The garden is a memorial for Liz’s son who passed away several years ago. She said, “After Joe died, we started thinking about plants and the idea of renewal and birth, and the garden just took shape.” The garden, on a busy street in the middle of a quaint Vermont village, is in its beginning stages right now and will eventually become a community garden where people can walk by and enjoy, come in and sit down, or just walk through and enjoy from the inside.
She sees the garden having an informal, naturalistic feel and is inspired by landscape designer Piet Oudolf. She explained, “We want it to be very free-flowing and plan on using primarily native plants, really only what is available in Vermont. We want it to be multi-seasonal and that is why we want a lot of grasses for structure in the winter.” They also would like to eventually have a sculpture in the garden.
I asked her why she chose to plant hundreds of Daffodils in the space for now. She responded, “I love that Daffodils are one of the first flowers up in the spring and they come up through the snow. They are just so hopeful and sunny. They really make me smile, especially planted in mass – I really love that.” She told me that people around the village and her friends follow the succession of the Daffodils' growth and are just as excited as she is when they start to bloom in the early spring.
The garden is framed by a Pennsylvania Bluestone Wall that is shaped like a horseshoe, with random words engraved into several of the stones. When I asked her about these, she responded, “We had groups of friends that knew Joe come up with one word they would use to describe him and had these carved into stones.” The words in the wall are “Witty, Superstar, Unforgettable, and Perseverance.”
I truly enjoyed speaking with Liz about the memorial garden and am excited to track its progression as they get started on planting this season. We’ll follow up with another blog in the future.