In New England, the winters are long and spring seems impossibly late and muddy. So although the summers are all too short, our gardeners create extraordinary landscapes to revel in nature’s wonderful colors and textures while they can.
After winters of white and steel blue gray, the brilliant yellows of the earliest daffodils pop us out of our winter sleep. Their colors are soon echoed in the bright forsythia – and dandelions! That yellow gives way to the pinks and purples of lilacs and then the rich wonder of peonies. Finally, the rainbow colors of perennials and annuals fill our lush gardens. In this year of a pandemic, indoors seemed the only safe place to be for months on end. But now the glories of nature beckon us even more joyously to get out into our gardens and the world.
The healing and restorative power of nature has invited ever greater study as the website of the Chicago Botannical Garden states: “According to experts studying the connection between nature and wellbeing, the ‘nurture of nature’ is experienced when we immerse ourselves in natural surroundings.” Japanese researchers have found that a walk in a natural environment “increased production of important white cells in the human immune system.” And a British study found people experienced “greater feelings of revitalization and decreased tension” being outdoors. For those not inclined to wander the mountains and forests, gardens and parks can offer that same regeneration and calming of spirit.
This July, you have an opportunity to discover what our gardeners know is true: a garden walk restores the spirit and engages the sense of wonder in the beauty and hope for the world. On Saturday, July 17, Green Mountain Gardeners of Landgrove, Londonderry, Peru, and Weston are sponsoring Mountain Garden Walks.
Six enchanting gardens, including a working sheep farm, have been created and nurtured by the love, care, and experimentation of their owners. You will explore properties with mountain vistas, meandering streams, ponds for wildlife, and perennial gardens for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
There is no better time or opportunity to find yourself in nature – right here in southern Vermont. Proceeds from the garden tour support the Lib Thieme Scholarship. More information on the July 17 Mountain Garden Walks and the Lib Thieme Scholarship can be found at www.facebook.com/greenmountaingardeners.
Linda Saarnijoki, Co-President
Green Mountain Gardeners