Anyone who has called or visited SBS during the daytime hours has spoken to our wonderful receptionist, Carolyn Flower. Last week we put out a call for blog submissions from the community and Carolyn was the first to answer. Among Carolyn’s many talents and interests is her passion for gardening. Her blog submission focuses on her garden, with a specific Stoneleigh-Burnham School spin.
Many amazing educators have graced the Stoneleigh-Burnham School halls. They have left their mark on our school, but their influence has spread, like seeds in the wind, to Carolyn’s garden. Her words are timely as the weather in Greenfield has us all hoping for spring!
Working outside in the garden is a long awaited event especially after a winter as hard and punishing as this past one. The arrival of anything green poking up through the soil has the power to remind me of the way my garden has filled up over the years with so many cultivars. As I walk through the garden, I am able to remember all of those who have contributed to the beauty, so many of whom have also contributed so significantly to Stoneleigh-Burnham in their own way.
Hosta and a beautiful early yellow rose were given to me by Edie Lipp, a former ESL teacher who always had such a patient interest in sharing knowledge with her students.
Janice Hanley, a former English/Shakespeare teacher, has contributed roses and salvia that have thrived in my garden. It is hard to imagine a more engaging and enthusiastic teacher or a more energetic gardener.
Beth Stinchfield is a current science teacher who inspires stewardship within her students. She has a wonderful garden that includes plenty of vegetables to sustain her table. She donated to my own garden a stately and towering hosta that greets anyone who finds their way into my shade garden.
Linda Mahoney is our art teacher and her garden reflects the principles that are taught in her classroom. Color theory, repetition, proportion, perspective are all evident in her beautiful, harmonious, floriferous garden. It is both visual and painterly. Thanks to Linda, June is rose month in my garden.
Math teacher Linda Beaudoin has an interesting approach to her garden where one can see her mathematical mind at work – the careful placement of her plants reflects harmony and balance.
Andrea Patt, Director of International Programs, has been dedicated to working on international programming at SBS. Her garden contains shrubs, roses and plants that have braved and survived many New England winters. I am reminded of her contributions with one of my favorite plants, betony, an ornamental herb with scallop-edge leaves.
Dan Verdery was an English teacher at SBS who passed away a few years ago. He was a demanding teacher in the classroom and an adventurous gardener at his home in Northfield. He gave me many gorgeous plants, perhaps the loveliest of which is a Chinese Buddleia. When it blooms in the spring and impresses all who come by I can’t help but be reminded of Dan’s big personality and grand contributions to School.
Spring is always a busy time at SBS. We will host events for alumnae, for our graduating seniors, and for all the families who are part of our community. When my special plants emerge from the thawing earth I will be thinking of each teacher who has shared so generously, ever mindful of the considerable amount of time and energy they have contributed to the School.
– Carolyn Flower, Stoneleigh-Burnham School receptionist