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.