This notion was driven home this past weekend for Bedrock’s owners, who after years of being on the giving end, were the recipients of garden do-good-ism. On Saturday, six nationally-recognized horticulture professionals converged at Bedrock on Jill and Bob’s behalf. They included Lee Buttala, Emmy Award-winning TV producer (Martha Stewart Living and PBS’s Cultivating Life) and current Director of Communications and Marketing for the Berkshire Botanical Garden; Cultural Resources Program Director for Naumkeag in Stockbridge, MA, Cindy Brockway; Executive Director for Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Bill Cullina; Michael Dosmann, the Curator of Living Collections at Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum; Joann Vieira, Horticulture Director at Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston, MA; and Jeff Lynch, Horticulture and Grounds Manager for Chanticleer Garden in Wayne, PA.
Generosity, in the form of a grant from the The Gladys L. Smith Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, made it possible to bring these folks together. They came to look and listen to Jill and Bob, to the Friends of Bedrock Gardens (FBG) board, and to community members. They offered their thoughts, expertise, and precise instructions on how to turn Bedrock into a public garden and cultural center for those interested in horticulture, sculpture, landscape design, and the arts.
The owners were awed. “They shared their weekend at high garden time,” Jill says, appreciating that they left their respective busy gardens in order to see Bedrock at its most bold and beautiful.
There was even some horticultural repartee. “I stumped them on two plants,” smiles Jill. “The [southeast U.S.] native, Croomia pauciflora, in the Swaleway,” and the Asian member of the sunflower family, Atractylodes japonica. “They, in turn, pointed out plants I didn’t even know I had!” (or thought were something else), including a black ash (Fraxinus nigra) and a maleberry (Lyonia ligustrina).
It started with Jill and Bob opening their home and hearts and sharing the bounty of their private acres with visitors for more than a decade now. It continues with the Friends of Bedrock Gardens, folks so touched by the peace, beauty, artistry--and yes, magic--of Bedrock, that they’ve joined Jill and Bob in wanting to see it remain in perpetuity for others to experience. And it will take a community to bring it to fruition. Thanks to the generosity of spirit that gardeners share, they now have a road map. ~ Lisa Peters O'Brien