Sunday, January 12, 2014


Sunday, January 12, 2014
A strange morning here on the mountain above Peacham Pond. Since 4:30 AM the temperature has been dropping slowly and the wind has been blowing stronger as a new front comes in. The rain of two hours ago has shifted to snow flakes and the ice on the paths and driveway is buffed so smooth that even with ice creepers, walking presents a challenge. Winters in Vermont have certainly changed in recent years and I really do miss the snow that was so common. I know I am not alone!
I start each day with a walk with Karl the Wonder Dog and then I check my email and find out what is new in the world of gardening. Lately I have been checking Gail's mail too as she handles much of the plant orders and business mail. She has been dealing with several medical issues lately and has enough to contend with so I have been trying to be helpful there. I have a number of garden blogs that I like to read each morning and one I started with earlier has put me on today's course.
I have been reading a blog titled Gardening Gone Wild for several years. It is really nice because there is more than one blogger involved and they are all very talented. This morning's piece was titled Probing Beauty by Saxon Holt. The tag line tells it all:  "Garden photographers look to capture beauty with a camera.  Poets use words."  Give it a read and you'll see why this struck an idea with me.
Poetry has a way with gardens. It's as if every garden deserves a poet and much of the words that are thought or spoken in a garden are some form of verse. They could be something abbreviated in comparison--something like haiku or  could be some lengthy English work that goes on and at times requires one to think and think to process the inherent message. It could be something as easy as the way Robert Frost used to write..... but regardless..... the garden is the home of much poetry and when I read Holt's presentation this morning, I thought of myself and some ideas I have had for some time.
Over twenty years ago, actually more I think, some folks in Middlebury added an interpretive feature to the Robert Frost Trail on Route 125 not too far from the Breadloaf campus of Middlebury College. This is where the annual summer writers conferences take place. The interpretive feature always impressed me, partially because of my love for Frost's writing but also because of the way the posted poetry slowed my walk along the trail and made me think of things differently. A piece of poetry can do that to anyone. I thought I had a folder someplace on my computer to serve as example to what the trail was like but I can't find it now. This piece by blogger Erin Florence will serve the need and give a good idea of what this trail looks like. Try
As I travel throughout New England, I am finding more and more interpretive trails, each different but each very interesting. Last November I found my way to Sterling Falls Gorge Natural Area outside Stowe, Vermont and I found a different sort of interpretation. No poetry here but plenty of great information along the way. Here's an example from Stop 5.

As I think about the beauty of the gardens we all create, I wonder if we should consider poetry again. Maybe we need to market the beauty of our gardens through our words as much as our pictures. Maybe??

Just leaving a thought while writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond in Marshfield, Vermont where the snow if falling off and on and the birds of the forest have appear at the feeders for a morning buffet. Best gardening wishes for the new year!
George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Writing on Facebook at my personal George Africa page & our Like page, Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens
On Twitter as vtflowerfarm
And of course, always here to help you grow your green thumb!

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