2009 Garden Tour

Saturday, I attended the 16th Annual Friends of Forbes Library Northampton Garden Tour with Katie, Mom, and Grammie.  This year’s only tying theme appeared to be Goshen stone work.  We made it to 7/8 residential gardens before I had to report to work.  I learned some new vocabulary along the way:

potager – a French kitchen garden

espalier – to train a (usually fruit) tree to grow on one flat plane, often against a wall in a symmetrical pattern, with careful pruning

bosquet – a formal planting of trees in a gravel court

One of my favorites on the tour belonged to a chic gay couple and their four year-old son.  The first thing I noticed was Hercules and Love Affair blasting from open windows.  In the literature passed out, the couple admits they “like to imagine gardens as [they] listen to independent pop music.”  Haha.  Their front yard was a “modern prairie” of tall ornamental grasses and a large potted Japanese maple enclosed by a picket fence.  The side yard was sculpted with moss mounds, Japanese painted ferns, hostas, and two blue lawn chairs.  In the back, we found espaliered apple trees, white astilbe, a very cool tree house, a whimsical fountain, a red barn, a bosquet of four variegated willow standards, and a perennial bed backed by four bright blue panels (for year-round color).  God, I wish the inside of the house had been open to visitors.  They had that je ne sais quoi I have been trying to incorporate into my dowdy, country style.

Another favorite garden was full of fragrant plants!  It’s inspired me to try growing more fragrant plants of my own: roses, mock orange, honeysuckle, Viburnum.

So I’ve started thinking…maybe I don’t want to be a clinical psychologist.  Maybe I want to follow in my mom’s footsteps and go to landscape design school.  Maybe I want to be a sustainable food activist and teach people how to implement it in unlikely communities.  Maybe I want to work in health care policy.  I guess I’m starting to accept that I am good listener, but I am not necessarily a passionate listener.  If I’ve learned anything from my year away from academics, it’s that I have an insatiable creative appetite.


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