In 1908, a 400-foot, five-arch concrete trolley bridge was built to span the Deerfield River between the Massachusetts’ towns of Shelburne Falls and Buckland. Abandoned in 1928 as it became more economical to haul goods by truck, the span was transformed a year later by the Shelburne Falls Woman’s Club into “The Bridge of Flowers.”
The Bridge today remains under their care, with over 500 varieties of annuals and perennials planted and tended by local volunteers. This traditional New England flower garden — in continuous bloom throughout the growing season — is a magnet for bees, butterflies, birds, and human visitors from around the world.
We stopped by last weekend on a warm, buoyant, sun-gilded September afternoon to admire the flowering obedient plants, asters, phlox, turtleheads, and re-blooming lilies. But the dahlias — now at the height of their glory — were the real headliners. I spoke to a volunteer gardener who said that the dahlia tubers — which multiply with every season — are pulled up and stored in local basements over the winter. The many different generations of the same dahlia — like family members everywhere — are easy enough to recognize as you stroll down the garden’s long receiving line.
Here’s a link to more information about the Bridge of Flowers including directions http://bridgeofflowersmass.org
While you’re there, pay a visit to Nancy L. Dole Books & Ephemera, at the end of the bridge on the Bucklandside http://www.nancydolebooks.com
Here’s a related post on dahlias that I wrote a few years back http://www.lizagyllenhaal.com/the-dapper-dahlia/