Located on the Western edge of O'dell Park, and accessible through its beautiful walking trails, is the city of Fredericton's Botanic Garden. While the year-round free admission and the beauty of the garden is enough to encourage anyone to visit, this summer there is another reason for poetry lovers like you and me to stop by. Headed by Dr. Stephen Heard of the University of New Brunswick Biology Department, this summer the Botanic Garden will be hosting an "Arts and Culture Bed", where plants are paired with music, prose, and poetry created by New Brunswick artists.
The plants to be displayed in the "Arts and Culture Bed" will be decided through the selection of poems in which they appear. For instance, a group of geraniums would be displayed alongside a poem about geraniums, or one which uses geraniums as its main image or metaphor, The literary work, as well as information about the artist and the plant, is to be displayed on panels beside the plantings. This attraction thereby provides a fun and unique opportunity to learn about New Brunswick artists, as well as local plant-life.
This project is very fitting for New Brunswick, as much of our province's artwork gravitates towards the raw, natural beauty which surrounds us. While working on my project Poetic Places Fredericton (which I will introduce in another blog when the time is right), I have had the opportunity to read works written by many New Brunswick poets, and I can almost guarantee that each one of them has written something about New Brunswick's forests, flowers, trees, or even the plants that some would consider weeds. This project is a clever way of bridging the gap between the poet's inspiration, and their expression of that idea.
The main entrance to the Botanic Garden is located at 694 Prospect Street, and the garden is open from sunrise to sunset every day of the year. Although there has been no date set for the opening of the "Arts and Culture Bed" yet, I will be sure to update this post when there is one.
For more information about the Botanic Garden, and a map of the area which outlines points of interest, please visit http://www.frederictonbotanicgarden.com/the-garden.
Thanks for reading!
- Katlin Copeland.