A few weeks after all of the visitors left my summer garden, construction began. The house and deck got a new coat of stain, a job delayed from the spring because of wet weather. Then the garden walls came tumbling down. When we moved here, terraces led down the hill supported by thick wooden ties. I was happy to have level spaces to plant but over the years, the wood rotted away, leaving only rusty metal spikes and crumbling wood on the hillside, as you can see in this
photo. It was too dangerous to even step in the beds! Fortunately, by June the plants had filled out and covered the bad bits during my garden tours this summer, but I was ready to have my vision of curving stacked stone walls put into place.
It broke my heart to dig up the hillside in early September so that work could begin – this was a favorite spot for birds and insect pollinators and the Rudbeckia were in full bloom. My friend and colleague Bill Lucki of Natural Garden Design agreed to tear out the rotting wood ties and replace them with stacked stone walls, so I set to work moving plants to make way for the construction project.
Ten days after construction began, the walls were complete and ready for re-planting; Bill and Ron did a fabulous job!
Other parts of the garden continued to bloom and thrive during this process, and as I began to replant the hillside, it started to settle in and look as if it was always there.
While the weather holds, I continue to plant and dream of next year’s bloom among the handsome stone walls.
“To dream a garden and then to plant it is an act of independence and even defiance to the greater world.” ― Stanley Crawford