Poetry Garden

Let’s just say you have just bought .2 acres off of Agua Fria in a zone 3 residential neighborhood in Santa Fe. (Let’s say you are me!). And you don’t yet know exactly what the city will allow, or how much budget you have. But you have a vision to put up a poetry garden–text installed in numerous ways on this wild sunny lot. How would you hardscape? Would you add a little house or ramadas? Would the feeling be wet or dry?
For the moment–and this is that last moment–let’s leave practicalities out it. Please go wild! I need your fresh ideas, most particularly about how to put poetry text INTO a setting.
Soon enough I’ll be limited by realities, so now is time to dream.
Thank you! Do post below in comments section.

20 thoughts on “Poetry Garden

  1. Enjoy the process of deciding what you’ll do. We are mostly having immediate local plants, some literally seeds from a few yards away, rather than just buying in generic stuff.

    Also we want it to be informational with very few gimmicks so it’s restful. Of course we do have the red wheelbarrow and chooks. 😉

    warm regards,

  2. Wow, that is something to dream on for sure! A labyrinth? Tea house? Plenty of benches with nice landscape vistas to promote peaceful inspiration. Plant trees and bushes for tieing weathergrams. Here in Albuquerque at the Harwood on Mountain RD. there is a poetry circle formed by tiled benches that have been used delightfully for outdoor readings – or just for creative loitering. You go, girl!!!

  3. A ramada. A fountain in which water runs over a poem incised into a large slab of stone or clay. Or a fountain in which glass bubbles with words on them float so that they continuously recombine. Poem carved in a spiral around one of the posts of the ramada.

  4. Have you heard of a children’s book called Roxaboxen? It is about a desert place of play built by the imaginations of children. Make your poetry place about play and it will bloom. Could you have stones with words and letters like refrigerator magnets so people could make their own poems when they visit?

  5. Birdbaths and bird houses. One of your mini free lending libraries. A variety of languages represented (Spanish, Tewa, etc.). Restful areas with benches that invite reading and reflection. Water, if possible, in a pond or fountain. Sculpture. Landscaping with pathways. Subtle lighting for crepuscular moments.

  6. On a recent trip to the United States for Haiku North America 2017, I loved what I saw of the landscape around Santa Fe! I could imagine in your garden a meandering dry watercourse, with pebbled ‘ox-bow’ clearings partly-clothed with flowering ground covers, interrupted by an occasional trapped water-pool with taller sedges and rushes. Large rocks big enough to sit on, rest at places where paths intersect the dry riverbed. The stones could be incised with short poetry, poetic fragments, or haiku, as is done with rocks in Matsuyama in Shikoku, Japan. Or, as was described at a presentation at Haiku North America 2015, metal ‘leaves’ engraved with haiku or short poetry could be affixed to rocks. I’ve also seen wonderful ‘rusted’-finish steel panels with poetry fragments stencilled in open-work and mounted in the landscape. We have some of these installed around the Canberra region near where I live. You are so lucky to have a wealth of amazing artists working in metals, wood and stone in your area! Maybe you could cross-promote with them, showcasing some new talent. Plants could include clumps of hardy species with lots of leaf colour, like non-suckering bamboos, Australian Lomandra sedges and New Zealand flax, with the emphasis on strong and beautiful form. Honey plants for birds and bees such as Australian bottle brushes would probably do well there, even in snowy winters. I once designed gardens in Canberra and included several dry riverbeds. One day, I was given some lovely advice: a path does not go from here to there, but is a place to stop on the way to somewhere. Good luck for a wonderful adventure!

  7. This is Nina using Cheryl’s comment. The first thing that popped into my head is a tall pillar of some sort with poetry written all down it. And I agree a tea house would be wonderful.
    Cheryl says a food cart at the entrance. I say yes!

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