Trillium Grandiflorum

Oh sweet Trillium Grandiflorum
Spring’s most majestic ephemeral blooms
I wait all Winter for the joy you bring
Anticipating the moment I see you in Spring
Emerging from last Autumn’s fallen leaves
You spread out under the woodland trees
In my woods, you bloom a sea of white
To my eyes, you are such a delight
Standing tall with stately grace
Your blossoms put a smile on my face
By your snowy white petals, you are crowned
Your beauty by all should be renowned
But alas your loveliness will soon go away
I will have to wait to see you another day
My heart will keep the memory until next Spring
Again I will anticipate the joy you bring

by Christine Saputo

More than ever, enjoyment from our gardens and plants is being highlighted by the current state of being. Staying home has allowed for a significant amount of gardening time. In anticipation of the closures, I had several yards of mulch delivered in early March. I jokingly said to my husband; I’ll be ready for a garden tour in about two weeks, to which he only groaned. Working in my garden is often limited by my schedule, and let’s be honest my motivation and energy. With none of those things to impede, I’ve made an effort to do a couple of hours of work in the garden at a time. It has reacquainted me with several of my favorite and not so favorite plants. The conversation with myself goes something like, ‘what was I thinking?’ Editing is occurring.

I love my garden. It’s mine, it reflects me, and it represents my upbringing. It is home to several plants that were given to me as well. I love it when a plant has a story or an attachment to a person. For example, I have a lovely Pinus contorta var. latifolia ‘Chief Joseph’ that was given to me by a friend and former co-worker. I cannot look at it without thinking of him, our friendship, and adventures together. Another plant in multiple places in my garden is Paeonia japonica, collected from the garden of a dear friend and mentor. He has moved away but is always in my thoughts as I tend my garden.

Whether its a plant that you collected in the wild from seed or an heirloom in your home from your grandmother, plants are more than just things. They hold our stories, our treasured memories. It can be a tree your parents planted when you were born, big and spreading. It could be a tee-pee in the vegetable garden planted with pole beans and black-eyed Susan vine. How many of us include a particular plant in our gardens or containers each season out of a nostalgic memory of our childhood or in remembrance of loved ones? A friend has a Hoya carnosa grown from cuttings of a cutting, that once belonged to her great-grandmother. It just happened to make the voyage over from Europe when she immigrated to America as a newlywed. It makes you consider the nostalgia it held, enough for her to value it, that she included it among the things she brought with her.

Now is a great time to tend to those special plants in your garden or to add a plant to create new stories. As we distance ourselves physically, it’s comforting to tend to a garden filled with friendship and love or tales of adventure. This time of year is perfect for sowing seeds in the veggie garden. My veggie patch is one of the most satisfying elements of my garden. Seeds sown about two weeks ago are now emerging this morning after several mild sun-filled days.

Not all of us have outdoor spaces with a garden to immerse ourselves in. Perhaps you have a borrowed view to enjoy. You may live on a street or in a neighborhood that is bursting with flowering cherries, majestic magnolias, and curbside gardens filled with spring-blooming bulbs. Several trees in my area are beacons of Spring that provide me with the optimism of better days to come. All this to say, our natural world continues to put forth the best reminder that things are going to get better.

In closing, thank you to all those who continue to care for our community, to ensure that there is fresh food on the shelves, to care for those who can’t. It takes all of us to make this time really matter. We look forward to the day that the garden gates are once more open wide.

– Joseph Abken, Executive Director