Gerry and Mary Chambers sent us these glorious photos of their garden in Augusta, Georgia. They stirred our imagination and whet our appetite for more. How does your garden grow? Share with us.
Post your garden pictures in our comment section and tell us something about the garden or a place you like where things grow.
Here’s Robert Frost’s garden recollection
In a Vale
by Robert Frost,
When I was young we dwelt in a vale
By a misty fen that rang all night,
And thus it was the maidens pale
I knew so well, who garments trail
Across the reeds to a window light
The fen had every kind of bloom,
And for every kind there was a face,
And a voice that has sounded in my room
Across the sill from the outer gloom.
Each came singly unto her place,
But all came every night with the mist;
And often they brought so much to say
Of things of moment to which, they wist,
One so lonely was fain to list.
That the stars were almost faded away
Before the last went, heavy with dew,
Back to the place from which she came—
Where the bird was before it flew,
Where the flower was before it grew,
Where bird and flower were one and the same
And thus it is I know so well
Why the flower has odor, the bird has song
You have only to ask me , and I can tell
No, not vainly there did I dwell,
Nor vainly listen all the night long.
And here’s another, this one by Emerson. It’s a little long but a nice read, especially if you’re catching your breath from working in your garden.
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
If I could put my woods in song
And tell what’s there enjoyed,
All men would to my gardens throng,
And leave the cities void.
In my plot no tulips blow,–
Snow-loving pines and oaks instead;
And rank the savage maples grow
From Spring’s faint flush to Autumn red.
My garden is a forest ledge
Which older forests bound;
The banks slope down to the blue lake-edge,
Then plunge to depths profound.
Here once the Deluge ploughed,
Laid the terraces, one by one;
Ebbing later whence it flowed,
They bleach and dry in the sun.
The sowers made haste to depart,–
The wind and the birds which sowed it;
Not for fame, nor by rules of art,
Planted these, and tempests flowed it.
Waters that wash my garden-side
Play not in Nature’s lawful web,
They heed not moon or solar tide,–
Five years elapse from flood to ebb.
Hither hasted, in old time, Jove,
And every god,–none did refuse;
And be sure at last came Love,
And after Love, the Muse.
Keen ears can catch a syllable,
As if one spake to another,
In the hemlocks tall, untamable,
And what the whispering grasses smother.
Æolian harps in the pine
Ring with the song of the Fates;
Infant Bacchus in the vine,–
Far distant yet his chorus waits.
Canst thou copy in verse one chime
Of the wood-bell’s peal and cry,
Write in a book the morning’s prime,
Or match with words that tender sky?
Wonderful verse of the gods,
Of one import, of varied tone;
They chant the bliss of their abodes
To man imprisoned in his own.
Ever the words of the gods resound;
But the porches of man’s ear
Seldom in this low life’s round
Are unsealed, that he may hear.
Wandering voices in the air
And murmurs in the wold
Speak what I cannot declare,
Yet cannot all withhold.
When the shadow fell on the lake,
The whirlwind in ripples wrote
Air-bells of fortune that shine and break,
And omens above thought.
But the meanings cleave to the lake,
Cannot be carried in book or urn;
Go thy ways now, come later back,
On waves and hedges still they burn.
These the fates of men forecast,
Of better men than live to-day;
If who can read them comes at last
He will spell in the sculpture,’Stay.’
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