This last trip through Hartford I stopped by the garden to make some small progress in the rehabilitation of Clerc's final resting place. We are still evaluating the outcome of the maintenance crews' decision to mow down the garden last year. While it may look bleak we are beginning to turn the corner so to say and the future looks brighter.
This trip I brought my trusty weed wacker and mowed the grass for the first time. This area of the historical graveyard looks like a meadow with its long grass. A path was mowed from through the tall grass to the Clerc enclosure.
The graveyard does not have many visitors yet but now they can at least find it and not have to wade through the tall grass to get to it.
I had weeded most of the garden during previous trips and made an inventory of what survived the mowing, the ground hogs and last summer's drought. No issue with water this year with all the rain. One area was savage and this trip was the time to tackle it.
But the good news is that several of our perennials survived despite being consumed by the weeks. While not yet large, three Lavender plants made it through and have established themselves. It is said that it takes bout three (3) years for them to mature, so we have a start but a ways to go. Someday soon I hope they will look like this.
With the savage area tamed it is clear what the devastation was and what needs to be done to repair it. At least there is now lots of room to plant!
Still working on a plan to deal with the Sword of Damocles hanging over the enclosure. Hoping that it stays intact.
Hoping to tackle tree and this invasive vine this winter when I can get a good look at it. In the meanwhile, I am making some progress on its felled neighbor. Despite some chainsaw malfunctions we are slow getting through this fallen monster.
While down this time I finally made it over to DMR Materials in Bloomfield, CT to scout out the stone for the enclosure. The plan is to remove the grass so there is no need for mowing maintenance on my infrequent trips through Hartford. Such difficult decisions. I will be visiting gardens this fall to get a sense of which stone to use.
Last but not least we have some good news on the Charles Michael Clerc headstone. It had either been vandalized or just cracked in the past 150 years. I was able to get by the tombstone folks and get a plan for its repair. Rick, from Daley-Connerton Memorial Company, was able to evaluate the best way to approach it. Some apoxie along the crack, which was sharp and makes for good adhesive bonding for starters. Then a cement footing just under the dirt will keep it good for the next 150 years. Here is a picture of the headstone Rick took while evaluating its repair.
If you would like to help make progress on the rehabilitation of the garden or with the cost of Charles' headstone you can go here to find out how to contribute... https://gofund.me/72cfa697 .
Here is Clerc Cousin, Darlene, telling us more about our garden fundraising.
And here is our Friends of Spring Grove Cemetery page where you will find some interesting stuff. So I will link some of Charles letters to this page and we will have a sense of the man beneath the soil. (https://www.laurentclerc.org/general-clean-8)