Emily’s Garden of Possibilities

I dwell in Possibility–
A fairer House than Prose–
More numerous of Windows–
Superior–for Doors –

Of Chambers as the Cedars–
Impregnable of Eye–
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky–

Of Visitors–the fairest–
For Occupation–This–
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise–

Emily Dickinson J 657

I’m starting this blog in honor of Spring, flowers, Nature–and Emily Dickinson. I’ve ordered two books which should arrive any day which I want to use as inspiration as I plant my own garden on our fourteen acre “ranch”. Emily Dickinson’s Gardens, by Marta McDowell

The Gardens of Emily Dickinson, by Judith Farr & Louise Carter

Anyone who would like to join in this discussion of creating a poetic place to “be”–is surely welcome.

My hope for myself is to explore Dickinson’s poetry and life through this process. I’d also like to incorporate many of her flowers and symbols into my own space. I admire her–her individuality and courage to see and speak the world in her unique way–I want my garden to be a reminder of this.

I’m starting from scratch. When we purchased our home, it didn’t have a single tree, flower or shrub. I have a completely blank slate.

These are my plantings to date:

2 Day Lilies–planted in planters in July of ’07 (right when we arrived)Emily thought these flowers symbolized her, but I didn’t know that until recently.
4 bushes of Thyme
2 Weeping Willows (actually 4, but 2 died)
1 Weeping Birch
1 Tall Birch
7 Flowering Plums
3 Flowering Cherries (one was trampled by one of the horses and is now dead)
3 Poplars
3 Pine trees (can’t remember their names–will check the tags)
I’ve also planted annuals, but they’re gone–well, except for the ones that burrowed underneath the bricks–the Petunias–they came up again last year all on their own.
And last, Tomatoes–because I love fresh tomatoes.

What’s in your garden? What’s going to be new in your garden this year?

7 responses to “Emily’s Garden of Possibilities

  1. Love the concepts and ideas going on here. I’ve got a few staples in my garden: many Jet Star Tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini. Sometimes I’ll squeeze in a pepper plant, or a bit of carrots. And always the garden is ringed with many many marigolds. They say the marigolds keep the mosquitoes away – I don’t know how true that is, but I just love the bright look of them too.

  2. There are crocuses poking their heads out in the front yard. I live at my grandma’s house and she has had this house for over 30 years. Some flowerbeds could sure use sprucing up at this point! Maybe this will be the spring I will feel inspired to actually get my hands in the dirt and do something out front.

  3. This is a wonderful idea, incorporating Emily Dickinson and gardening. The fact that you’ve created a place to “be” is inspiring and thought-provoking. I share a beautiful flower garden with my sister, which we’ve planted together, every year since we were little. This has become a place to “be” – to be inspired, to think, to grow. We grow zinnias and stagger them in height, with the smallest in the front and the tallest in the back. By mid-summer, the garden is an amazing display of color and peace. It is so comforting to look right out the kitchen window, seeing the zinnias and a few hummingbirds too.

  4. HA! Funny you should post about gardens! So far I have sunflowers which are over 7 feet tall. A couple of them are getting ready to open! Oh, and African daisies and California poppies out in front of them also! I just planted another whole line of sunflowers further down the fence. I have a 6×6 veggie garden that I’ve planted with tomatoes, yellow peppers, marigolds, and a little herb garden. Can’t wait for it to mature IF, IF, IF the dogs stay out of it and quit jumping over my fence! GOOD LUCK!
    ~~Cheryl Ann~~

  5. emilydickinsonsgarden

    Cheryl–you are so spoiled in California–looks like you and Joanne have the same idea with the Marigolds. I wonder if they really work to keep the mosquitoes away because we do get those blood sucking pests in May and June–they tend to go away in late July. I’m going to give it a try!!!

    Jen–how amazing–gardening with your sister since you were little–that is a story in itself and has its own poetry–I’m looking forward to your input in this project–your insights about Dickinson and gardening.

    Kristi–you could probably learn a lot about your grandma by bringing back her flower gardens. I’ve owned two homes which were planted beautifully by the former owners–as each new flower bloomed through the season, I got a picture of who they were. No such luck at this place–it was a dairy farm–what’s blooming isn’t anything you’d want to take pictures of!!

    Joanne–I’m with you on the tomatoes and zucchini–I’ve never tried lettuce. I’m thinking this year I’ll plant a very small vegetable/herb garden. So far, I’ve only planted them in containers–which keeps the tomatoes from really spreading out. It’s though, because my husband hadn’t really defined the borders until this year–and I didn’t want to plant a permanent garden until I knew he wouldn’t be bull-dozing it.

  6. I worked in my herb garden today pulling out chickweed that’s already trying to take over. I have an old fashioned flower garden in front of the studio and we have a vegetable garden in a couple of spots behind the barn. The rest of the plantings are boxwoods, azeleas and some maple trees in front of the house.

    We bought part of an old dairy farm and got the half that was only pastures and woods, so we started from scratch after building the house. After 15 years, things are starting to look mature.

    This will be a good blog. I am looking forward to following. I think I’m going to one of the books. My son and I planted a small Native American garden a couple of years ago where we planted the beans and squash with the corn. We loved the stories as much as the garden.

  7. emilydickinsonsgarden

    Angie–how amazing–we bought old dairy land, too!! Has it really taken fifteen years for things to look mature?!? I wish ours had already had trees–like yours. I’m going to look at your pictures in a different way now.

    I love the idea of the Native American Garden.

    Thanks for following this–I’ll look forward to you helping me out since you’ve already been down this road. 🙂

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