Leaving the Garden

Leaving the Garden

I wrote several years ago that the garden we leave at night is not the same garden that we return to in the morning. It is just as certain that the Arboretum I arrived at in September of 2014 is not the same Arboretum that I will be leaving at the end of February. Trees have been planted, and trees have been cut down. People have left our little community, and we feel a sense of loss. Some of our local wildlife has also left the premises, and the sense of loss is, shall we say, not as pronounced. Hundreds of plants and thousands of bulbs later, I wonder whether I have made any positive contribution to the long-term bien etre of the Arboretum, either as an institution or as a garden.

Gardening is like that. We gardeners work hard to establish a plant, or a bed, or an entire garden, but all our work can be negated by a single storm, or by a herd of deer, or by the actions of others. Gardening has taught me persistence and patience – not that I always possess those virtues in adequate measure, but at least I have learned to recognize and appreciate them. It has also made me a little more optimistic. Gardeners and farmers are often heard to say, "Things will be better next year." Sometimes they are.

I leave Reeves-Reed Arboretum with many things left unaccomplished, but with the hope that I have contributed something to the gardens and its visitors that may survive my tenure, if even by a few months or years. I wish my colleagues, my friends, and the garden well, and like others of my clan, hope that things will be better next year. They will certainly be different.

Marc Montefusco

Director of Horticulture