Saturday, July 5, 2008

my little secret garden

Yesterday, the electrician told me that I have beautiful gardens, and that his wife is a master gardener.

What a nice compliment, coming from someone who must have a magnificent garden at home.

It got me thinking about how my yard has transformed since we moved in years ago. Our backyard was a blank slate. It was all grass, weeds, and a corner of hosta plants. That was it.

One day, I envisioned a field of daisies growing in my yard. I went to the hardware store, bought a big metal rake, and started digging up the massive weeds that were growing on a slight slope in the back yard. That was the beginning. I had no clue about gardening, but I was determined to bring some beauty to my dreary yard.

I don't have a field of daisies, but I do have a perennial garden where the weeds once lived. In fact, I still fight with the weeds more than ten years later. They are stubborn. Occasionally, I let the pretty ones live.

Over time, I have divided the resident hosta plants, and spread them around the yard. I'm not a big fan of hosta, but they do serve a purpose in a shady yard. Plus, they are free and multiply like rabbits.

Fencing in our yard last year was the best thing we've ever done. Now, the dogs are part of my garden. They have created their own favorite "zones" where they like to hang out, munch on plants, sniff for bugs and critters, lay in the cool ground cover, and hide behind trees and shrubs. I have incorporated the dogs into my plans now. They had been making their own "path", so I decided to make it permanent and put down some rubber mulch to keep their feet clean. I am avoiding using plants that are easily crushed in areas where they like to play. I want them to enjoy the garden, not get yelled at for destroying my astilbe.
I read in the paper today that if you plant anise in your garden, it will have a similar effect on dogs that catnip has on cats. I will have to look for that at the nursery, and add some to the dog part of my garden. That could be entertaining. Maybe then they will stop eating my coneflowers.

Every year, I add to the yard, whether it be plants, decorations, or hardscape. I like whimsical things. When we added the white garden gate and stone walkway, Jeff said it was "Hansel and Gretel" like, which was just the feeling I was going for. Storybooks. Fairytales.

This year, I added a door to a tree, for the elves. Every garden should have some elves and fairies.
What I like most about my garden is the secrecy of it all. No one knows it is here. You can't see it from the road. Even my next door neighbors can't see it. We had a friend come into the yard once. He had been to the house dozens of times, but had never seen the back yard. He was surprised. "Wow, it's nice back here," he said.

It is unexpected. My little secret garden.


betty said...

Your secret garden and place for elves and faries are delightful.
Did you ever see the movie My Neighbor TOTORO?
It is an animated film from Japan. It was distributed in English for the American audience. There is a magical tree and a garden of earthly delights. I think you would enjoy it.

Sara loves dogs said...

I have not seen it. I will have to check my library to see if they have it.

I keep seeing previews for the Kitt Ketridge movie, based on the American Doll series. I told Jeff yesterday that movies like that make me long to be eleven again. Just eleven, not the years before, or after. Just eleven.

betty said...

You will LOVE Totoro.
When I first opened your blog, the space with the photo of the tree was blank. When I reopened, it was there.
I have a bit of Alice's potion, so the next time I visit, I'm going through the door.

Sara loves dogs said...

I requested Totoro from my library. So, hopefully I will get to see it this week.

Kage Davies said...

Ah, Totoro is wonderful, you'll love it :3.

That is... just... the cutest door o.o. I can't think of a better word. I need a door for my trees :o.

Sara said...

I got the door from They call it their elfin tree door.

I think every garden needs one!