Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Karen's Garden

We had a lovely evening at my friend Karen's yesterday, ending the long weekend with good food and friend, what could be better. I've written about Karen's beautiful woodland garden before, and yesterday I snapped some photos. It was not the best time of day for photos, but even still, her garden is beautiful.

One of the many things I love about Karen's garden is her re-use of materials, an old Yankee trait I really admire. The entrance to the garden is a picket fence made with old plaster lathe painted blue, and a rustic arbor constructed from lumber from their old barn, which was torn down when she bought the house. She constructed a brick pathway and patio area using old bricks salvaged from a local construction project, painstakingly chipping the mortar off and setting the bricks in a layer of sand. The re-use of the old bricks lends an instant patina of age to the area, making her young garden seem like it has been there a long, long time.

Karen always has an ongoing project or three. This year she is working on adding a small pond -- she's taking advantage of her son's help with the digging before he heads off to college in the fall. Next to the pond, she is constructing a covered bench made from rustic cedar fence posts, and she will train a trumpet vine to climb up over the bench creating a shady oasis overlooking the small pond.

Karen lived for a few years in Maryland before returning to Maine, and at one point was a volunteer naturalist for a local park. She learned a lot about native shrubs and birds and good bird habitat and it shows. Her garden, which 5 years ago was an overgrown mess of scrubby trees and brush, provides both open space and good nesting and forage for birds, and she makes sure there are plenty of places for a drink or a bath, too. Near a bench, a rustic bucket with a hole in the bottom drips into a birdbath placed below, providing a place for the visitor to rest and perhaps see a bird in the birdbath. The water dripping from the bucket provides movement and attracts the birds. I have several leaky buckets but I didn't think of that clever idea.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Ali! You make me sound so clever, and make my garden look great!

Ali said...

Well you are clever, and I'm just capturing what you've created.

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