Friday, July 5, 2013

Natural Beauty And Open Space In The Green Mountains of Vermont

A view south from the peak of Mt. Equinox.  It is  easy to see why they are
called the green mountains.  On a clear day they say
you can see five states (VT, NH, ME, NY, MA).  ©2013 BDG
A recent trip to Manchester, Vermont helped me to appreciate a different perspective:  Open space.

I love the suburban town of Winchester, MA where I live, but the space is limited and big homes tend to be right on top of each other.  When designing gardens, often you are blocking sight lines into a neighbor's kitchen, covering a garage,  or limiting the sound from a busy street.  In general, people want to be enclosed in their landscape and have the privacy to do as they wish in peace.  It's not that people don't like their neighbors, in most cases, they just want to feel some separation.

Canoeing the Battenkill River.  Water is very high
from all the rain, so it was moving fast with
few rapids, yet quite a few strainers that can be
 dangerous.  ©2013 BDG
This past week my wife and I had a chance to spend a few days in the Green Mountains of Vermont, and for those of us not used to the openness on a daily basis, it is a wonderful change of perspective.  I often find that changing perspective allows me to appreciate more what is in front of me.

Instead of focusing on the plant or structure in front of you, you shift to the immense space and views around you.  In the suburban garden so much effort is spent on the details of stonework, plant combinations, color, texture and on and on, but in open space most of the details are lost for the big picture.

Looking west over one of the few remaining monasteries
in the world for Carthusian monks.  ©2013BDG
We spent a morning canoeing on the Battenkill River and from one perspective we enjoyed the mountains and the unobscured views of the natural surroundings.  In the afternoon we were on top of Mt Equinox and I could have spent hours just appreciating the 360ยบ view, listening to the sounds of the wind and birds and not focusing on any of the details.  

Beauty can be found in both suburban and rural settings and I feel that a regular change in perspective can help me to better appreciate my usual surroundings.

A wild carrot, I think maybe Zizia aurea.  ©2013BDG

Milkweed or Asclepias syriaca.  This is one of the major
food sources for Monarch Butterfly larvae.  ©2013BDG

No idea, but I loved the flowers.  ©2013BDG


  1. Lovely scenery on a mahoosive scale ! Wide open spaces ! Freedom !

  2. I've been to these mountains, too, and really love them. I love the paradoxical sense of contained openness, the way the mountains envelope so much open space. It's makes for easy breathing and seems to clear the head. :o)

  3. Fell in love with Vermont on a driving trip from Boston to the finger lakes. So true, your observation about changing perspectives.

  4. What beautiful views; it seems a wonderful trip. I agree with you --there is beauty in both suburban and rural settings, especially when one is open to it.

  5. Lovely photos' I also love natural beauty, the nature and the different things in our surroundings.

    Canadian Visa