Her name is Bernadette, and she’s been living in the same light green ranch house, around the corner from our rabbinical house in Norwich, CT, for more than 50 years. When she’s not tending her own garden, she’s beautifying the rock garden along the road.
After two hours or more heading northeast on I-95, this strip of rock garden is what always welcomes us to the neighborhood. Ahh, we’re here!
I’ve been watching this roadside garden for three years, and this is the first time I stopped to speak with Bernadette. She didn’t want her picture taken, but was happy to tell me about how the petunias and pink ice plants (oscularia deltoides) and moonbeam coreopsis bloom year after year. “I only planted here once,” she said proudly. “Everything self-seeds.”
And, she pointed out, she also takes care of the strip across the street. Here it is, on Sunday, in early fall. I’ll be checking in and posting photos of this extraordinary example of civic pride all year ’round.