Friday, May 31, 2013

A Magical Place; The Teaching Gardens.

The 15 mile journey from my home in Richmond to my office at St. Mike's is so different in the summer from what it is in the winter. Apart from the obvious differences in the weather, differences that can be just about as different as they could possibly be, there are also differences in the route I take. In winter, it is straight from the car into the building as quickly as possible hoping that I can park somewhere close. In summer, however, when the sun is shining and it's warm I always meander through the Teaching Gardens taking in the magical atmosphere, reading the plant labels and trying to remember which is which. At this time of year the growth and colors are quite remarkable especially after the recent rains. But it's not just the plants. I'm always drawn to the stone benches many of which look very much  like toadstools from Alice in Wonderland. Knowing the gardens' creators I am sure they are designed with this in mind. Is that where the caterpillar sat?

What is so remarkable about the Teaching Gardens is the number of  ways they can be appreciated. They bring to life childrens' books and stories:  I've just reread R.L Stevenson's Garden of Children's Verse; "The world is so full of a number of things. I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings". They help us appreciate flora of all kinds through raising our consciousness and awareness of their existence. I'm determined to plant flower beds this year as well as my annual vegetable garden. The latin names of the plants on the labels also remind us of the scientific interpretation of the natural world where species are classified into kingdoms and so on. And the stones, some as big as rocks, are a geological reminder, and perhaps, a metaphor, for what Vermont is all about.

Now, if I could just find a way of celebrating math  and bringing  it to life in a similar, naturalistic, creative  way.    

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