Poetry in Bloom
We are planting poetry!
Together with our partners—Brookline Parks & Open Space and the Friends of the Minot Rose Garden—the Library is proud to present Poetry in Bloom. Beginning in April 2023, this project brings poetry to a beloved community rose garden in a local park.
The Minot Rose Garden sits within Winthrop Square Park, at the intersection of Browne and St. Paul streets. It was created in 1971 and named for Henry W. Minot, a former Chair of Brookline’s Park and Recreation Commission. In 2004, local rose enthusiasts formed the Friends of the Minot Rose Garden and worked with the Town to extensively restore the garden. Today, the garden features more than 70 rose varieties—from old-fashioned cabbage roses to the newest hybrid tea varieties—across 12 beds and a trellis. It is jointly maintained by the Friends and the Town, under the guidance of Master Rosarian David Cannistraro. To learn more about the Friends, please email email@example.com or visit their Facebook page.
The Library has selected five poems with a connection to roses to display in the garden. Once they are unveiled, check back to learn more about the poets and engage with the poems!
Winthrop Square Park is a ten-minute walk from the Coolidge Corner Library. Free street parking surrounds the park on Browne, Still, St. Paul, and Freeman streets. The nearest T stops are Kent Street and St. Paul Street, on the C branch of the Green Line.
Poetry in Bloom Workshops
The following programs complement the poems in the park. Click on the program title to learn more!
Flower Arranging – Tuesday, June 6 at 7 PM
- Flower Arranging, February 28 – See the instructor’s recommended books!
- Silk Painting: Flower Magic, March 5 – See photos from the workshop!
- Easy Rose Gardening, April 1
The Library has hundreds of poetry books, for all ages and in many languages! Look for books around the 811 section, or just ask a librarian. You can also browse poetry books in the online catalog.
Gardeners, we have books for you, too! Start with any of the 635 sections when you’re in one of our buildings, or try this catalog link if you prefer to start online.
But don’t stop there!
- Try a digital magazine from Libby: Poets & Writers, perhaps, or a special “Flower Gardening” issue of Better Homes & Gardens?
- There are LOTS of ebooks about rose gardening on Hoopla, including Roses Without Chemicals by Peter Kuklielski, The Kew Gardener’s Guide to Growing Roses by Tony Hall, and Right Rose, Right Place by Peter Schneider.
- If you believe poems are meant to be heard, not read, visit OverDrive (or search Libby) for dozens of poetry audiobooks—many read by their authors. Joy Harjo, Jericho Brown, Amanda Gorman, Ocean Vuong, and Mary Oliver are just a few of the voices in this collection.
- Try your hand at rose crafts—from watercolor to needlepoint to tissue-paper centerpieces—with help from free CreativeBug classes.
(Please note that some of the above resources are limited to Brookline residents, and some links may not appear to work unless you are logged in.)
Did you know that there are two other rose gardens easily accessible from Brookline?
The Kelleher Rose Garden is found in the Back Bay Fens section of the Emerald Necklace. Built in 1931 and extensively restored in 2001, the garden contains over 200 varieties of roses, a fountain, and a total of almost 1,500 plants. It is operated by the Boston Parks & Recreation Department and was named in 1975 for that department’s Superintendent of Horticulture. Located just across the Fens from the Museum of Fine Arts, the Kelleher can be accessed from Park Drive or the Fenway, and is convenient to the MBTA’s Northeastern stop (Green ‘E’ Line) and 55 bus. Learn more at emeraldnecklace.org.
The Arnold Arboretum’s Bradley Rosaceous Collection showcases 1,702 plants (338 species!) over 5 acres. 84% of these plants are members of the rose family (Rosaceae), which includes familiar rose shrubs along with vines and fruit trees such as apple, pear, and cherry. Though it focuses primarily on “woody” plants (trees, shrubs, and some vines), the collection incorporates herbaceous perennials to act as “living mulch.” The garden’s benefactor and namesake is Eleanor Cabot Bradley. It is located on the Arborway in Jamaica Plain, just inside the Arboretum’s Forest Hills Gate, near the Forest Hills MBTA Station. Learn more at arboretum.harvard.edu.