It’s the lazy days of summer. I hope you’re making the most of
the season. They will become the memories that’ll get you through
the dark, cold days of winter. Ignore the to-do list and savor the
pleasures of summer.
Wrapped in the
heavy with heat
laden with moist
mimic the stars
by tree frogs
Fanned from on
wings of bats
While night moths
Spicy notes of
rise with the
oil of bergamot
essence of rose
content to remain
Greet the dew
of a new day.
by summer’s first dive.
meadow flowers and green, green grass
legs to brush against
to lie back
images of dogs and bears and hunting giants
dazzling day to evening glitter
gathers to mist
sun-warmed faces and naked toes
an endless ride
with ice-cream cones and fireflies
water fights and watermelon wedges
ephemeral age, an ephemeral time
summer passes overnight.
– Shobha Vanchiswar
Note:The Small Works exhibit is on through August. Do make time to see it!
is the freedom to do as one ought to do.
learned this definition in fifth grade civics class – it was how we
started to understand what democracy meant.
cornerstone of a thriving civilization, freedom is all about having
choices. So one can chose their actions bearing
in mind one’s moral responsibility. To
choose to act after discerning between right and wrong, good and
evil. To do what is ethically correct for the greater good.
that in mind, I take this power very seriously. Especially in the
garden where all too often a gardener is inclined to play lord and
master. It’s so
have at our disposal so much control and power that all too often we
forget that gardening is a privilege. The very notion that I can
assume ownership of a piece of earth to do as I please is astounding.
I often kid that I’m the dictator-in-chief of the garden, in
reality, I feel my responsibility greatly. I’m allowed to freely
design, create and play in a this space in whatever way I please.
that is the key. To use good reason.
principle commandment is to do
Whatever action taken must have the least negative impact – on
humans, animals, plants, soil, water or air. On
only organic methods are employed. But, trying to control pests
organically is not without cost. These natural products are not
specific to the
They affect the
good critters as well. So judicious application is imperative.
is used as fertilizer and mulch. The plants enjoy it. As do members
of the animal kingdom. They too
thrive because they are not harmed by compost and hence roam free and
make nests and homes underground and above, destroying root systems,
chomping on leaves and flowers, girdling trees, ruining lawns with
tunnels and burrows etc., Constant
vigilance is required so action can be taken as soon as possible.
Japanese beetles, red lily beetles and such are picked off and
dropped into hot, soapy water. After
years of battling those red devils, I’ve
stopped planting lilies but since I still grow fritillaria (
their close relative),
I must continue
a lookout. Mice, voles and other rodents are trapped. The
fruit trees must be sprayed with dormant oil only under specific
at a particular time of year.
get the idea. It’s
not always easy to do the right thing.
water is collected, a
mower cuts grass, since no herbicides are used, weeds are removed by
hand, native plants dominate the garden and support native fauna and
so on. Every one of those methods involves more work and effort. And
there are times when I’m completely frustrated. However, my
conscience is clear. I’m doing my part in exercising my freedom as
This translates very well to everything else in life. Relationships, raising children, at work, being a part of the community, a town, a city, a country, the world at large. Imagine how powerful exercising our liberties as we should can be.
Note: The reception to Small Works is this Thursday, August 8. I’d love to see you there!
July is coming to a close and what a month it has been in the garden. Hot, messy and erratic. That poem by Pasternak describes it so well.
Dictated by the
weather, I’ve been negligent of my garden duties. It’s just
really hard to get outside and work when merely standing still brings
on the sweat and sends out irresistible invites to all the biting
bugs near and far. Consequently, the chores get done in fits and
starts, bits and pieces. A little weeding here, some deadheading
there. The automatic watering system set up for the pots broke down
and needed fixing – mercifully, the preceding days had been wet so
the plants were relatively unharmed.
The heat wave put
paid to the plants in the pots on the wall on the side terrace.
Despite the daily watering, they simply could not take those high
temperatures. I’ve decided to empty out the pots and not replant.
With a very busy August schedule coming up, it’s time to simplify
They say this June
was the hottest one in recent history and July is turning out to
match it. Who knows what August will do.
appeared as happy surprises in one of the large bay standard pots. A
lone sunflower grew in the vertical garden. I’d stopped planting
lilies a few years ago because I lost the battle with the red lily
beetles. Well, as though waking up after a long slumber, a couple of
lily plants re-emerged this summer. Their leaves are ugly and chewed
up but the flowers look fine and are busy perfuming the front garden.
The garden might
look a bit unruly but it is fragrance heaven. Lilies in front soon to
be followed by phlox, gardenias and orange-blossoms on the side and
jasmine in the back. Heaven.
The meadow has been in serious need of attention. First, the jewelweed took advantage of my apathy and spread itself all over. Once they were deliberately reduced to more manageable numbers, a nettle of the sting-less variety moved in with a vengeance. It needs to be completely and ruthlessly removed all together. It’s been a real task trying to help the many new plants planted in late spring establish themselves. Fingers crossed …
hydrangea are in bloom – they provide much needed color in the
meadow right now. Elsewhere, the Echinacea
in their brightness are drawing the pollinators. I
really ought to plant more of these stalwarts and get rid of the
fussy, finicky members of the
garden. With harsh weather
becoming the new normal, it behooves a gardener to rethink the
season has begun. We’re enjoying the golden cherry tomatoes and
savoring the bigger varieties as they ripen. At this stage, each
fruit is precious. Soon, there will be a glut and we’ll take them
for granted as we make soups,
salads and sauces.
It’s so easy to obsess over the disheveled state of the garden, complain about the heat in July. But, looking around, amidst the green jungle, I see heroic flowers splashing color and fragrance all over. The herbs, leafy greens and, early tomatoes grace our meals. Ripening grapes and pears hold the promise of an autumn harvest. The asters are coming up strong for a good showing to close out the summer.
Under stressful circumstances, the garden is working hard to deliver. I must move to do the same.
We’re just emerging from a brutal heatwave. Whew. This one was
fierce. If it weren’t for air-conditioning I’d be a blob of
melted flesh in migraine hell. I’m acutely aware of how heat
affects me and I’m so grateful for everything that allows me to
This got me to thinking about how the garden must cope when subjected to the stress of a heatwave. Do they sense when the temperatures are going to spike? I imagine they’re in better shape to deal with it if up until that time they’re provided with adequate water and decent soil conditions. Just as in humans, all other living things must face adversity better when they’re healthy. So, I figured my garden ought to at least be grateful for all the tender, loving care it receives all year round. Well, except when I’m on vacation, unwell, in the thick of other work or, being lazy. In general, the garden this year has little to complain about its human carers.
A timely thundershower just ahead of the heatwave saturated the ground handsomely. The roots must’ve plumped out and fed their above ground parts nicely. I was glad I’d deadheaded and cut back some vigorous growers recently. A round of weeding was accomplished as well. Therefore, at the end of the first super hot day, things did not look too bad. Some plants such as the Joe Pye appeared to droop but by late evening they perked up. I wonder if the roots slow down and measure out the water/nutrient supply when conditions are adverse. Then, when they sense that temperatures have dropped below the dangerous numbers, do they speeds up in damage control mode? Or, like me, do the plants have poor appetites when it is so hot? Perhaps when I’ve overcome my own heat related ennui I will research this matter – surely some laboratory must be studying the subject. The results could potentially help us deal with weather related challenges better.
I noticed that during the heatwave, there wasn’t much critter activity. I didn’t see many bees or butterflies and the birds seemed to be limiting their flights and singing. The heat brought on a quiet that seemed appropriate. I too was not inclined to exert much energy. The languor connected us all.
The potted plants received water daily. The high humidity kept the
ground from drying out but, the soil in the pots dried out. Those
plants must have been stressed so much more than their counterparts
in the ground. A friend had dropped off two pots of sizable hibiscus
a couple of days prior to the heatwave. Until now, they had always
been kept indoors so the fact that they were suddenly out in the open
must’ve been a shock. Despite being watered, within a day, the
leaves on top were wiped out – they got totally dry. So ahead of
the canicular days, they were given a cut back and moved to shadier
quarters resembling the indoors they were familiar with.
Fingers-crossed they will toughen up in due course. After all, they
hail originally from warmer climes.
Given water regularly, the vertical garden and tropicals ( in pots)
like the jasmine, gardenia and citrus seem unscathed by the high
heat. The perfume of the flowers of the jasmine and gardenia are
almost overpowering at the beginning and end of day. The lemons are
coming along nicely. The pelargoniums have also come through very
well. Ditto the tomatoes – we enjoyed the first crop of cherry
tomatoes over the weekend. And the meadow looks none the worse for
Any long term effect of the heatwave will no doubt make itself known. I’m hoping there won’t be any. And with any luck there will not be any more heatwaves either. But, I’m not holding my breath.
Note: I would love to see you at the reception to Small Works at The Stable Gallery, Ridgefield, NJon August 8. 7:00 – 9:00pm. The show runs August 2 – 29.
slow, sultry sway of summer has taken over
and it is sweeeet. I’ve taken my cues from the season and slowed my
pace, lightened my load and simplified my days. I get work done but
no new projects are started. Meals focus on fresh, easy to put
together ingredients. Garden chores are limited to only what is
needed – weekly weeding,
watering as required
and deadheading only what’s
obvious. The garden seems to be enjoying doing its own thing –
free-spirited, alive and lush. Kinda bohemian. I appreciate that.
Heck, I aspire to it.
I finally got around to cutting back the asters and other fall blooming perennials by one-third and more so they will be fuller and less leggy at that time. During the cut back, I noticed that the Sanguisorba was under attack by Japanese beetles and there was also a general over-presence of slugs. All the beetles I could see were picked off and dumped into a hot soap solution and then a neem oil spray treatment was applied to the plants right after. It’s been a few years since I’ve had to deal with Japanese beetles. Let’s hope the neem does the trick.
positive outcome – the
allium sphaerocephalon were completely hidden until the asters were
cut back. Now, their deep maroon-purple heads lend bursts of color
amidst an otherwise
overwhelmingly green bed.
of color, that maroon-purple hue is having a moment in the front
perennial beds. The echinacea, alliums, acanthus, butterfly bushes
and geraniums are all in variations of that shade. Soon the
Eupatorium will join in. It looks like I planned it that way but no,
I cannot take that credit. One of those happy accidents of nature
that I’ve come to rely on.
Swiss chard is showing up frequently at meals. Easy to cook and so
delicious. The first cherry tomatoes and figs have been savored and
now I’m impatient for a regular supply. Zucchini
are the current
favorite. Stuffed with mildly
and fried tempura style, they are just soooo good. Using the flowers
also prevents having the inevitable surplus of zucchini to contend
with later in the season. We leave only
a small number to reach fruition. Just enough for a few ratatouille
meals and several
loaves of tasty breads to sweeten winter mornings (the bread freezes
made a big batch of arugula pesto last week. There was an abundance
of the leaves and it seemed a good thing to make. I froze a large
portion and refrigerated some of the pesto to use this week in pasta
and also in sandwiches. With all the outdoor concerts and plays we’re
attending, picnic meals need to be put together. Sandwiches of
arugula or basil pesto with sun-dried tomatoes with or without fresh
mozzarella elevate the repast.
yes, the mojito mint is thriving and being put to good use! FYI –
the leaves also make for an
appetizing Indian chutney that we
use in sandwiches and as a condiment to pair with crackers, samosas
the butterflies and bees make their rounds has become my go-to method
for decompressing. It’s very effective – I highly recommend it.
Ditto for spending some time taking in the show of fireflies at
you get lulled into taking it too easy, this is the time to order
bulbs for fall planting. It
might feel strange to think about next spring right now but take my
word – you will miss out on bagging some special and/or unusual
bulbs if you wait too long. It’s a nice thing to do when you’re
indoors in air-conditioned comfort on a sweltering hot day. You will
only be charged when the bulbs are shipped in the fall at the
appropriate planting time for your zone. So
just get it done!
Now, back to my summer reading and a tall glass of lemonade …
Note:I’m participating in two upcoming art shows in August and September. Do please mark your calendars to check them out.
The word labyrinth comes from the Greek labyrinthos and describes any maze-like structure with a single path through it which differentiates it from an actual maze which may have multiple paths intricately linked.
Labyrinths and labyrinthine symbols have been dated to the Neolithic Age in diverse regions across the globe. They continue playing a role in modern times.
My love affair with labyrinths began at childhood. The mystery books I devoured often featured a labyrinth or maze to offer riddles and clues in ways I now realize might have been a tad bit romanticized. Over the years, while mazes remain fun and exciting in a ‘hide-and-seek’ meets treasure-hunting sort of way, labyrinths have taken on a more meaningful, sacred role. To me, mazes get you to focus exclusively on the task of finding ones way to the center and then making the return trip to get out, thereby providing a complete distraction which can be refreshing and exhilarating. Getting lost and/or confused is all part of the experience.
In traversing a labyrinth, one can ostensibly see its entire design. The center is visible at all times. Where one is trying to get to is apparent. How to do so is not as clear. It’s only by mindful walking, taking in all the turns and switchbacks, that an individual makes it to the center – itself a site for rest and reflection. Labyrinths are not meant to be challenging. Instead they gently guide the walker to move through at an easy pace whilst permitting him/her to observe, think and center the mind. In doing so, by the time one reaches the labyrinth’s center, the mind has shed itself of all other distractions and arrives prepared for deeper meditation. In perfect silence, a well laid labyrinth teaches life lessons to all who walk it. Like the best of therapists it has us work out all our issues by ourselves.
A labyrinth sits there as a ready escape from chaos, a world gone mad, to find once again one’s true north. Typically set outdoors, it partners beautifully with nature to calm the mind and heart by purposefully removing the walker from the normal, linear understanding of time and direction. Slowly, the outside world recedes and one becomes aware of the world within ourselves. How we are feeling, what we hope for, the conflicting thoughts, the elusive solutions rise up and get understood. This active meditation leads to the deep meditation awaiting at the center. Sitting in quiet, breathing deeply and surrendering all diversionary thoughts gives one the gift of emerging clear headed and relaxed. Ready to face with clarity and acceptance that complex, noisy world we live in.
I’ve always longed to design a labyrinth. A good labyrinth has an ideal size. Too small and it fails to decompress the mind because the center is reached too quickly. Too big and it can get tedious. The amount of walking and turning must be just right. Even the width of the path must be correct – not too narrow and constricting or too wide and spacious. Creating an ideal labyrinth is not as easy as it might seem. Scale is key. Making paths of grass or mulch bordered by stones, low growing plants or any other natural material keeps the cost quite low. The simpler the better. Yet, an ideal design and layout is a call for creativity.
The only part of my garden that could support a proper labyrinth would be where the meadow lies. However, this area is sloped and uneven and must not be leveled for reasons of water drainage and run-off. I’m thus resigned to not having this feature of my own.
Last Sunday, I was taken to an absolutely lovely labyrinth at the Priory in Weston, Vermont. Sited on an open, flat space laid with paths of grass outlined by single lines of brick set in the ground, it is beautifully simple. The size is perfect and the design takes you just long enough to get to the inviting seats in the center. Beyond the labyrinth is a vast, open meadow full of native grasses and wild flowers. Birds, butterflies, bees and other critters abound. Feeling vulnerable and humble, I walked with the sounds of nature keeping me company. The sun was bright and a light breeze kept me from getting too warm. Seated in the center, as I came out of my reflections empowered and reaffirmed, I observed the meadow with the swaying grasses woven through with seasonal blooms of milkweed, daisies, black-eyed Susans and other flowers, above them, swallowtail butterflies played tag with each other – it all seemed so tranquil despite the obvious activity going on. The whole scene serving as a reminder that “creativity flows from a quiet mind”. As a flight of goldfinches rose up from within this meadow and made their separate ways, I too got up and purposefully followed the path to take me back to my awaiting world. Just as I left the labyrinth the priory bell was rung calling all to prayer and morning service. I did not join – I had after all just completed my worship.
It’s July. Fireworks, fireflies, picnics, barbecues, beaches and
books. In addition, for me, mosquitoes, mojitos, air-conditioning,
heat, humidity and guilt. I have very mixed feelings about summer.
The light filled days promise endless hours of outdoor pleasures and
the nights punctuated with bursts of firefly light and the fragrance
of summer phlox and gardenias bewitch and yet, I find myself banished
indoors for a good portion of the day seeking solace in
air-conditioned rooms redolent with gardenia in budvases and
rose-geranium infused lemonade. During the day, prone to migraines
triggered by the heat and humidity, I succumb easily to those
conditions. At night, the mosquitoes turn out in full force making it
near impossible to sit without itching and scratching. I’m loathe
to reach out for the only truly effective deterrent – a DEET spray.
Using it every now and then is fine but slathering it on everyday
makes me uneasy.
What works for me is to get some garden chores done in the cool,
early hours of the morning. It is actually quite pleasant working at
that time as the chorus of birds keep me company and the bees getting
a head start to their day inspire me to get cracking with my own. At
this mostly quiet period of the morning, I find myself occupied with
what needs doing whilst still enjoying the garden in its rather
riotous state of summer growth. A good couple of hours go by before
I’m made aware that I’m hot, uncomfortable and quite ready to
escape to cooler confines.
I’m certainly not inclined to deprive myself of the joys of
spending summer nights watching fireflies and inhaling the sweet
perfumes of flowers that I’ve grown for that very purpose.
Spritzing myself with a blend of citronella and cloves I go forth
into the evening. A fan is brought out to do double duty – deter all
flying bugs and keep us relatively comfortable in the circulating
air. The DEET spray is always on stand-by – it’s a love-hate
At a party last week, I was introduced to a new anti-mosquito gadget
brought to the event for a test run by another friend. It seemed to
work as I was not bitten that evening. So I’ve purchased one for my
own use. Before I rush to endorse it, I shall use it a few times
first. Stay tuned.
To take advantage of the warmer months, I ease up on chores and find
myself slowing down my pace. More books are read, outdoor summer
concerts and plays replace screen-time almost entirely. It seems only
right to linger over al fresco meals and sip a cocktail or two slowly
as one walks around inspecting the garden. Impromptu picnics, sunset
viewings and star gazing stretch out the season. Time is taken to
savor the bounty from the garden and farm stand. I love to slowly
roast corn on the cob directly over the coals and then, with a
sprinkling of flakes of sea salt and a dusting of cayenne pepper
brightened with a splash of lime, it explodes in the mouth in a burst
of sweet, salty, spicy and sour. Divine. And how about a watermelon
salad tossed with fresh cherry tomatoes, feta and torn up basil? I
think I even eat ice cream more slowly and mindfully in summer than
at any other season.
While I’m reveling in the unhurried rhythm of summer, there is a
fair amount of guilt that shadows me. The garden looks like a small
child allowed to dress herself. Sweet but quite messy. I’m not
keeping up with the pace the plants grow and need deadheading,
staking and trimming. Weeds shoot up even as I work to keep them at
bay. The tiny lawn looks ragged beseeching me for a regular feed of
compost and the meadow quickly gets overrun by jewelweed smothering
out less aggressive but more desirable plants. Still consumed with
guilt, I’m determined to go on fully engaging with summer. It’s
all too short and I know I will regret it if I have too few memories
of it to keep me warm in winter.
And so I keep dancing with summer. Barefoot and guilty.
Note:Images of the neglected state of my garden – they should make you feel good about yours!
Gardeners are romantic. I have come to realize and accept this. In
making anything beautiful, it pretty much goes without saying (but
I’m saying) that one must also be romantic. You aren’t convinced?
Hmmm. Let me tell you how I’ve come to realize my own idealistic,
sentimental nature in action in the garden. You tell me if you’ve
never been similarly inclined.
I’ll start with the very poster child of romance. The rose. I love
them. I have included several in my garden – all in shades of pink,
profuse and preferably perfumed. The very display of roses in bloom
brings to the forefront matters of the heart. You absolutely cannot
see a rose and not think of love and romance. Am I right?
When I chose to place two arches and plant roses to scramble up them,
I envisioned something very traditional. The arch one must go through
to reach the front door was to invite and disarm the visitor. It puts
one in good cheer. The subtle fragrance sends an additional message
of welcome. The three different clematis weaving through this rose
takes the whole to a higher level. Pure romance.
The second arch which is a gateway to the gardens in the back, has a
different rose. Brighter in its rosy hue and with a stronger perfume.
It makes its presence felt long before you get near it. A temptation
to coax the curious to come forth.
A shrub rose I planted on the side path in early spring was chosen
for its prettiness, hardiness and its scent. The whole idea being
that its fragrance will waft into the house through the studio
windows just above and assault my senses in the nicest possible way
as I paint. I’d like to think my work can only be made better under
In truth, one can smell the roses in all the rooms on that side of
the house. It makes me pause, inhale deeply and appreciate the aroma.
Life feels good. Similarly, I position the pots of citrus, jasmine
and gardenia on the side terrace so the night air is redolent with
their strong aromas – hopefully sweetening our dreams and slumber.
the herb garden, I included plants mentioned in Shakespeare’s
plays. Lovage, rue, hyssop, comfrey, foxgloves and such. Apart from
the lovage which pairs well with fish, the others merely look pretty
and remind me of earlier times. Hyssop while purported to soothe sore
throats, was popularly used
as a spiritual
bath. The hyssop bath is
usually considered to be a personal ritual to remove sin and
negativity in life. It has a Biblical significance. Rue means disdain
or regret. Comfrey too had a role in early medicine as a poultice to
treat joint pains. All so quaint and romantic right?
Even a feature like
the ‘meadow’ has an element of idealism and romance. It is a
place for congeniality between the native flora and fauna. Where
butterflies, birds and bees pollinate and populate my corner of
paradise. Life supporting life, all creatures living together in
peace and all is well with the world. What a concept!
The espalier of 27
apple and 5 pear trees hark back to a time when all of this
neighborhood was full of apple orchards. I like to think I’ve in
some way restored something precious to this place.
The pergola in the
back terrace was designed so the wisteria would grow over its top,
generously providing shade under which we can gather to break bread
and sip wine with friends and family as often as possible. And we do.
Idyllic escapes in a world gone mad.
And so it goes. I
see how in creating this garden, I have subconsciously let my inner
romantic guide me. It is about beauty, history, literature, harmony,
the sacred and most of all, love.
‘ Art In Bloom’ the poster said. Paintings of flowers I
thought. It was so much more.
Weston, a quintessentially charming Vermont town best known for the
legendary Vermont Country Store and its thriving eponymous playhouse.
I have, over the years, discovered that this little place has some
mighty impressive events and highly energetic, innovative and
generous residents. For all those of us ( my hand is up) in and close
to New York City who assume everything interesting and noteworthy
happens in our neck of the woods, Weston is there to say “not so
The annual antique and craft shows are world class. While the craft show is restricted to Vermont artisans only, dealers from all over the country participate in the antiques show. With none of the uber-hype and big city ‘sophistication’ getting in the way, they showcase the best of Vermont. And the best is precisely that.
This past weekend, I was in for an unexpected treat in the show ‘Art In Bloom’. Not simply art on display, it was a show of flower arrangements by members of the local garden club inspired by paintings donated by local artists. While we are all accustomed to art inspired by nature and still-life paintings of floral arrangements, it was a nice twist to see what a person could do with flowers to interpret art. And quite a challenge it was.
The art works of mostly paintings and a couple of lovely examples of
fiber arts, ranged from renditions of flowers to still-lifes with
flowers to landscapes and abstract art. I imagine the abstracts and
some of the landscapes must’ve been particularly challenging. How
does one interpret a snow scene, a covered bridge, a musical
instrument or a frog? Well, the members of the Green Mountain Garden
Club rose to the occasion splendidly. From the literal to the
imaginative, artistic, thoughtful and creative, each arrangement
interpreted its corresponding artwork handsomely. Clearly, the flower
arrangers knew their flowers and plants, understood nature, had a
sense of humor and appreciated the arts very well.
I had come to this exhibit out of curiosity. Having never been to
such a ‘reverse’ pairing of art and flower arranging, I had no
expectations. So, it wasn’t just a welcome surprise – here was a
wonderful demonstration of creativity and artistry. I was taught, I
was inspired, I was humbled.
I came, I saw, I ascended.
Note – I’m giving myself the challenge of creating a flower arrangement inspired by a favorite painting. Maybe you will do the same? Please share!
Depending on the device on which you’re reading this, some of the images below will appear on their side. I do not yet know how to rectify the problem. I apologize!
My garden’s Open Day is thisSaturday, May 18. I’m hard at work primping and propping the garden to get it looking it’s best for you. So, cancel everything else and come on over. I’d love to see you here!
I was in Evanston, Illinois this past weekend and even though part of that time it was cold and wet, I was struck by how much horticultural effort is put into making the heart of the city look attractive. Tulips waved madly in bright colors on traffic islands, pocket parks and around trees along the streets. So cheery and seasonal. And very easy to do. I’m eager to see what the next plantings of annuals will be.
But beyond the show of annuals, I observed that there is a thoughtful approach to infusing seasonal color and fragrance in the landscape through the use of perennials. A small park dividing a busy road, is bordered with hedges of viburnum. I smelled the park before I noticed it! The viburnums were in full bloom and the fragrance wafted far and wide. Pure heaven. As though reminding pedestrians to pause a moment and refresh the spirit – be present. What a lovely idea. Flower beds within the park abounded in tulips but there were many perennials emerging through. Three benches and a single sculpture completed this perfect oasis.
Swathes of Virginia bluebells carpeted several other green spaces for the public to enjoy and under many hedges I noticed abundant lily-of-the-valley leaves unfurling in readiness for the sweet bells of white to perfume the days ahead – subliminally cheering the outlooks of passers-by.
I had hoped to visit Millennial Park in Chicago and take in the plantings but my schedule did not permit it. Instead, I got to experience the glorious efforts of a much smaller city that could match its big neighbor handily. My well is full.
Note : Enjoy some images of plantings in Evanston. I look forward to seeing you in my garden this Saturday!
Depending on which device you are reading this, some images appear on their side. I have no idea how to fix it. My apologies! Also, the pocket park appears expansive in the photos – it isn’t in reality!