The Marjorie Powell Allen Chapel, masterfully sited where the prairie meets the woods and overlooking Powell Gardens’ main lake, epitomizes the end of a bountiful season.
The Heartland Harvest Garden America’s largest edible landscape was a monumental planting operation finished on schedule in June — still wonderful in fall crops as photographed from the observation silo on November 20, 2009.
The horticulture staff are the folks who take care of the plants in the Powell Gardens’ landscape. I am thankful for all their hard work and accomplishments from the Heartland Harvest Garden to the Visitor Center, core Island-Rock & Waterfall-Perennial Gardens, Grounds and Greenhouses. It makes me think of a poem titled Garden Meditation by the late Rev. Max Coots I received from Seed Savers Exchange in 2001:
Let us give thanks for a bounty of people.
For children who are our second planting, and though they grow like weeds and the wind soon blows them away, may they forgive us our cultivation and fondly remember where their roots are.
Let us give thanks:
For generous friends with hearts and smiles as bright as their blossoms;
For feisty friends as tart as apples;
For continuous friends, who like scallions and cucumbers, keep reminding us that we’ve had them;
For crotchety friends, sour as rhubarb and as indestructible;
For handsome friends, who are as gorgeous as eggplants and as elegant as a row of corn, and the others, as plain as potatoes and so good for you;
For funny friends, who are as silly as Brussels sprouts and as amusing as Jerusalem artichokes;
And serious friends as unpretentious as cabbages, as subtle as summer squash, as persistent as parsley, as delightful as dill, as endless as zucchini and who, like parsnips, can be counted on to see you through the winter;
For old friends, nodding like sunflowers in the eveningtime and young friends coming on as fast as radishes;
For loving friends, who wind around us like tendrils and hold us, despite our blights, wilts and witherings;
And finally, for those friends now gone, like gardens past that have been harvested, but who fed us in their times that we might have life thereafter.
Gardener Tracy Flowers maintains the Kauffman Memorial Garden, here helping with finishing touches in the Heartland Harvest Garden.
Senior Gardener Marie Frye is in charge of Plant Records and Plant Collections; our propagator of native plants! Photographed marking a white prairie blazingstar at Friends’ member Ona Gieschen’s native prairie.
Senior Gardener Mark Gawron maintains the Island Garden and rain “Bog” garden below the Visitor Center. Photographed enjoying the extraordinary fragrance of the Miss Jack Anise Magnolia blooming last spring.
Horticulturist Anne Wildeboor is in charge of Seasonal Displays and Events, which includes the seasonal flower beds around the Visitor Center, Conservatory Displays and as photographed, with centerpieces for events like the First Taste preview opening of the Heartland Harvest Garden.
I want to give thanks to all the guests, Friends members and donors to Powell Gardens so that we may help you celebrate the Midwest’s spirit of place and inspire an appreciation for the importance of plants in our lives.
A bountiful Thanksgiving to all in 2009.