Friday, May 13, 2011

Gardening: "My Garden" - Part Two, Annual Beds

There is a certain natural symmetry to the one side of my driveway. That it is natural is an assumption on my part, but it certainly is symmetrical. Two trees of identical height and girth stand parallel to one another. The space between them is just wide enough for a man to pass through with arms spread. The two trees just begged to be part of some landscaping setup.

We always figured that these two trees would mark the entrance to the side yard. We planned for white stone surrounding a stepping-stone walkway. That walkway would lead to an English garden with a bench for relaxing and perhaps sipping iced tea on warm summer afternoons.

The evolution of the side yard, however, has developed quite differently. The English garden has not materialized so far, but a fire-pit has. The resting bench is now beside a fern garden at the base of a big oak tree, and instead of gazing at lavender, we stare out into the woods. The stone walkway is instead a tarp-covered storage tent. But those two trees are still a gateway.

A few years back, my brother-in-law brought us two bronze-painted, five-foot (plus one foot base) Hindu Temple Guard Statues made of concrete. Each has four arms and an ornate outfit. We can't stand the idea of parting with them, unless someone offered a huge amount of money. They fit perfectly at that natural-looking entrance - one in front of each tree.

At the base of each tree, following the contour of the larger roots, is a round annual bed. I built them several years ago out of local stone. With some help, I filled them with dirt and mulch. Each year I choose flowers to fill them. Most years I purchase impatiens, and match the two beds to each other. One year I planted impatiens in one and petunias in the other, but both of the same color.

These two beds were the first that I built for myself. I have maintained them the longest of all our little gardens, even if Mr. Farmer still handles most of the watering. I would have to say that they are the gardens that I first felt were "mine".

Neil (on the Left)
Bob (on the Right)

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