Sunday, August 27, 2006

Three Gates And A Fountain

When we first moved to our present house, and I started (naively) gardening, I was soon introduced to the critters that came with the place, and called it home. One of my first purchases was a half whiskey barrel, which I plopped down on the back deck, and filled with flowers, which in retrospect was akin to ringing the dinner bell. Within days the plants were being chewed off, and stomped down by something that was obviously climbing up in the planter for lunch. A few days later, from an upstairs window I spied a groundhog up in the barrel, chewing placidly on a marigold. I ran pell mell down the stairs, but by the time I blasted out the back door, he was gone. A week or so later, I again, from an upstairs window, spied him in the barrel, ran downstairs, and he was gone. I looked everywhere, and couldn't fathom how such a slow, lumbering animal could get away clean. I spent hours looking for his burrow on the nearby hillsides, and never found a thing. It was only a few years later, when we tore off the old decking to replace it, that I found his burrow snugly placed right under the deck.
Well, after many false starts, I finally came to a compromise (read: surrender) with the resident critters. I've fenced off one acre in back of our house for our garden... the rest of our land is for the wildlife. There are three gates from our backyard into the garden, which we can see from the back door: the main gate is pictured above, and the other two gates are shown below. It does very much make for a "hidden" garden. When you enter the main gate, it's as if you entered another, shadier world. We've placed a fountain right by the entrance, shown below, which gurgles to greet you. Hidden gardens always sound very romantic; what they don't tell you is what you're hiding the garden from! Posted by Picasa

Have just moved to almost Wisconsin, Illinois, from Memphis, TN. We are starting to garden on two very bare acres. (scrub trees line the back, but no other plantings remain)

I look at your pics every day, as inspiration. It's encouraging to see your beautiful landscape, because mine has such a long, long way to go.
Your garden is so inspiring. I would really feel intimidated by your knowledgeable writing if it were not for your sense of humour! So often, I laugh out loud in delight: thank god you're human! :)
Sissy & Kati... I like to think of myself mainly as a proponent of time and persistence; if you keep plugging away, the garden takes on a life of its own, and almost leaves you behind.
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