Teen Volunteers Explore Plants and Poetry

July 21, 2020 Trystan Popish , Volunteer Coordinator

Nature and creativity have long been intertwined. Meticulously cultivated gardens or wild, untamed flora have inspired many writers and poets throughout the ages. In a recent virtual program, plants help cultivate creativity in another group of young poets: the Gardens’ teen volunteers.

In the program, 12 teen volunteers learned about different authors and garden enthusiasts, including Agatha Christie, Emily Dickinson and Michelle Obama, to name a few. Then the teens tried their hand at creating some nature-inspired “blackout” poetry.

Blackout poetry is a process that involves taking an existing piece of writing and “blacking out” or deleting words from it, leaving behind only the words of the poet’s choosing. To create the poems below, the teen volunteers used words from past blog articles about plants written by Gardens’ horticulture staff.


most humans are staying at home, plumping up in anticipation of longer, warmer days, waking up and blooming
I have been snapping lots of photos of these blooms
things are staying busy, and that’s a great thing
awesome plants, calming sense of beauty, and flower explosion
vibrant greens, blues, purples, yellows and reds, full of life!
- Izzy B., from Tender Cactus and Succulent Collection 


All life has a glimmer of joy.
All truly shine and grow.
They fill us with patience, persistence and willingness
But all life matures and begins to damage and reduce within over time, for many years to come.
- Alex Y., from Shade Gardening in Colorado 


Waiting for March,
warm weather, 
early bloomers, 
Crocus, Galanthus and Helleborus shine,
beginning to look like March.

The sunny skies, Monday afternoon,
allowed photos of crocus open,
bright orange stamens,
lovely contrast to its lavender petals,
the pale gray venation of the blossoms, 
orange stigma sticking out far,
found in the lower meadow.  

Pasque flowers, buttercups, and pixie iris; 
Still closed up deep in the shadows,
Waiting for March.
- Josh O., from What’s Happening in the Rock Alpine Garden This Week?



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