A Garden’s Just a Garden

A public arboretum has to be

Pristine. The lawns green velvet, manicured

By experts. There you’ll never see a tree

With dead or dying limbs. And it will list,

In colorful brochures, its trees and shrubs

By species and environmental needs.

And in the garden rooms the women go

Talking of Miley’s latest who knows what.

My private arboretum is a joke,

An afterthought, a postage stamp compared

To any of the world famous ones.

It’s messy, badly planted, overrun

With weeds and gophers and a lack of care.

The garden rooms just happened. “There’s a spot

With nothing in it. This will fit just fine.”

Is all the planning most of them received.

But if an arboretum’s meant to be

A place where you can recreate yourself,

Then mine’s among the finest in the world.

I walk on Ostia Antica’s paths

When underneath the pine trees that I grew,

And have a glass of wine while sitting at

A neighborhood piazza here in Rome.

When in my Secret Garden, I am back

In London. It is Easter. Glorious.

A short walk takes me to another room.

I’m at the Buchart Gardens, then at Kew.

And soon, with just a little work and time

I’ll recreate Descanso over there.

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