“Twenty-five topiaries made of living plants will take over the gardens this summer—fourteen of which have never been seen before! The animal topiaries are filled with plants to mimic the colors and textures of fur, skin, scales and feathers. UNESCO Natural Heritage Sites inspired the animal topiaries and the plantings that surround them. Visit sea creatures from the Great Barrier Reef, a show-stopping peacock from India, a majestic bison of the plains and more”
We even met the artist Karen as she was outside hauling bags of mulch. Laura, Mary and I were walking to meet Charlie at dismissal time. Laura said “I have a surprise for you.” And she walked me to this home of yard art extraordinaire.
Karen explained how she made the carrots with pool noodles and showed us a photo of her winter snowmen made with the same methods.
Dorothy Holley’s Iris from her garden are in the photo below replanted by fellow poet and friend Liane Norman, who is the author of I Dug Up the Iris
I Dug Up the Iris
in Dorothy’s garden to plant in the soaked
soil of mine, memorial to her each spring
when they’ll open complicated ruffles
and flourishes, purple or blue with speckled
throats. They’ll rise out of rhizomes
sprawling at soil’s surface like the joints
of my old hands anchoring the tall
stalks and frilly petals. This morning
in the brief breath of cool I dug shallow
trenches for this legacy, this pantry of pollens
the bees prospect, insects with lives
beyond what the mere gardener knows.
Liane Ellison Norman, a Madwoman in the Attic, has published two books of poetry, The Duration of Grief and Keep(www.smokeandmirrorspress.com). She has published poems in 5AM, Kestrel, North American Review, Grasslimb, Rune, Voices from the Attic anthologies and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Her poem “What There’d Been” won the Wisteria Prize in 2006 from Paper Journey Press.
A loving husband, father of three, and a proud grandfather. A brother, a teacher, a gifted musician, gardener, and woodworker.
And our beloved cousin.
We’ve just returned home after celebrating Paul’s life during a Memorial Service at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lenox, Massachusetts last Saturday the 20th. Paul would have loved all the music- the singing, the playing of the organ. It was beautiful. Poignant.
The cousins drove in from Vermont, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. After the service we gathered together at his home to share stories and memories.
I felt moved as I entered Paul’s workshop, behind his home, and inhaled the scent of wood. He could repair things, too. See his tools all lined up? His grandfather’s toolbox on the bench. There’s a wooden toy box in my home that Paul crafted for my son, Mark.
Paul was a master musician, organist and vocalist. He had a beautiful singing voice. I remember his playing our family piano when he’d visit our home. J.S.Bach was a favorite composer.
Paul’s favorite cookies were my mom’s recipe for Sour Cream Cookies. His wife Susan baked them for the family gathering after the service. My mother baked them for a Paul in the sixties when he’d visit our home. That kitchen was in Morris Plains, New Jersey and he’d visit when he was on leave from the US Army -Ft. Dix, New Jersey.
It’s hard to sum up a life in a few words. Paul was a blog follower and told me one time I was a little heavy on the photos showing decay. You know those abandoned buildings and discarded furniture pieces, the garbage I post? 😂 We’re going to miss his laughter, his kindness, his generous heart- full of love for all of us.