Garden Designers Roundtable: Restoration & Renovation: The Tale of an Unfolding Project

How about a true tale of garden discovery and restoration and renovation to contribute to this day of Garden Designers Round-table postings.   This story is still unfolding.

It started one day when a Yoga teacher friend called a Garden Designer friend; come with me and see a labyrinth that a mutual Artist friend made at a museum.  It might need some work – “I’d like to start using it for my students”.

the labryinth

A twist in the conversation… “do you have an hour you can spare?”…”supposedly, the woman who started this place used to have a meditation garden”…There was a statue of a goddess in it…Guan Yin… no one knows where it was or is now, but we have a picture….lets go for a hike and see if we can find something….

lilacs in the woods

Vistas discovered, garden plants (lilacs, daylilies, clematis, irises, peonies, and other remnants), oddly in the middle of the woods.  And then there are the byzantine columns buried deep in the overgrown shrubbery.

byzantine column ruins

Who is this woman and why did she do all of this?  What are the links that connect?  Transcendentalism, Shakers, Native Americans, Early Yogi’s in America, The Eye of Isis, Black Magic and White Magic, Occultism, Rosicrucians, a garden, a healing place, and a Boston Brahman woman in the early 20th century.

And then there is the modern day research…Love tunnels and affairs, flowers named for mistresses, witches in the garden, a curse, deception and lies, and the serendipitous and purposeful unfolding of clues to the story that seems orchestrated by an incommunicable source.

Where is this going and how is the story going to end?  I can’t wait to find out, each day is a new adventure….

I have been looking forward to this post for a while… 😉

The search for the goddess continues. Sometimes life is stranger than fiction.  And all in the name of garden restoration….does this sound like a trailer for a movie or a best selling novel?….well, actually, maybe it might be….

Other posts from the Roundtable can be read through the links below.

Andrew Keys : Garden Smackdown : Boston, MA

Carolyn Gail Choi : Sweet Home and Garden Chicago : Chicago, IL

Genevieve Schmidt : North Coast Gardening : Arcata, CA

Jocelyn Chilvers : The Art Garden : Denver, CO

Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK

Susan Cohan : Miss Rumphius’ Rules : Chatham, NJ

Susan Morrison : Blue Planet Garden Blog : East Bay, CA

Share this!Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+Email this to someone

13 Responses to Garden Designers Roundtable: Restoration & Renovation: The Tale of an Unfolding Project

  1. Rochelle, the adventures of a garden restorer. The research is almost more engaging than the actual hands on rebuilding. Reinterpreting after the research is the best! You must keep us informed as the project advances. The 19th c. occult aspect is particularly intriguing- but look for clues in the garden spaces. I went to an amazing garden in Portugal which illustrated mystical traditions thru its spatial design.

    Keep us posted!


  2. Wow – what a great approach to this topic! I can most definitely see this as an artsy flick with subtitles….I’d be one of the first lining up to watch it! What a storyteller you are!

Leave a reply

Women Planting Designers to Know

Women Planting Designers to Know

Last week, in reaction to a recent article on LandArchs Network , a discussion broke out on a friend’s facebook page (article here, discussion here).  The story was about 10 planting designers to know, and as remarkable as all the people on the list are, the reality of there only being one woman (Beth Chatto)…

Cercis ‘Merlot’ – Even If You Don’t Drink, You Will Want To Plant One

Cercis ‘Merlot’ – Even If You Don’t Drink, You Will Want To Plant One

“I am not drinking (expletive) Merlot!” – Miles from the movie Sideways This past weekend, a group of friends and I were running in a relay race across the Adirondack mountains. When you are not running, you are spending hours in a van following the next member of your team. With all of these hours,…

Recovery (Bella’s Bartok)

Recovery (Bella’s Bartok)

Do you ever have weeks where you you look back and just have to ask — what the heck just happened?  I had one of those last week. Little more than a week ago, my family arrived for a visit.  We made things, we fixed things, we cooked, we drank bourbon.  And then we had…