A Garden at theTop of the World

Photos of the Presidential Range like this one by John Compton enticed us to plan our trip.

Photos of the Presidential Range like this one by John Compton enticed us to plan our trip.

One day, about fifteen years ago when we turned sixty, a friend and I decided to hike along the Appalachian Trail in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. You may think this topic an unlikely entry in a blog about gardens and gardening, and it is. Except that within those rugged hills we quite literally stumbled into an enchanting garden of diminutive plants.

On a clear day. . .Lakes of Clouds hut and site of the alpine garden. Taylor Lenz photo

On a clear day. . .Lakes of Clouds hut and site of the alpine garden. Taylor Lenz photo

It took fifteen years and a chance exhumation of an old diary for me to recall our delight with our discovery and what we eventually learned about the lineage of this garden.

So, if you’d like to read a tale about how two sixty-year-olds managed to get in shape for a mountain hike of no mean proportions and visit a garden at the same time, I would invite you to go to Great Gardens listed in the sidebar and in the black banner above.

Fresh and ready to roll, Megs holds on to her walking stick which will come in handy later on

Fresh and ready to roll, Megs holds on to her walking stick which will come in handy later on

Click on the entry called White Mountains, NH. From there you can follow our story.

It’s a tale full of twists and turns (literally and figuratively) and a singular introduction to hiking in the White Mountains. You’ll hear, too, about some of the memorable hikers we met along the way.

Much of our hike was shrouded in clouds, so we took few pictures, none of them digital. We carried those clunky old cameras that weighed heavily around our necks, like mini-albatrosses. To prove to you that we were really there, we scanned our old pictures. To fill in some gaps, we borrowed pictures from websites or blogs, wonderful pictures taken much more recently—many on clear days when you could see forever.

Resting on he rocks and eating blueberries, my favorite part of the hike

Resting on he rocks and eating blueberries, my favorite part of the hike

For these, and for the beautiful photos of plants in bloom, we thank the photographers and hope we have given appropriate credit to them.

If you want to skip the hike and just go see the plants (we couldn’t; these particular plants were at the farthest point from GO), click on the entry called The Garden. What you’ll be reading about is an alpine garden, one of several in the Northeast and points north, amazing patchworks of plants tucked into mountain rock at the top of the world.

A stunning montage of spring blooms by 1happyhiker

A stunning montage of spring blooms by 1happyhiker

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Alpine Gardens, Uncategorized, White Mountains NH and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s