Weston Nurseries began as a perennial stand on Route 30 in Weston in 1923. One hundred years, four generations and three locations later, the book “For the Love of Gardening” celebrates the legacy seeded by Latvian immigrants Peter and Anna Mezitt with a collection of gardening practices, family anecdotes and treasured recipes.
Third-generation owners Wayne Mezitt and his wife, Beth, decided to write the book because “I was noticing that everyone around me was dying, and no one remembered,” he said with a laugh. “I figured I’d better get some things written down before it was lost.”
Beginning with what Wayne described as the garden’s new year, the book is organized by seasons according to nature’s calendar.
“It’s just a different way of looking at it,” he explained. “Forget January 1 — that’s still mid-winter. Our year starts when spring is coming; so mid-February, usually around Valentine’s Day, things start to change. That’s when you see the first flowers on witch hazels, and some of the bulbs begin to peek up, snow starts melting and spring starts to come.”
Not intended as an instructional guide, the book presents “observations based upon decades of experience.”
“It sort of follows the plants through their natural life cycle. There’s not a lot on propagation or pest management — though there’s quite a bit on weeds — but we discuss the characteristics of the plants, and why we consider them important, or relevant, to our yard,” he shared. “So it’s really not so much advice as it is information.”
“Wayne is extraordinarily well-schooled on the information end of things about plants,” added Beth. “The pieces that I put in had more to do with the effect — the theme of the garden, the effect I was looking for or the reasons the colors were important to me, things like that. That’s my approach to gardening.
“So it’s coming at it from different angles,” she noted. “From someone who’s a horticulturist, and somebody who’s as interested in decorating her garden as she is her living room!”
The couple wanted to capture and preserve stories of all they have grown, and the book also is a tribute to home and family. Included in its pages are fond memories and favorite dishes.
“Some of the recipes are garden based, but there are also some Latvian recipes that have been handed down, and others that were just traditions in our house,” said Beth.
As Weston Nurseries celebrates its 100th anniversary, Wayne and Beth’s son, Peter, is president of the business, which continues to thrive. Per its website, “We remain true to our commitment to providing the best selection of hardy landscape-sized plant material in our area along with accurate advice on what will work best for our customers.”
“For the Love of Gardening” is available for purchase online (shop.westonnurseries.com), but the Mezitts encourage folks to stop by the Hopkinton center or their locations in Chelmsford or Hingham to grab a copy and say hello. (The book is offered at a slightly lower cost in-store.) Information on upcoming book signings can be found at westonnurseries.com.