poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘remnant gardens

garden escapes: abandoned gardens and what becomes of them

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I am so happy! I have just won a Creations Grant from artsnb (the New Brunswick Arts Board). The project is to write a book-length poetry manuscript on the subject of garden escapes from abandoned New Brunswick houses and communities.


The landscape of New Brunswick is changing. As demographics shift towards populated areas, communities are abandoned. When gardens are left behind, some species die out, some thrive and some migrate, finding favorable conditions in adjacent properties.


foxglove Williamsburg

For example, in Fredericksburg, an abandoned community near Stanley, foxglove crowds the ditches; and near Carroll’s Ridge south of Canterbury, no homes remain, but forget-me-nots turn the woods blue. Although local people are aware of these escapes, the stories of the gardens and gardeners are mostly lost.

forgetmenots and lupins


The subject of abandoned flower garden escapes is the matter of poetry. The names of abandoned communities and of plants, common and scientific, provide a lexicon of poetic words. Abandoned and escaped gardens involve all of the senses: sight (pink of the foxglove flowers), sound (calls of birds who find new habitat), smell (scent of flowers), taste (sour stem of an abandoned rhubarb plant) and touch (the thorniness of escaped raspberry).


I am looking forward to taking you on my adventures this summer as I search out abandoned houses and communities, look for remnants of the gardens left behind and capture these remnants in poems and images.


So, I won’t be staying home as much,

but I am still going to be staying safe!

All my best!





Written by jane tims

July 1, 2020 at 7:00 am

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