Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Field Trip Report: The Cloisters

Quince Tree
Espalier Pear
The Cloisters

The Cloisters is a museum devoted to medieval art. Part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it is located in the Upper West Side of New York City in the Fort Tyron Park area (a quick skip and a hop away from the George Washington Bridge. And you can see my hometown, Englewood Cliffs, NJ across the Hudson). I visited there on Fathers' Day. I was not able to explore the Museum and gardens like I would otherwise, as I was accompanied by small children, but the kids did the best they could and I fully intend to go back (though the 10 year olds and 14 year old loved it).
The Cloisters has a medieval garden and I had the opportunity to speak to a garden volunteer of 10 years for a few minutes- too bad I did not get his name. A lovely person, he took his time, despite the beating sun and heat, to talk to me about the standout quince trees in the garden (photo above). I love people with that level of enthusiasm and generosity of spirit! These 45 year old trees apparently produce only some usable fruit in the cool climates of New York, with the cool September and October breezes off the Hudson, but they are lovely and the flowers and fruits are highly fragrant. The volunteer also took the time to show my very bright nephew Ethan the candelabra-shaped espaliered pear tree (photo above) and explain how it was done -quite lovely.
The garden tries to be historically accurate, but, like all historic gardens, there is some guesswork involved. They have a lovely arum (the same I have posted on, Dranunculus vulgaris, that I also grow) and some interesting citrus fruits of the era (photo above) and a variety of herbs. The Director has an interesting garden blog, worthy of a visit (learn about skirret!) at:
Happy gardening!

1 comment:

Anita said...

Nice that you're able to go on a number of field trips throughout the year; feeding your spirit with the things you love.