Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Emily Dickinson's Roses

I had a wonderful day today visiting with Oakland University Distinguished Professor Emerita Jane Eberwein! Dr. Eberwein is an internationally renowned scholar of Emily Dickinson's work, and we are so fortunate that she has been willing to share her expertise and enthusiasm for our garden.

I also had the distinct pleasure of working with Oakland County Master Gardener DaniAnn Connolly, who volunteered her skills to help us obtain a cutting of a Harrison's Yellow rose bush from Emily Dickinson's Homestead garden in Amherst, Massachusetts. To the best of our knowledge, Emily Dickinson planted the rose bush herself.

Thanks to Dr. Eberwein's kindness, Emily Dickinson's roses will hold a very special place in our garden. Dr. Eberwein is also working with me on a curricular level to link some of Dickinson's poetry with the flowers in our garden. (We just might have more of Dickinson's plants coming - more on that soon!!!)

DaniAnn worked diligently to choose the perfect cuttings. We are so incredibly grateful for her care and consideration for this historical plant.

As I am an Oakland University graduate (GO GRIZZLIES!), it was a special honor to work with such an acclaimed OU professor in this capacity. I was honored that Dr. Eberwein made the time to collaborate with us. Emily Dickinson once referred to herself as "a Lunatic on Bulbs," and "identified with the orange tiger lily... [she] sometimes called herself Daisy, for a flower that symbolized innocence. She associated certain richly scented flowers, like roses and jasmine, with men and women to whom she formed emotional attachments." As Dickinson's passion for flowers helped to inspire my original idea for the garden, she absolutely should be represented in the West Bloomfield High School Literary Garden.

DaniAnn has planted the cuttings, and now we are trying to cultivate patience as we wait for the roses to develop roots!

Please join me in thanking Jane Eberwein and DaniAnn Connolly for all of their help and guidance!

If you would like to donate to our Literary Garden, please click here.

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