The other day, I hiked Mt Monadnock, the majestic 3,165 foot mountain here in southwestern New Hampshire. I chose my favorite route, a 2.4 mile long path on the North side of the mountain called the Dublin Trail. I started out with snow shoes but enough people had already been on the trail that boots with MICROspikes (a sort of portable, pocket-sized crampon-like traction device) was all that was needed. I like hiking in the winter and experiencing the, sometimes harsh weather. In this case, it was a clear day about 28 degrees F.
Whenever I am hiking, I am always looking for inspiration for the garden. I liked all the bark interest on the birch trees about half the way up the trail.
The vertical trunks against the snow--something to emulate in my evolving woodland garden
This tree had a great trunk with character
In the early 1800's a series of fires denuded the upper part of the mountain of most of the vegetation
There are still wind-blown red spruce and scrubby shrubs as you approach tree-line
The Dublin Trail and the Marlboro Trail merge near the top of the mountain
A view of the Pumpelly Ridge on the northeast side of the Mountain
The Peak of Mount Monadnock
When I got home, I took this shot of Monadnock from my garden. I continued to be inspired by my hikes in New Hampshire. Right now, at this time of year, it is the combinations of conifers, trees with interesting bark, and the structure of the shrubs that remind me of all that the garden can offer in the long winter months here in New England. As much as I love (and often incorporate into the garden) all the enticing exotic woodies that I discover at places like the Arnold Arboretum (a future post) I remain committed to making the woodland garden feel at home here in New Hampshire.