Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Berkshire Botanical Garden

About two weeks ago I spent a couple of days at the Berkshire Botanical Garden near Stockbridge, Mass. I never would have known about the place if it was not for the exhibition my wife was part of at the garden. The exhibit, called Cultivate, was curated in coordination with the exhibit titled Badlands at Mass MoCA.

This is the piece she made for the show, titled Hope and Weather. Its a solar powered water system that powers the butterfly's wings that change the world's weather. If you want to know more about her work, check out her site

The garden is a small, comfortable space with herb, perennial, and rose gardens. The most charming space was the water garden, subtly tucked away on the bottom of a gentle slope. The pond had a certain magic about it. Planted just right, looking cultivated, yet quite natural. It had an island in its center with a large boulder and a hemlock growing on it. I stayed at the home of one of the trustees of the garden and he told me they had just received a grant to enlarge the pond. Well I made sure to let him know I thought it was excellent just the way it is.

yellow iris

ferns and lily pads

view to the south

This view was gorgeous

I'd see to a way to spend that money building their perennial collection. I was amazed to see some weedy(invasive?) perennials in their beds, including Petasites japonica 'Giganthea' (Japanese Butterbur) and Macleaya cordata (Plume Poppy). I worked hard to eradicate Plume Poppy from my garden, but sources seem to only call it weedy. It must be easier to control in colder climates-such as the Berkshires or where I got mine, central Maine!

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