Although Rosie lived in Montreal for six year before returning to England in 1974, she never visited the Botanical Garden. Today we ramble through the many themed gardens and she is astonished by the diversity of plants that grow in our northern climate.
Rosie is especially drawn to the Amerindian garden. They have recently erected a tepee and we both crawl in through the flap opening. On our way out, Rosie’s hair gets caught on a piece of Velcro and we have to yank her hair to free her. This is something aboriginal people certainly never had to contend with. I leave Rosie in the Amerindian garden to write while I head to the Japanese Garden, which is just on the other side of a row of trees.
Rosie wrote these lines about the larch that she is standing in front of in the above photo.
Golden branched larch leaning
To a shaft of autumn sun
For a moment
Between summer and winter
The year’s spirit escaping with the falling needles
Soft, soft, silence…
Lotus ladies lolling in
Wilted soft crepe dresses.
And finally, she wrote this poem inspired by the huge standing rolls of burlap that we glimpsed earlier in the day.
Trolls, monsters, lurching mummies, looming
Leaning like lazy drunk companions
across the fence
Waiting while the days shorten and cool
To spread their soft protective fleece
around the sleeping plants
They are the unsung servants of the garden.