- "I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I've never been able to believe it. I don't believe a rose would be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk-cabbage."
- This article is about the owner of Hester Gray's garden. You may be looking for Norman Douglas's first wife, Hester Reese.
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Hester moved to Boston, USA, when she was 16 years old and started to work in a store. Her parents probably died after she started working which might be why she couldn't return to Newbridge. Hester worked there until 1848, when she met Jordan Gray, a young man from Avonlea, Prince Edward Island.
Marriage with Jordan Gray
The same year, Hester married Jordan, who took her to Avonlea, Prince Edward Island to live, as she was tired of being in Boston. After their marriage, David Gray, Jordan's father, gave them his farm to live on, where Jordan made her a garden, which she loved, cherished, and tended to for the four years she lived there with Jordan before succumbing to consumption.
Slowly, she grew weaker and weaker, unable to take care of the garden that she loved. Her only wish was to die out in the garden, and she would make Jordan kneel with her every night to make sure that this prayer would be fulfilled.
One day, Hester was taken out to the garden for the last time. Lying in Jordan's arms happily, she died there peacefully and was buried there. Jordan later sold the farm and was later buried next to Hester when he died ten years later.
Hester was a very poor housekeeper who never went out much and was not seen by any one except Mrs. Barry and Rachel Lynde. However, she had a knack with flowers, which may explain why Hester was devoted to her garden so much.
- "I think she was very slight and small, with softly curling dark hair and big, sweet, timid brown eyes, and a wistful, pale face."
- —Anne's vision of Hester
Hester was very pretty as her relation Mrs. Barry told Diana. Anne Shirley envisioned (Anne had other successful premonitions in the series that support this vision) that Hester had dark hair and brown eyes.
It may further indicate Hester's relation with Mrs. Barry who also had dark hair and eyes. Hester was pale probably because she was ill and dying of consumption.
Hester is a female name of Greek origin and it means star.
Behind the scenes
- Hester might be related to Mrs. Barry due to their shared maiden surname and the fact that she visited her most often along with Rachel Lynde. Mrs. Barry herself also had a wonderful garden.