By Timothy Hull
Even in a time when people are trying to keep space between them and others, there is still the old habit of connecting with friends. Having a house along a country road means that neighbors slow down and stop to say hello when they see me and Kory outside gardening. On one particularly sunny Saturday, we had a flurry of impromptu visitors, all who kept proper social distancing, yet still maintained a friendly atmosphere around them.
I was tending to a new perennial bed out front when Harvard landscape design professor Ede Katz pulled over in her Prius to complement our work on the grounds. Ede is busy creating a resplendent deer-resistant garden over at the Chardavogne Barn, so of course we had much to talk about, as deer are a constant hobgoblin in our gardens. She told me about her new allium bulbs that deer can’t be bothered with- best when planted in groups. Allium is just starting to bloom and is a favorite with the bees.
Speaking of that- we also were visited by local beekeeper, Roger Moss, who stopped by to look around for a choice spot to create a swarm, something he does to help local bees survive. By attracting them towards a box and then trapping the swarm, he’s able to give them a new home and can tend and care for them, playing a vital role in the pollination cycle. In fact, the originator of this column, George Hansen, was a famous local beekeeper and would often attract swarms at various Warwick homes.
Later in the day, Susan McDonald from the Board of Elections passed by to gather up some hellebores, ferns and vinca for her shade garden- these are all plants we have in spades over here. She regaled us with stories from her rock-n-roll days and is always quick with a hilarious conversational rejoinder. These are just a few of the characters you meet in between Edenville and Amity!
We enjoy sharing divisions or cuttings of plants with friends, as we have been inspired by the generosity of Jerome Spector, a well-loved gardener who recently passed away. Jerome was famous for inviting people to his gardens and allowing visitors to take a little division home with them. We have prodigious lily of the valley that came from his garden. Jerome also gave away seeds, a true sign of faith in regeneration. In this fashion, Jerome’s garden has now spread all across and beyond the Warwick valley- and may his memory live on through the seasons!