Monday, June 03, 2013

The Spirit of the Garden

My blog vacation is coming to a close. I have seen my daughter (youngest of two) graduate from college, prepared a celebratory dinner for friends and family (more about the table setting and decorations later), saw my two kids off on a cross country road trip, and reveled in all things garden—lots of planting here (taking advantage of young, strong bodies before they left), excursions to plant sales and nurseries with my friend Cathy, and a fabulous workshop yesterday at the garden of Robin Wilkerson in Lincoln, MA through the New England Wildflower Society.

Robin is a thoughtful and creative gardener with a commitment to ecology and native plants. Our tour led us from wild to tamed—walking through her woodland paths with a large collection of trees including an American Chestnut (the first I've seen in real life) and plants, past the vegetable garden, through beds and lawn with great plantings and pleasing, organic shapes, to the cottage garden near the house bursting with my favorire colors—purple irises and alium, pink and white peonies, and lavender chives.

The workshop was informative as well as inspirational as Robin shared her methods for composting, gathering water in rain barrels, and keeping records—she has cards for the plants that die as well as the ones that thrive. One of my favorite things she said was "Plants are like furniture. They can be moved." She is resolutely down to earth and practical and deeply in love with the world around her. I left encouraged and uplifted with a better understanding of what my garden could be.

The photos are from Robin's garden. The quote on the top image is from The Spirit of the Garden by Martha Brookes Hutcheson, who designed the gardens at what is now Maudslay State Park here in Newburyport. See you tomorrow with a Book Arts Tuesday post!

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