The weather stayed in the 80’s through most of September allowing me to pretend a little bit. But now it’s December–-cooler and darker–and the inevitability of the approaching Northeastern winter is starting to sink in. “Summer lasting forever”, was a wish I had, especially this year. [portfolio_slideshow id=4194]
Even in my urban setting, our building’s container gardens and front shrubbery needed some seasonal adjustments, so I cut back our hydrangeas, discard the bedraggled ends of semi-successful vegetable vines in the back boxes, and got ready to bring some of the herbs indoors. Fall is a good time to plant a couple yews in the front of the building where an empty patch was left by a water-main break. All this is winding-down and readying-for-winter work. The leaves are falling, and soon we’ll see the bones of our landscape. It’s actually a time I savor. Although, in my book, any season is a good time to seek out a garden for a meditative walk, and pretty much any garden can be a great place for contemplation, the inherent moodiness of the fall makes this time feel especially right.
As the gardening season subsides, I’ve been reminiscing about a few gardens I visited in this past year, many intentionally created as places for renewal. In January I visited Half Moon Bay, where I came upon a stone labyrinth on a high dusty place overlooking the sea. At the beginning of summer I chanced upon a labyrinth on the grounds of a Massachusetts conference center. The last weekend of July I visited my hometown, Buffalo, NY to see the country’s largest garden walk, Garden Walk Buffalo. In the mix of 372 gardens I saw many personal serene gardens spaces. The Garden of a Thousand Buddhas, which I visited in September is in the process of being built near Arlee, Montana. Chosen by the Tibetan lama, Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche, in part for its similarity to the Tibetan landscape. The intention of the Thousand Buddhas Garden is to promote world peace and an end to suffering. Recently, taking a day trip to the Noguchi garden, located in Long Island City I found one of the country’s great sculpture gardens to also be a perfect mediation garden.
Photos are by Susan and her daughter Kate Previte http://www.kateprevite.com.
Susan lives in Brooklyn where she writes, paints and continues to try to play fiddle. After a long career at Newsweek Magazine, her current day job is working as reference librarian at Sports Illustrated.