Friday August 27, 2021 Most Recent Posts:
Camping on the Battenkill Prospect Rock
Arlington, Vermont Lye Brook Falls and Its Wilderness
In my previous life I was more of the museum goer. We lived relatively close to Washington DC and were members of the Smithsonian where we spent many thanksgivings eating in their members cafeteria. But in this iteration of my life as a nearly full time RVer, I seldom do museums preferring to be outside rather than inside. So that is my explanation for putting off visiting the Bennington Museum only 18 miles away, until nearly too late. What a mistake. I should have come on day one and several times over the month.
The museum is wonderful both inside and out. Just Beyond the parking lot is the George Aiken Wildflower Trail, a large woodland garden showing the many native plants and ferns that Aiken, a two term governor of Vermont and 6 term senator, “loved, grew, sold, wrote about and urged others to grow”. This trail is actually a series of connected trails winding through 6 acres of towering pines. I could have spent the entire day there and should have but didn’t want to miss the museum and didn’t want to have to do either on the upcoming week-end.
I love both the idea of this trail and the reality. Though late in summer there are fewer wildflowers blooming, I suspect these trails would be spectacular with the spring wildflowers and the unique benches. More about them to come. These trails were developed and are maintained entirely by volunteers individual and from groups. If I lived in this area I’d volunteer immediately. What a wonderful community treasure.
The next thing unique about these trails are the benches. There are 18 quilt benches along the trail created Jackie Marro. They were wonderful and reminded me of that time in my life when I was a hand pieced quilter as was my Great Aunt Carrie some of whose quilts I have inherited along with her quilting frame and for whom I honored my daughter with her name. She was a beloved figure in my life as her younger sister, my grandmother, died when I was 4.
I know Sue, who is a superior quilter, will enjoy these and the ones to follow.
I was particularly enamored of this bench which uses designs from the Jane Stickle quilt which is owned by the Bennington Museum. From the sign below I learned that it was made during the Civil War by Jane Stickle, a Shaftsbury Vermont farm wife who was an invalid. She embroidered her name and the words “In War Time 1863” on a corner of the 5602 square piece quilt surrounded by a scalloped border. The sign providing this information also said that because the quilt is so fragile it is only exhibited for a short time in the Autumn. I was so very sorry to have missed it but happy to learn all about it and see these patterns.
Even though I have provided all the information I learned from the sign, I include it for the picture of the quilt itself.
On down the path, I’m surrounded by ferns.
I arrive at what I came to call the crow area just beyond this lovely spot for a picnic with the tall flowers around. Look closely in the far background. That’s a crow sculpture.
Under the trellis were the metal crows and the crow quilt bench.
Like the other benches, the crow bench had not only an information card about the quilt pattern but also a poem by a Vermont poet. This one by guess who.
This path was lined by White Snakeroot
Also blooming in the garden while I was here were yellow and pink coneflowers, butterfly weed, Joe Pyeweed, and goldenrod among others.
Among the trails that go off the main one is the Jennings Brook Trail which goes along the brook and through the woods. No time for this unfortunately.
I did take the trail to the Secret Garden which promised logs to sit on, fairy houses to discover and eight butterflies in the trees.
I didn’t find all 8 of the metal butterflies but it was fun searching for them.
They didn’t mention that there were eatable berries on the trail. I was tempted but left them hopefully for a child to discover.
I did spot at least two doors to fairy houses.
Near the end of the trail were pages showing the story The Flight of the Honey Bee.
For sure Celia and Colin would love this and I wish they and their parents were with me. I have spent nearly 2.5 hours enjoying this garden and there is much more to experience but I need to get inside and see what is sure to be a fantastic museum.
This is truly magical. Lesson learned not to blow off places that are nearby. I'll bet the museum is a gem also.ReplyDelete
Lesson learned is to go see them early so if they are terrific you can go back again. The museum was also a gem. Coming up next.Delete
Your photos made me forget that my ribs hurt from a recent fall. I can imagine myself enjoying that beautiful trail!ReplyDelete
I am sorry to hear about your fall Gypsy but I can hardly ask more than to have my post make you forget about pain. What a compliment. thank you.Delete
These are beautiful.ReplyDelete
I love museums. Our national nature museum includes a garden with plants, flowers, grasses, and trees from four distinct ecosystems across the country.
That sounds wonderful William. It's amazing that they can keep things for such different ecosystems all growing in the same place. What a great place to learn about the natural world.Delete
What a lovely place!ReplyDelete
It was lovely Loree. I wish you could see it.Delete
What a neat place! A secret garden and a quilt bench trail-I would've love that and bet Celia and Colin would have too!!ReplyDelete
Yes you guys would have loved this and I would have adored having you with me. I have several Aunt Carrie quilts and one Cecilia quilt.Delete
That is a wonderful outdoor park for museum visitors. Enjoyed the pictures and your thoughts about it. Happy Thanksgiving.ReplyDelete
Thank you Tom. It was a great addition to the museum. I'm happy you enjoyed my pictures. The crow sculpture was unique.Delete
What a delightful place! I come from a family of quilters, although I never had the time to take it up.ReplyDelete
I hope you have inherited some of your family quilt treasures Laurie.Delete
What a great idea for a trail! Here in Michigan's thumb we have many old barns. They have now painted quilt patterns on them and have a trail of barns that you can drive along. My sister and I would love to do this as we have both done some quilting. I just finished one that my mother in law started before she died!ReplyDelete
I would love to do that trail Lynn. Is it in the UP? How wonderful to have finished something that your mother in law started. I'll bet it is beautiful and is now a family heirloom.Delete
Joe Pyeweed. Sounds like it would be a good name for a rock and roll singer. :cOReplyDelete
Paul you are so funny. What sort of music would Joe sing?Delete
Oh my goodness, what a wonderful place! And your compliment was much too much. I am not superior in the least. My only hand quilting was done on a big frame in a group of women and I would NEVER attempt to hand piece anything! whew. I am a machine only quilter. I am not even that great at it, but my saving grace is that I LOVE LOVE LOVE playing with the colors and seeing how they all look together. Which is why I love those benches on the trails. Just delightful.ReplyDelete
I thought it was one of the most creative things I've seen on the grounds of a museum. You are too modest. You are the main reason I included pictures of so many of the benches. I'm glad you enjoyed them.Delete
What an interesting and novel idea for a garden path. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
What a sweet garden! I love any kind of garden, but those with magical fern lined trails and art (like those quilt benches) are my favorite. I'm glad you reminded me about Joe Pye Weed—it's such a wonderful, tall plant, and is a great late summer bloomer. We had some in our Oregon garden. I'm going to see if there's any possibility we can grow it here in Florida.ReplyDelete