A Restorative Garden

While we are still feeling the effects of our local tornado, it is healing to move to the out-of-doors and be a witness to the contrast and beauty that nature provides. This week we gathered with friends in an a neighbor’s azalea garden, a woodland garden filled with over a thousand mature azaleas and large rhododendrons where pathways entice guests toward several garden rooms deep inside.It’s in a central area of the woodland garden that we met our friends and neighbors, the first gathering since our own Ware Neck tornado that brought wreckage to areas close by. We could offer comfort and condolence, hear stories of bravery and courage, and still we could appreciate the miracle of the garden that surrounded us. Almost every one of the azaleas in the garden was propagated by the owner, Art White, at his home in Maryland. He then transported truckloads of his plants to Ware Neck when he moved here. He allowed his azaleas to grow to their full height and he appreciated a full range of colors. The lavenders, purples, reds, pinks, and whites are like a big box of Crayola Crayons spilling across the landscape. Betty White, his wife, considers it a labor of love in the azalea garden, caring for the plants, sharing them, teaching propagation, and opening the garden for causes. The garden has opened for Historic Garden Week and this weekend, there will be  The Secret Garden Tour to benefit Rosewell Plantation in Gloucester.

Thank you for the garden visit. Gathering with friends, weathering the storm together, giving us back our feeling of well-being. We needed that.

Ann Hohenberger, The Garden Club of Gloucester

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