“If you are inclined to look for the meaning of life, get thee to a garden. There are profound reasons why the garden is central in the sacred texts of major religions. Since ancient times, it has been the place where the soul goes to exercise, while simultaneously engaged in a multilayered dance with earth, plants, sun, birds, bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, night and day, temperature, the faithful earthworm, water, minerals, fragrance, a cast of thousands of microorganisms, our stalwart friends the fungi, chlorophyll, nectar. I think of it as a ballet in the biosphere.” ―George Ball, “Spring Is Here—Why Take a Break?” The Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2014
I took the photograph accompanying this post last summer in upstate New York, while on vacation at the Chautauqua Institution—a Victorian Era community that rightly takes as much pride in gardens such as this all over the grounds as in the picturesque architecture that has led it to its designation as a National Historic Landmark.