Garden Days at The Cloisters
Posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Visitors enjoy a tour of Bonnefont Cloister garden during the 2009 Garden Days celebration. Photograph by Nancy Wu.
Since its doors opened in 1938, The Cloisters—the branch of the Met devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe—has been beloved not only for its extraordinary collection of medieval art, but also for its gardens. Planted in reconstructed Romanesque and Gothic cloisters, the Museum's three gardens—Cuxa, Bonnefont, and Trie—evoke the quiet, contemplative spaces inside a medieval monastery. As a vital part of the Museum, they reflect continuing scholarship and developing historical research about medieval horticulture; they also serve as a restful and pleasurable attraction for visitors.
Every spring, we invite the public to join us for Garden Days, a special celebration of the gardens at their peak. This year's programs will be held on Saturday, June 5, and Sunday, June 6, and will explore the role of plants in medieval horticulture, medicine, artistic production, literature, magic, and folklore, with a particular focus on trees. Frances Reidy, consulting arborist, will discuss caring for our trees, such as the espaliered pear trees and the venerable quince trees of the Bonnefont garden. Deirdre Larkin, the Museum's Associate Managing Horticulturist, will offer lectures about trees and woodland management in the Middle Ages. Gardeners from The Cloisters will be on hand throughout the day to answer your questions about the care of our gardens and the plants that grow in them. Hour-long general tours of the gardens will be offered twice each day. And families with children ages four through twelve will enjoy "The Medieval Forest," an hour-long workshop in both English and Spanish that explores the flora and fauna of the forest as represented in works of art in the galleries and in the gardens themselves.
To learn more about medieval gardens in general, and the gardens of The Cloisters in particular, visit our blog, The Medieval Garden Enclosed.
Emma Wegner is the Education Assistant at The Cloisters Museum and Gardens.