when Ed met Bill…

September 1, 2011

bill and staff

A visit from Rocky Dale founder, Bill Pollard

It wasn’t exactly a surprise visit.  We heard Bill Pollard was coming to VT and we were hoping he’d want to visit Rocky Dale Gardens- his creation along with Holly Weir.

What was a surprise was how great it was to meet Bill and have the opportunity to hang out and walk the grounds.  I can only imagine what it was like for Bill after 10 years.

The closest way to describe the experience for me was to compare it to an adopted child meeting their birth parent for the first time. All the gaps in history were filled in and the mysteries solved.

Take It Down

take it down- billWe’ve been working on a lot of renovations lately and have taken a number of trees and shrubs out, but there were some lingering questions and choices to make. In a way it was perfect timing for Bill to visit. He generously walked the gardens with me while Oliver followed us with a chain saw.  In a way, perhaps I needed permission to take some things down, but the second opinion was definitely highly regarded!

Passing the Torch

stoneThough I’ve owned Rocky Dale Gardens since 2004, last week felt like the passing of the torch.  Bill bought this property with Holly because of the beautiful stone outcrop on the very west end of the property.  I did too and ironically we’re in the process of exposing that beautiful wall.  This is the stone we each bought that happened to come with a house.

The Central Garden

hazelsFor those of you who we haven’t seen recently, here is a glimpse of what we’ve been up to.  After years of observing and pondering, I decided to open up the gardens and create a central lawn.  The hazelnuts came out and the beds were pushed back.  We’ve been focused on this center the last two years and will move into the outer horseshoe ring that will take visitors through the conifer dell, the arbor and then along the ledges and the pond.  It’s a life’s work and you get to watch!

Friends with a garden in common

bill and ed Bill got over the his initial shock of the changes at Rocky Dale and we had a nice chance to get to know one another.  We share a passion for this place and when he left, I felt excited about what I’m doing, and Bill said he was really glad that they sold the place to me.  He knows it’s a labor of love- and hopefully it gets a lot of love for a long time.

Blooming in Bristol Village- the magnificent Magnolia ‘Daybreak’

Amy's hand and the blossom.

Magnolia 'Daybreak' and Amy

Magnolia 'Daybreak' and Amy

Magnolia 'Daybreak' and Amy

Michael Dirr

October 2, 2009

To those of you who made it to Michael Dirr- you have to agree that his talk was inspiring!  We may be crazy for loving unusual trees- but we’re in good company!  To those who didn’t make the talk- be reassured- there are still a lot of people who are passionate about trees.  What a great day!  Today I’m motivated!

Michael Dirr

I thought I’d pass along this announcement from Greenworks, (Vermont Nursery and Landscape Association).  If you’ve got the time- it would be a rare opportunity to hear Dirr speak- he’s the preeminent expert on trees today.

  • Tomorrow: October 1, 2009 Green Works-VNLA; VT Urban & Community Forestry Program & NE Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture present:
  • TREE TIME WITH MICHAEL DIRR at Middlebury College – Dana Auditorium from 9-11am.
  • SPACE STILL AVAILABLE FOR THE MORNING and we will be taking walk-in registration! Take the day off and come hear the fabulous and famous Michael Dirr speak about his passion.
  • Directions and Parking: From Rte 7 (north or south) follow the signs for Route 30. The Center for the Arts is about 4/10 mile down Rte 30 to the left. To park – turn at sign: Parking-Center for the Arts. Then walk northwest, up towards Route 30 and pass a giant Burr Oak. Cross Rte 30, pass a Serbian Spruce, turn right and walk down Old Chapel Road, heading north. Pass the state’s largest Littleleaf Linden at the end of this road. Dana Auditorium is the building on the right across Route 125.

Paulownia didgeridoos

April 16, 2009


Pitz Quattrone stopped by Rocky Dale to collect last year’s Paulownia trunks.  He creates didgeridoos out of them- a wind instrument that produces a vibrating resonant sound when blown into through quivering lips.  We tried it out with little success- better to hear Pitz play with his group the Earthman Band.

Click here to listen to Pitz explain the history of the Didgeridoo and hear the sound it makes.  Vermont Public Radio Interview.

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