Physically, gardens must have boundaries. Mentally, they can reach to the limits of the known universe. ~Tom Turner
The first significant snowfall of the season brought out the beauty of the garden and its bones, its structure. Devoid of color, the 4″ of fresh white snow highlighted the shapes of fences and arbors, benches and shrubs, the lines of tree limbs and last year’s grasses.
You mustn’t rely on your flowers to make your garden attractive. A good bone structure must come first . . no matter what time of year. Flowers are an added delight, but a good garden is the garden you enjoy looking at even in the depths of winter. ~Margery Fish
The patterns of paths and plantings were a mere suggestion where the snow fell most heavily.
The weeping cherry tree marks the center of the garden of circles.
Even as I begin to plan this year’s garden and plant the seeds of flowers, the structure of the garden speaks quietly to me in the depths of winter – “build . . . build . . . you will not regret it.”
A garden is half-made when it is well planned. The best gardener is the one who does the most gardening by the winter fire. ~Liberty Hyde Bailey
This coming spring will mark 19 years of making this garden, but for the past few years, I have struggled with natural disasters that have rearranged the garden structure as well as struggling with mobility issues of my own. We had our our small upper deck rebuilt last March – we knew it needed repairs but the builders discovered that it was built improperly and rotting within. The rebuild was perfectly executed and we were able to add an attractive cedar ceiling on the underside of the deck, an unexpected bonus.
In July, lightening struck a massive white oak near the house, damaging it beyond saving and wreaking havoc on the electrical systems of the house. It took months to repair everything and the dying tree was removed in October. (Angel inspects the oak tree in happier times)This month, we enclosed the space where the oak had stood and extended the tall fencing almost to our property boundaries, adding privacy around our patio and a safe entrance from the house into the enclosed woods for Angel. Later this summer we will add another arbor to mark the entrance gate like this one on the other side of the house.
My own physical structure has required some rebuilding as well. Arthritis and bursitis has kept me out of the garden for the past two years and at times I wondered if I would ever really garden again. Fortunately, physical therapy and multiple lifestyle changes have restored a great deal of my mobility over the past few months. I realize now that the garden and I have moved through de-struction and re-building together, partners of a sort. It has been a challenging journey for us both but one with lasting rewards . . . and just in time for spring.
All gardens are a form of autobiography. ~Robert Dash