One of my first posts ( January 2021) focused on photos I took as an enthusiastic but infrequent visitor* to Northampton Street Community Garden. This sequel adds views of an insider, someone who has worked the soil there for several years with attention to significant events in her surroundings. As I requested, she has selected from her own photos and provided her own words to identify or explain them.
On neighborhood walks this spring and summer I began to notice tended gardens in the narrow strips of earth between sidewalk and street. For instance, I felt the sense of shelter from traffic as I climbed the slope of Upland Road lined with clusters of flowers or grasses around saplings or established trees.
Some ways I’ve share roses of Sharon in recent years:
• dig up and transplant selected saplings that grow up below the original bush…
• sweep and scrape loose shriveled remains fallen on the sidewalk .
• take photos of successive stages of a blossom…
• take short videos of blossoms lifting/shifting in warm winds …
• cut branches with buds and blossoms ( a source of tiny active ants) to fill a vase… .
Last week a surprise gift bouquet with botanical notes about hydrangeas got me to start noticing their variety in my neighborhood. I marveled at the many different forms of delicate clustered blossoms among their handsome hardy leaves. Wikipedia affirmed that worldwide there are more than seventy species of hydrangea, including shrubs, vines and truly tall trees.
Until two years ago this tall graceful birch was a welcome landmark of a nearby park, reliable in my routines. When I became aware the birch was gone, I missed it and wondered why it was cut down, but I never sought out answers to that recurring question.
I invented this mid-April post to allow at least two more magnolias, both with yellow tones, that started blooming after my post about those captivating trees.
Clematis vines, leaves and beginning buds are graceful in themselves, while signaling the promise of slightly translucent flower petals unfurling, emerging from the subtle green overlapping leaves. Not sure my words or photos (from streets in my neighborhood) will convey the significance of clematis in my life, but here’s a chance to try.
Bright red abundant Mandevilla* adorned the fence and walls of one home on nearby Kirkland Street throughout the summer of 2020. Not until mid July did I properly identify those vines and begin trying to document their captivating qualities over the next few months. I hope to give them more careful attention this coming spring.
In 2015, years before I had an iPhone, I took most photos with a Canon Powershot and edited them with Picture Manager on my PC. I was trying to capture the fleeting perfection of peonies, poppies, and irises to send to friends and family far from Cambridge or to save such moments for myself. Though even the few selected here fall short of the experiences of being there, they remind me of those invigorating visits.
More than any year before, I was taken by the abundance of colors, styles, variations in this community garden two blocks from my home. Ever plotless, luckily I was still welcome to wander the paths among distinctly different plots that enhanced each other. Ever clueless, I enjoyed absorbing random clues to the way people managed their parts and the whole of this shared space.