Monday, July 13, 2009

Road gardens


It’s hard to leave the garden in summer. It really is, and I know a lot of Northern and Midwestern gardeners who take their vacations at other times because they just can’t do it.

But I love the beach and the salt water and the waves and the margaritas and the company. Some things—dare it be said—are just as important if not more than gardening.


When one travels, however, it is possible to make gardens part of the experience—really easy, actually. This year, we stopped at a lovely park with an arboretum and a rose garden: Tanglewood Manor (top and above).


This was a pretty and carefully tended public garden, but when you’re a gardener, travel becomes more interesting. You notice every shrubbery at every roadside rest stop, every plant in every restaurant. But most of all I have been appreciating the dune plantings on a barrier island where we stay each summer. As everyone knows, these dunes are suffering from gradual erosion; planting grasses helps in a small way to maintain their slight hold. It’s clear that the owners of this property have taken care to keep up the vegetation on their dunes—I have met gardeners planting grasses where we have been staying here.

When you travel you don’t often think about gardening and the work of gardening but the impact of what is planted, what is just growing, and how all this is maintained has greater reverberations than we can imagine.

10 comments:

The Galloping Gardener said...

I do agree that it's hard to leave the garden, but not when visiting others that give you inspiration!

susan harris said...

Oh, boy is it hard to leave my garden in summer! Coming home to a jungle is the least of it. But true, we take our obsession with us and observe every plant we see along the way. We can't help it.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I agree that gardening enriches your travels. Almost every rest stop has a garden to admire and rest the eyes. Many places have public gardens for you to peruse. I enjoy coming home from a summer vacation to find what has started blooming and what has stopped. The home garden looks different to me after seeing other gardens. Often the eyes now see the garden more as it is rather than as the minds eye sees it.

Gail said...

It's so hard to leave a garden when your favorite plants are getting ready to bloom. This was the first year I was here for most of the daylilies and it was a treat. But, time with friends and getting a break is essential...

niartist said...

I just started our garden two years ago, so it has been increasingly more difficult to leave it - even for a weekend. The plants are immature, and need constant control and watering. I'm in Niagara Falls, so you're well aware of our short growing season - I don't want to do anything to damage good rooting for the following years! :) Thanks so much for this thoughtful and informative blog. I've read my way through many of your posts, and have enjoyed each one. Can't wait to see your garden in the Garden Walk.

niartist said...

Oh, BTW, I read that you're the editor for the Buffalo Spree. I have submitted photos for their "HOME" magazine, but I haven't gotten response, I wonder if I'm going about it the wrong way? Our house was just featured in the Buffalo News as the home of the month, but I'd like to do a Spree HOME feature if it's open, and the property satisfies. We're relatively new to the area - and I'm a youthful gardener - but the backyard is (or will be) photo worthy end of July. Just connecting the dots. If you don't mind shedding light on what the steps are or whom to contact, I'd so love that.

EAL said...

Hi niartist, I would be happy to consider you for HOME though to be honest we try not to do too much the News does as our readers pretty much all read the News. However, email me at Spree to remind me of this (address in mag) and I'll mull it over!
Congrats on that News coverage BTW; you must have a splendid place.
Thanks for reading; please do introduce yourself if you visit me on the Walk.

niartist said...

Thank you so much! I've emailed you at Spree, and hope that the photos and link to the feature in the Buffalo News come through. I will certainly introduce myself at the Garden Walk if I can find your beautiful home and garden, and look forward to hearing from you about the feature. You're welcome for dinner in the 'Falls anytime to discuss and peruse. :)

Susan Morrison (garden chick) said...

I don't mind leaving my garden - it always seems newly interesting to me when I return after a trip. Kind of the way cats get all excited and sniff and poke everything, even if all you've done is move where the couch goes.

More and more I find I'm not all that interested in gardens open for tours, and perk up at funky houses, creative parking strips or efforts to impose order on nature, such as your description of erosion control planting for dunes.

garden girl said...

We rarely travel during the summer, but as long as the Lawn Man is home to water (too many) containers, I'm not averse to taking off on my own. To me, being a gardener makes traveling so much more interesting than it might otherwise be.