The Tankerhoosen Valley is home to a most unusual garden - a daffodil labyrinth. The daffodil is, of course, one of the earliest flowers to bloom in the spring so that when this geometrical shape emerges from the lawn we know that spring has arrived.
The labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness and is found in all cultures and religions. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering, but purposeful, path representing a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. A labyrinth is not a maze as there is only one path in and you return by the same route. Since you don't have to engage your logical left brain, your creative right brain is set free. People often take a thought or problem with them on this inward journey and are pleasantly surprised by the result.
Labyrinths are scattered across Connecticut - inside and outside churches, at retreat centers and on private land. They are constructed of anything from grass to gravel to paving stones to flowers. There are over 50 registered labyrinths in Connecticut, most open to the public.
The only labyrinth in the Tankerhoosen Valley is located at the Tolland County Agricultural Center (TAC) at 24 Hyde Avenue (Rte. 30) next to the new Rockville Bank building and near the Tolland-Vernon line.
It is very unusual because it is seasonal - a spring labyrinth made from flowers. When the yellow daffodils of spring appear in late March so does the labyrinth. As the daffodils fade in April violet grape hyacinths appear to hold the pattern into May. As summer arrives the labyrinth is mowed and vanishes until the following spring. The TAC Daffodil Labyrinth was planted in the fall of 2008 with 800 daffodils, each accompanied by a grape hyacinth. It is located right behind the parking lot and is easy to find. Visit our web page for more photos and links.
The Tolland County Agricultural Center is one of the most underappreciated recreational and garden areas in Vernon. Not a Vernon park or facility its features are not promoted locally and we may not take note of what is there from the road. Besides the Daffodil Labyrinth there are a number of experimental gardens that you can visit as the season progresses including rain gardens, a butterfly garden and a People’s Garden. The Blue Blazed Trail runs through the property to a pond, a babbling brook and a series of marked hiking trails. TAC’s website is a bit out of date and doesn’t begin to describe what is available. This Google Map view provides some perspective of the area. TAC is a place for you to explore and discover - before the spring blooms fade.
Tank Gardens are from The Tankerhoosen website at www.tankerhoosen.info. Visit the site for information and stories related to Vernon’s Tankerhoosen Valley.
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