Monday, September 6, 2010

Other Gardens: The Fragrant Garden

Many SJG volunteers (if not most) share the love of the gardens in general; our in-between-tours conversations often focus on other worthy of visit gardens and it was from a fellow guide that I learned about Ethel L. Dupar's Fragrant Garden.  It is a private, walled garden designed expressly for blind people and located on the campus of The Lighthouse for the Blind; this weekend I caught the last of their annual 5 guided tours open to public.

Eastern Mint - Ellen L. Dupar's FG
The tour started with handing out 2010 plant list,  hand-wipes (for removing plant oils from fingers), and an announcement that a bag of coffee beans is available for tiered noses (it worked amazingly well, and was passed around constantly from somewhere half-of-the tour).

Then over an hour of hands-on, touch and sniff pleasure of contact with aromatic collection of foliage and blooms in raised beds and pots.  Helen Weber, Master Gardener of The Fragrant Garden and our guide, moved ahead with garden pruners and handed out fragrant branches, while explaining which plants attract hummingbirds or bees, which are culinary or medicinal and which parts of the plant hold the scent:  sometimes leaves, sometimes flowers.

Chocolate Cosmos - Ethel L. Dupar's FG
Somehow I didn't want to part with the fragrant snippets and half-consciously stuffed them in my pocket while moving along the tour; we were also offered cuttings of plants we might want to start at home: Fruit Scented Sage and Vietnamese Coriander.

No wonder  I was lightheaded  by the time I reached home after the tour - my car was a traveling orgy of coconut, curry, pineapple, chocolate, mint, orange, thyme, marigold, basil and camphor scents, all trapped in a small space.  For more  info about The Fragrant Garden visit Ethel L. Dupar FG website.

晴耕雨読 (seiko udoku) Literally: clear sky, cultivate, rainy, reading 
Meaning: Farm when it's sunny, read when it rains.

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