Pont de fleurs

Last year, in early June 2016, I went with some friends to visit Paradise Lot, the permaculture home of Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates and their wives, on 1/10 acre in the city of Holyoke, MA. I’ve not gotten around to blogging about that, nor about the other garden we visited nearby, the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, MA. But today — a chilly, rainy one here in New Hampshire — is the day to remember this visit.

The Bridge of Flowers was constructed in 1929, after fund-raising (of $1,000) by the local women’s club to implement Antoinette Burnham’s botanical vision for the former trolley bridge, which had been built in 1908 to connect the towns of Shelburne and Buckland for freight, local vegetable delivery, and passenger service. Once automobiles came along, though, delivery trucks soon superseded trolley service and the bridge became a weedy eyesore: “It was too expensive to destroy, yet it was not needed as a footbridge. It could not be destroyed partly because of expense and because it carried the water main to the Buckland side of the river.”

By the 1970s, the bridge had again deteriorated, and again the women’s club was asked to raise money to restore it, this time $580,000 for structural and other repairs. In 1983, reconstruction commenced: “Every plant, tree and shrub was removed from the Bridge and cared for in private gardens during the Restoration Project.”

You can read more details in the Bridge of Flowers website’s history section.

This is what the bridge looked like last June:

bridgeriverskyBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016WestEndPubandBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016

(We had lunch in that red building, the West End Pub, and it was very good, with great views. if you go, visit the basement bathroom and read about floods.)

Here we are, excited to see it!

KarenDonnaEdieMollyMaryAnneMarionSusanBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016

Near the entrance:

NodogsorsmokingsignBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016
Sign requesting no smoking, no pets, and no stepping in garden beds. Fortunately, photos are allowed.

longviewBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016
poppiesotherflowersbypubatentranceBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016

The sky was a bit dark when we began our walk:

vinelamppostskyBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016walkwayflowersstormyskyBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016

I think the darkness enhances the flowers’ colour.

Poppies were blooming!

pinkpoppycenterboostedBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016pinkpoppiesBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016insideorangeredpoppybestBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016

And peonies:

redfrilledpeonyBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016redfrilledpeonieswalkwayBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016yellowpeonyBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016walkwaypeoniesalliumsvinestreesBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016

Giant alliums, as above, and below:

giantpurplealliumorangemarigoldsBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016giantpurplealliumsBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016twobeesongiantalliumsBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016

And clematis:

purpleclematisBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016purpleclematisredbluebuildingsBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016

Irises:

gorgeousjeweledirisBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016gorgeousjeweledirisbBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016 blueirisblueamsoniaBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016

And yellow baptisia, one of my favourites; this one is called ‘Solar Flare:’baptisiaSolarFlareBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016

There were also Asiatic lilies (amid the white-flowered Anemone sylvestris):orangeredasiaticlilyinanemoneBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016

 And roses — this thistle-coloured rose smelled amazing!
purplerosesmelledamazingBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016
We liked this interestingly patterned mountain laurel:
KalmiaLatifoliaMinuetshrubBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016
Kalmia latifolia ‘Minuet’ shrub (mountain laurel)
A few odds & ends:
weepingevergreenBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016
weeping spruce
childrenlooseonwalkwayBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016
kids enjoying the garden
pinktreebranchBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016
branch of some kind of cherry or apple tree?
wisteriavineBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016
wisteria vine
wisteriavinelikeboaconstrictoraroundmetalBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016
wisteria vine like a boa constrictor on metal pipes
fountainwithflowersBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016
pool + fountain sculpture with flowers
Just strolling on the bridge was delightful.
walkwaylongviewplantingsBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016EdieMarionDonnaKarenDeanwalkwayBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016oneentrancetoBridgeofFlowersbShelburneFallsMA8June2016
JaniceEdieMarionDeanMaryAnnewalkwayBridgeofFlowersShelburneFallsMA8June2016.jpg
I hope to return again, maybe in July or September.

One Comment on “Pont de fleurs

  1. Pingback: Upcoming – A Moveable Garden

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: