Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Connection to Trees in a New England 'Landscape Garden'


Each new day the hills and sky greet one another wearing a new cloak of light. 
Dawn's brush strokes stretch across the canvas of air . . . creating an ephemeral painting of ever changing hues.
Hawks are moving through . . .  here a Sharp-shinned Hawk ... Accipiter striatus , eyes the ground for voles . . .  I hope! 

He may have been excited by all the activity of the Robins and Juncos too . . . my presence did not seem to make him feel welcome.
Each day I look out on the landscape and feel so lucky to live where I do. One of the reasons I have such a deep connection to my gardens is due to my love of the trees I have inherited or planted, and the spaces created between them. I truly think of my gardens and farm as a 'Landscape Garden' in many respects. Not like the great English Landscape Gardens of the 1700's, though I do feel kindred to the thoughts of Alexander Pope, who inspired designers of that era by writing . . . "In all, let nature never be forgot . . . Consult the genius of the place." and I agree wholeheartedly with his words “amiable simplicity of unadorned nature”.  Here in my rustic humble 'Landscape Garden' out in the north field a Rock Maple (in foreground) is in dialogue with a Metasequoia, Native Black Cherry and Oak. The Meta and Rock Maple are farther apart than they appear in this photograph. 
My Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'Dawn Redwood' is a gift from a friend who worked in the gardens at Smith College . . . a young sapling from a mighty tree that has resided there for many years. Below is the parent of my young teenager. When I stand beneath this tree of such an ancient Chinese ancestry, and try to imagine the youngster in my garden growing to this size I smile deeply . . .  in hopes that others too will preserve it. Being planted in the north field it will hold back strong winds in the winter months. I hope I have given the Rock Maple plenty of room to spread it's lush canopy too.



My Metasequoia has aged with me over these last fifteen to twenty years . . . I have the exact date we planted it written down in a journal somewhere I am sure. Her delicate deciduous foliage adds a lovely rusty orange to the fall garden.
This sculpted native Black Cherry Prunus serotina holds a very special place in my heart, for it was found covered by briars, vines and other trees, when a dear friend died and wanted his ashes spread beneath another Black Cherry down in the woods. I could not find the other native cherry, but discovered this one and now call it Michael's tree . . .  for if he had seen it from the dormers upstairs, he would have loved it and given it many hugs over the years he lived here. This area was completely over grown twelve years ago. It was that long ago . . . his family and I held hands standing around this serpentine form in honor of Michael's life, which was dedicated to preserving the dignity of our earth.


I love this native Black Cherry and from whatever perspective . . .  it is a glorious sight in the landscape.
I look out on this view as I write . . .  now the Black Cherry's naked branches are swaying in the high winds. I recall fondly watching the Baltimore Orioles flying to and from Michael's tree as they have favored it for their nests for several years now. Mike would have loved that too. 
These giant Rock Maples (Sugar Maples) Acer saccharum stand guarding the old house and were most likely planted the time the 1790 farmhouse was built. They are majestic and have been my loyal friends for over thirty years. One of these three may be the parent or grandparent of the much younger Rock Maple shown in the first tree photo above. 

Here the Metasequoia stands dwarfed by the huge limbs of the Rock Maples . . . planted on the south side of the farmhouse, to offer shade and cooling during the summer months. I must be a vigilant steward with these powerful trees for they are close to the house. Wild Honey Bees live in the middle Rock Maple and their branches are a favorite perch for Raptors. These are just three of the amazing trees that are part of my 'Landscape Garden' and life. There are others in the gardens I will feature later and in the forest many many more. I am blessed to have the connections I do with these creatures of nature . . . I stand in awe of their stature and imagine their grandness below the earth's surface too. . . their life in darkness and light and all the years of witnessing the world around them. They are generous in how they enhance the quality of air, earth and awareness within all who grow to know and love them. They stand like great sculptures in the gardens and offer countless wildlife safe housing and nourishment. They are Nature's Masterpieces! 

26 comments:

RainGardener said...

Your are so lucky to live in such a beautiful area. The pictures are great!

Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

Wonderful post, Michael's tree is beautiful.

Kirigalpoththa said...

The top picture is awesome!

Lovely collection!!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

A beautiful post Carol. We don't have any of the Dawn Redwood here, just the Coast Redwoods. I always thought the notion of a deciduous redwood as rather strange...but yours has such a lovely fall color, something ours can't provide. Your rock maples are impressive near the house, I can see why the raptors would favor it!

Ami said...

Carol: Your writing is so beautiful, and really took me into your garden with you! Your friend would also love to see what you are writing if he is still here. Your garden looks so beautiful, in any season!

lotusleaf said...

Your garden is indeed a beautiful landscape garden. I too love trees and I enjoy reading your posts. Have a good day!

Northern Shade said...

You have a beautiful collection of trees in a great setting. I love trees in the landscape, and wish my property could hold as many as your land does. Mature trees bring a great deal of wildlife to the garden too.

Noelle said...

What a blessing to have such beautiful land to plant and allow these beautiful trees to reach their full size and beauty. Many gardens are fortunate to be blessed with just one. Thank you for sharing your blessings with us :-)

The Idiot Gardener said...

You've got to love that skyline. Mine reveals nothing more interesting than the local pub and beyond that the racecourse!

Randy Emmitt said...

Carol,

Loved the Sharp-shinned Hawk photos! Your redwood is really something. In downtown Chapel Hill there is a huge redwood along the street, I've been told by the owners it is the largest redwood in the eastern US!

sweet bay said...

That's interesting that you mention the concept of 'Landscape Garden' -- that is a deeply held belief of mine as well.

You have been a marvelous stewart of your beautiful acreage. The Black Cherry is magnificent and the Dawn Redwood very beautiful. I love your pictures.

Roses and Lilacs said...

You have beautiful views from your home. I feel a connection with many of the the living things on my farm too. The trees, the pesky raccoons and possums, the birds... A lovely place would be wasted on a person who felt no connection to the land.
Marnie

noel said...

I can feel your connection to the land and your beautiful trees, especially all the maples, wish i could grow them here...the trees around the home really frame it well also...its nice to see the b&b finally or maybe i just missed it in earlier posts....thanks for sharing.

joey said...

A lovely post, dear Carol. In awe of trees, this touched my heart. I have a sentinel American elm, too close to the house ... I watch and worry during heavy storms but since it is the last remaining elm (7 lost to Dutch Elm disease) in my yard, I can't bear to take it down and say goodbye to a dear friend.

Gail said...

Your giant canopy trees make C&L's seem like babies! They are lovely trees Carol...don't you love knowing them through the years...watching them grow and weather. The sky shots you've shown are rich oil paintings! gail

Marie said...

Beautiful photos from a beautiful place :)

Layanee said...

I played under one of those cherries and enjoyed the fragrant white flowers and then the deep purple berries. Made a lot of potions from them. That tree shaded the sand box and is long gone but this post brought back those memories, sharp as a yucca's blade.

gippslandgardener said...

Those trees are lucky to have such a steward who feels so intimately connected and protective of them. The local community is lucky to have someone like you too Carol!

Carol said...

Thank you all for such kind and thoughtful comments!

Pam's English Garden said...

"Nature's Masterpieces" indeed. We are also blessed with many trees on our property and you reminded me how fortunate I am. Thank you.

debsgarden said...

There are many wonderful postings, but sometimes I come across one that truly touches my heart. This one does. I love trees, and your place is awe-inspiring. Thank you.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Carol girl .. I feel a huge connection with trees myself .. they are each an individual work of art to me : )
I'm wondering .. do you have any suggestions on a small ornamental tree for my garden ? .. sun most of the day (an old lilac is coming out) I so wanted the Korean Maple but no one seems to know of it here .. I would love an all season interest tree and of course colour in the Autumn .. Amur Flame Maple has been suggested but if you have any more suggestions that would be great !
Joy

fairegarden said...

You are blessed to live among these noble giants, and you have blessed us with this sharing. Your feelings towards them tells us that you are the perfect caretaker. It is all so beautiful, and the view of the sunrise each day must jumpstart your heart as morning begins.
Frances
ps, we planted a dawn redwood at our other TN home nearly twenty years ago and love to drive by it when we visit there.
Frances

Anja said...

Dear Carol!
So lucky you must be with such a large garden! It is like a dream to be able to have many large trees - a real landscape garden! Wow! Of course you love your garden!
It is not surprising either that so many different species of birds thrives there./Kram, Anja

Kiki said...

Woah..magical! Epicly gorgeous trees...and such enchanting scenery! Wonderful post..i always know i will be in store for lots of nature's beauty.. eyecandy and magic when i visit here!
Gorgeous photos..such a treat..thanks for sharing your magnificent sceneries!
Kiki~

Janet said...

Wonderful tribute to some grand trees.

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