with a different perspective through which to enjoy our historic property.