Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Garden Gates

I have always liked garden gates. At my new house, I have four that enclose the side yards on both sides of the house. They give the garden the feel of a secret garden, which I have longed for since childhood when I read English novels that described enclosed and neglected old gardens. 

Below is the deck immediately outside the kitchen door. We may eventually pull out this deck and replace it with kitchen garden beds, because this is the sunniest spot in the yard.

I'm inheriting the structure of a garden made many years ago. One owner lived here for 16 years until about 10 years ago. The perennial beds have been neglected, and I assume many have died, though dozens of daylilies and irises remain. I'll have to wait until next year to see them in bloom. Many saplings have seeded themselves in to the wrong places. But I love the mature "bones" of the garden, much of which is evergreen.  An azalea, large boxwood and what I presume is euonymous flank the gate leading into the front garden.

Here is the view looking in the other direction, toward the back yard. We've been able to place the bird feeder quite close to our kitchen and office window. It took the birds a couple of days to find the feeder, but they now flock to it in larger numbers than I ever saw at the old house.

Here is a gate leading from the back garden into the shady garden on the other side of the house. I'm not sure I'd ever seen a variegated holly before, but now I have one. We also have many mature dogwoods. I haven't yet been able to identify the low-growing, spreading shrub under the dogwood and many other trees on our property. One guess is leucothoe?

It's fun having a new garden to explore. A bit strange, though, to have to get acquainted with an entirely new property. I came to know the soils and sun patterns so well at the old place. 
I have not seen any bluebirds yet, so I put a photo of my former friend the bluebird on the header, as seen on the day before moving day. (Sadly, the movers seemed to have scared the bluebirds, and this was my last sighting.)