Outside the Gate

I believe the future is only the past again, entered through another gate. ~Pinero

Outside the gateThe first thing visitors encounter when they come to my garden is the open space outside of the garden gate where the wild things roam – deer, rabbits, groundhogs, raccoons, and wild turkeys. The gardens have to withstand creature browsing of all kinds, so sturdy shrubs, trees, ornamental grasses and various herbs and native plants dominate the plantings. A terra cotta birdbath anchors the beds of herbs and native plants and the fences are lined with tall shrubs and trees that shelter and protect the garden behind the gate. This year, a self-sown woodland tobacco plant (Nicotiana sylvestris) makes a tall bold statement.

"Zelda" A narrow path along the north side of the house leads to “Zelda”, a face planter with golden Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa) for hair, and then to a patio that used to be a fenced dog pen. This is a favorite summer dining and lounging spot, shaded by tall oaks and cooled by a steady breeze from the north.

Opening the gate draws visitors into the lush gardens within; the arbor surrounding it stands as a defining symbol for the liminal space between the outside and inside gardens. Part Two of Opening the Gate, here are a few images of the “outside” gardens as they appeared to my visitors a few weeks ago. (Click on any photo to see a larger image. All photos ©2014 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved)

If you only knock loud enough and long enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.  ~Longfellow

26 thoughts on “Outside the Gate

    • Thank you for stopping by and commenting! My property is a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation, meaning that I’ve provided the habitat elements of water, food, cover, and places to raise young. While the fence keeps the big critters out of the formal gardens, the rest of the property is designed to support them without sacrificing its ornamental appeal. Very important to me and serves as my small contribution to Mother Nature and her creatures.

      • What a beneficial answer to promoting sustainable wildlife habitats in urban areas. Had a look at the FB page and find it inspiring that different ecosystems are highlighted and cared for.

    • Thanks, Robin. I do think of it as my sanctuary, so perhaps it truly is a sacred space. Each time I walk into it, I feel a smile deep inside and a sense of peace. Sometimes it is difficult to come in at night 🙂 I hope you can visit in person some day.

  1. Your garden sanctuary is beautiful Inside and Out! Now I have an idea for my extra pieces of Hakonechloa grass I just dug up (I’ll have to improvise my own Zelda 🙂

    • Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I would be honored to be linked to your blog; thank you for asking. I found your blog intriguing; my sister-in-law makes many hypertufa containers and I’ve thought of trying it for a new project. I love the Mud Maid at the Lost Gardens of Heligan and thought to try a build a smaller version of her, a companion for Zelda 🙂

  2. Kitty, I can just imagine your Bridie with her lime sweet potato hair! Aren’t they beautiful pots? I have lots of “faces” throughout my garden; maybe I’ll create a post about them 🙂

    As always, it is a joy to have you stop by.

  3. Such a sacred a spot you’ve created, Lynn. It gives my heart and spirit peace just to see the photos! I did have to laugh, though, since I have Zelda’s identical twin in my garden. Her name is Bridie, after St. Bridget, and, this year, her hair has been a mix of vivid lime sweet potato vines. 🙂 Thank you so much for the time you take to write and photograph such beautiful, beautiful posts!

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