Garden Photo of the Day

The Bridge of Flowers in Massachusetts

Today’s photos are from a good friend of mine, Andy Engel, who also happens to be an editor at Fine Homebuilding magazine. He recently visited a place I’ve always wanted to go, so I asked him to share some photos. 

He says, “I’d passed the sign on I-91 in Massachusetts for the Bridge of Flowers dozens of times, but was always on my way to somewhere and never took the side trip. Last Monday, my wife and I were wandering home from a short vacation in Vermont. We figured the time would never be riper. About 15 minutes off the Interstate, the Bridge of Flowers is a 1908 concrete-arch trolley bridge in Shelburne Falls. The trolley line was abandoned in the 1920s and the bridge was considered an eyesore that would be too expensive to tear down. As a remedy, in 1928 and 1929, the Shelburne Falls Women’s Club covered the old bridge with loam and began gardening, a tradition that continues today.

The bridge was dense with blooming flowers that blue-sky September afternoon. My wife rattled off plant name after plant name, and dutiful husband that I am, I don’t remember a one. But it sure was pretty, and it’s a detour off the highway even this gardening Philistine will take again. Open from April until October, the Bridge is free for the looking.”

Gorgeous, Andy. I really do need to get up there soon. If anyone else has been and has photos, post them in the comments!

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  1. grannieannie1 09/17/2014

    Gardeners have the best ideas! What a grand and beautiful landmark for that town. And my guess is there would be very little weeding needed, too.

  2. perenniallycrazy 09/18/2014

    Talk about making great lemonade! This is definitely the gourmet kind. I hope to visit one day.

  3. user-1020932 09/18/2014

    coolest project ever! and that it has been tended for so long is yet another added feature to admire.

  4. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/18/2014

    Great upcycling! I wonder how deep the soil is? Looks very cool.

  5. NCYarden 09/18/2014

    DAHLIAS! ...and they're standing up! Love it. What a walk. I could be guilty of some serious pacing.

  6. mainer59 09/18/2014

    This is my first time posting in your new format. I'll try attaching photos. I visited the Bridge of Flowers a couple of years ago, end of July or early August, It is amazing, floriferous, and beautifully tended. The web site is
    Tim, they used 80 loads of loam, but I am not sure of the depth of soil. They have woody plants and must have some decent depth for them.

  7. lynn_felici_gallant 09/18/2014

    Well, since you asked, Michelle: here are a few pics from our trip to the Bridge of Flowers last year. Like you, it was a place I wanted to visit for years. Although I'm sure the bridge is gorgeous in every season, like Andy's pictures also demonstrate, it is particularly spectacular in autumn. These were taken in mid-October, 2013. P.S. I think I am holding the FG camera; I fully intended to one day post these on the GPOD. Thanks for the nudge, Andy!

  8. User avater
    meander_michaele 09/18/2014

    Wow, color me amazed and enthralled...what a stupendous gift to the world of gardening. There must have been some very determined and persevering visionaries in that garden club so long ago. And kudos to those who continue to put in the sweat equity to maintain it.

  9. user-7007217 09/18/2014

    I just loved this subject matter and immediately browsed the web for more photos. Well what I found was really special to me and hopefuly to at least a few of you who may also be 'watercolor- artist-wannabes' like me! i found this wonderful video by an artist that was painting the Bridge of Flowers..hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

    1. Meelianthus 09/18/2014

      Thank you for this link Nancy, although I am an oil painter, I really enjoyed the video and watching her method of painting. She is very talented !

  10. user-7007217 09/18/2014

    just one more can find them on Facebook by just typing in bridge of flowers and you can really see what it is all about and many many beautiful photos!

  11. wGardens 09/18/2014

    Wonderful! I have been there and loved it. Well worth the visit in my mind as along with this special garden, the town has "cool" shops to meander in. Right next to the garden is a fabulous place to eat that overlooks the river. And by all means, check out the Glacier Holes not very far away, walking distance, down the river. AWESOME!

  12. Nurserynotnordstroms 09/18/2014

    I can't wait to visit the East Coast(my bucket list is to visit every state in our Nation)this is definitely one place I will visit. I had never even heard of it before I love how upscyling started so long ago we just didn't have a buzz word for it. The Shelburne Falls Women's Club had some forward thinking members and I have this on my list. Thank you Andy for sharing these photos.

  13. MichelleGervais 09/18/2014

    Sorry about the sideways photo, everyone--it slipped past me!

  14. GrannyMay 09/18/2014

    Simply beautiful!

    Michelle, I love this format! You can right-click on each photo to open it in a new window and enlarge it there as we used to do. Perfectly clear and sharp! Plus you can just click on the comment photos to open those in a new window and enlarge them too.

    1. MichelleGervais 09/18/2014

      GrannyMay, that's genius! I right clicked on the photo and clicked "view image" and it popped up full-size! So cool!

  15. greengenes 09/18/2014

    Wow! What a treat for today! This is a wonderful project that has carried on so long! A beautiful bridge that I am so glad they weren't able to afford to tear down! I have always wanted to see the east coast some day and this will be one place iam going to! Great work to be carried on and on! Thanks Andy!

  16. GrannyCC 09/18/2014

    What a good idea. Congratulations to the Shelburne Falls Women's Club for continuing this work. It is gorgeous.

  17. schatzi 09/18/2014

    Michelle, this new format is awesome! Sharp, clear pictures. and the enlarge feature REALLY enlarges them. What a wonderful use of a former "eyesore" now heritage item and horticultural wonder. And the additional photos in the comments just add to the glory.

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