09 May 2008

Beautiful Rocky Hills

Last weekend, on a beautiful sunny day, we went to visit a nearby private garden that was open as part of the Garden Conservancy's Open Days program. It was glorious. There were lilacs just beginning to bloom and hellebores still hanging on. There were ponds connected by a little stream. There were paths through the shrubbery, and wooden benches deployed in apposite locations. And there were forget-me-nots everywhere, blindingly blue.



Yesterday, I was on the train home when I spotted a woman sitting a few rows away, facing me. I thought she looked familiar, but it wasn't until we both stood up to get off at the same stop that I was sure. It was the nonagenarian owner of the property that we'd visited, and she was wearing the same huge and distinctive earrings that she'd worn on Sunday. I asked "Are you Mrs. S___?" and when she said she was, I introduced myself and told her that I'd seen her wonderful garden earlier in the week. We chatted, and as we were crossing the overpass, I asked if she had a ride home. As it turned out, she didn't and I offered her a ride back to her house. I sort of don't know what came over me - usually I don't talk to strangers - but somehow it just seemed like the right thing to do.

The thing is, she's made plans so that her garden will become a public garden, owned by the county, with a conservation easement so that it can't be developed. And that's a selfless act, giving that beautiful garden to the public. I figured the least I could do was drive her home.

17 comments:

Waiting Amy said...

It is indeed beautiful. And how fortunate to meet and talk with such an interesting lady!

I think places like that are the reason I'm reluctant to leave the northeast. I'm not sure I'll find quite the same experience in other parts of the country. There is something special about these places.

I grew up right by Longwood Gardens, established by the duPonts. I still miss it terribly.

Aunt Becky said...

What a lovely lady you met. And what a kind thing you did.

kathy a. said...

what a wonderful post! and great story. lovely gardens. it is so stunning that you were able to offer a ride to this woman on the train.

Mama Zen said...

What a beautiful thing to do - both of you!

MotherPie said...

If you enjoyed the garden so much, it only follows that you would enjoy the gardener! How sweet to offer to give her a ride. I'm sure you made her day.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Kismet!

painted maypole said...

lovely.

Janet said...

what luck to run into her...and be able to offer her a ride home! That was so nice of you :-)

Mayberry said...

It's like a metropolitan diary moment. Fun!

flutter said...

Gorgeous!!

Ozma said...

Wow, so beautiful. I remember some time spent in that paradisical NY summer time.

Ah, the word shrubbery makes me laugh. I'm sure you probably know why, also.

womaninawindow said...

What a neat chance meeting...meant to be? And as to "boys will be boys" over at my place, yes, I do think boys and girls are mostly the same...and then something strange comes up to make me wonder.

MadMad said...

Wow. You have the best stories. That's awesome!

Victoria said...

So generous - the lovely lady and the nice ride-giver. Beautiful pics...my heart aches for "up north" gardens. The red clay and sand down here don't help me out much.

Lovely pics.

Eva said...

Love the garden, love the act.

Melinda Zook said...

Wow, that is a beautiful garden! What a nice person do so something that wonderful. Man, I wish I could visit that place, I love, love gardens!

wheelsonthebus said...

When we were in the UK, we were National Trust members so we could visit the nearby estates and gardens. But, you got to chat with the owner of such a lovely garden!