A holiday gift that extracts nothing, needs no shipping, and nourishes the soil
On any walk through the palm garden, here and there you will come upon tall, neat stacks of palm fronds. True to his word that everything from the garden would remain in the garden, W.S. Merwin dragged fallen fronds to these carefully placed piles—he called them bio-piles—and they’ve risen up over decades. They honor the full cycle of life; palms enriched the soil, enriched soil nurtures new palms.
Fronds weren’t the only thing that amended the soil in William’s garden. For a long while, he put much of his mail out to compost. He didn’t like to throw anything away. (Where, after all, is away?) We learned quite recently that several poets who visited the garden just after William’s death tucked poems and notes of remembrance in among the fronds. It’s easy to imagine these notes, William’s correspondence and manuscripts shedding words into the soil.
This season you can send wishes to friends and family while nurturing W.S. Merwin’s palm forest. Make a $100 gift to The Merwin Conservancy in honor of someone you love—a friend, a family member, an organization you admire. Write a short message to the recipient and send it to us by December 23 (we will let the recipient know about your gesture by the next day). Early in the new year, we’ll tuck these collected wishes in among the fallen fronds of W.S. Merwin’s bio-piles, where they will return to the earth and enrich the soil. We’ll send both you and your loved one a special video.