Last week, I emailed Tim Gruner, our head gardener, to thank him for bringing me on to help out in the garden this fall. He emailed me back, and ended the email with this:


“As cold sets in I begin envisioning all the dormant energy waiting underground, in the buds, resting, restoring and preparing for a new season of growth. Imagine if you could actually see the energy; it would be a marvelous glow. That’s how I manage the cold and grey!” 

Tim Gruner, Garden Curator & Head of Horticulture


I loved his words so much I decided to write a poem inspired by them. Here it is, and I hope you enjoy it.



Buds beneath snow


Buds beneath snow

the dormant, the resting

the energy building;


It has fallen, for now,

decayed, retreated,



Fallen, and rotted,

and left—

bare, or hidden,

beneath snow, beneath earth.


Underground, out of sight,



all winter, as the days march on,

day after day of cold,

each day expected

each day known

by the plants, for they

have been here much, much longer

have known the cold, were born for it

born to weather it;

they are calm, they rest, they build,

up and up,

each day perhaps the energy is higher,

slightly higher,

slightly closer,

slightly more ready…

to burst.


Up, up, up! Fanning out, flowering.

The green first, and quickly followed

by the purple! the blue! the red orange yellow!

Exquisite, what a joy, what a lark! The abundance,

the beauty, the return—

return to air, fresh air, the breezes

on leaves, on stalks, on petals—

the sunshine! Soaking in the sun, after months

of thirst—

the sun again!


For now, we rest,

we restore,

we prepare,

we hide—

but imagine

if you could actually see

the underground energy…

what a marvelous glow!


That is how we manage,

the grey and the cold.


Matt Eighmy