Over the past month and a half, I have racked up many miles in my car, just a touch over 5,000 of them. Sundry reasons led me North, South, East, and West, traveling thru places such as Louisville, KY, Columbus, OH, Scranton, PA, Hartford, CT, Chattanooga, TN, New Orleans, LA, and Orange Beach, AL. When traveling, I am very observant of and fascinated by the changing elements. Whether it’s the weather, cars, skylines, or people, my unoccupied mind is sieged and overwhelmed with the redefining details of the road. One particular detail I take notice of, which should be no surprise, is the plants and the environments in which they reside.
Spring is an especially great time to hit the road, as you can observe several seasons all in one trip. One of my all-time favorite roadway companions is the Eastern RedbudCercis canadensis. Its impressive range, North into Canada, South down to Florida, and West into Northern Mexico, makes for a constant flux in its character. When I left Memphis for Columbus, the Redbud was in full bloom, with strokes of fluffy lilac pink across an emerald greenway..
By the time I hit the Kentucky/Ohio border, blooms were more compact and all but gone. As Columbus came and went, few leaves were on the trees, much less flowers, my eye instead meeting slender silhouettes of trees and ephemeral springs, flush with winter’s melt.In many ways, the road and the garden are one and the same. Both have paths changing before us with color, direction, texture, and rhythm. Both need constant care and attention, and many are far better than others. But one similarity, which I like, is that they are both leading us somewhere. Sometimes we don’t know where they lead, and that’s ok, as long as we are making the most of them from what they have to offer. Seasons come and go, and we experience them all on the garden road
By Nick Esthus, Japanese Garden curator
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Central Daylight Time Hours:
9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Central Standard Time (Winter) Hours:
9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
We are located at:
750 Cherry Road
Memphis, TN 38117
(Between Park & Southern)