Hoping that I could beat the Boston heat, I slipped away for a brief jaunt to the marginally cooler climes of western Massachusetts. Among my carpe diem goals in life is to visit every one of the Gardens of the Berkshires. This weekend, the stop was in Stockbridge at Chesterwood, the home and studio of sculptor Daniel Chester French.
The grounds were pleasant enough but--how to say this?--under-gardened. A long bed sported lots of black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia sp.) and monkshood (Aconitum sp.), along with some well-staked helenium. Serviceable, but not exactly the level of creativity that you'd expect to see in an artist's garden. There were lawns and woodland paths, too, but again . . .
An allee of flowering tree hydrangeas formed a promenade to the studio. Not exactly Giverny, but nice enough.
The most dramatic presentation of natural beauty that day was encountered elsewhere in Stockbridge: the thunder rolls and barrage of lightning bolts that accompanied a spectacular storm sweeping up the Hoosatonic River valley.