The Secret Garden is a book written by Frances Hodgson Burnett in the first part of the 20th century. Up until two weeks ago, I had never heard of it.
See, I am not much of a reader. I wish I was, but it doesnt really seem to fit my personality. My father: voracious reader. My wife: sacrificed a week of sleep to start and finish some vampire series. My daughter: recommended The Secret Garden to me.
I guess I would rather take on a project than a book, and at what may be a much larger disconcerting issue, at 9:30 at night I would rather watch Sports Center.
Is that wrong?
Like most Americans, Ive seen the movie and not read the book. And thats the case of The Secret Garden. It is an amazing book/movie about a group of children who discover a run-down garden that opens their eyes to the power of living things.
Hopefully, many of you have that Secret Garden.
Recently, a newly formed group, the Durango Botanical Society, has undertaken a new garden that wont be so secret. Located between the Durango Public Library and the Animas River Trail, the project will transform a grassy slope into an ornamental demonstration garden. If you have traveled along the trail lately, you most likely have seen the start of the makeover large machinery, big boulders and a bunch of dirt.
As with any garden at the home, the school, the business or the library the process is not always the fastest or tidiest. So we ask that you are patient and dont mind the dust. Within a couple of weeks, we will start planting, mulching and developing a pathway. After that comes more plants, more mulch, some interpretive signs and artwork.
Then, just like your garden, we start adding the touches that give it a personality. In my familys space, this might include the reading nook/rock and arbor (obviously not for me), the driftwood fence or maybe the bindweed. Oh wait, maybe others share my skill of growing bindweed.
The demonstration garden at the library is the child of many from board members to volunteers. However, it must be noted that a shovelful of soil would not have been moved if it wasnt for the design and implementation of Lisa Bourey and Chad White. One of them (Bourey) has a knowledge of plants that would make Linnaeus jealous, while the other (White) can pick up boulders the size of a Prius and somehow place them like they had been there thousands of years.
And somehow it all works. Even now, with no plants, or mulch or much of anything besides dirt and rocks (did I mention rocks?) the space looks better. But we need your help, as much of what has happened already has been the product of volunteer time, in-kind contributions and a couple of generous donations.
Stay tuned and visit our website (www.durangobotanicalsociety.com), for educational, volunteer and donation opportunities and to see the amazing design of Durangos new, and not so secret, garden.
email@example.com or 382-6464. Darrin Parmenter is director and horticulture agent of the La Plata County Extension Office.