I’ve stood here, gazing out at this view, a view I had not anticipated last March. Yet this has been a place I had wanted to be a part of again. Through years in that metropolis that lay down the highway, to the wild Grey paradise of those four years on Irish Lake, I have yearned to be back. Now, here, just out this door, was that city I had run from all those years ago.
Last year at this time I was in the throes of panic, wondering how I was going to pack up my 4 years into boxes. That cottage on the Lake had been another one of those things I had longed for.
After my marriage withered and died, and I had gathered my self together, I left my fledgling garden I had lovingly created. I couldn’t look back, and for more than a decade I turned away from ever having another. Yet, I dreamed.
Those years away, living on the banks of another, much larger Lake, I lived and breathed in the carbon fumes. I walked those well manicured streets, and yearned for something that I thought I would never have again. Tis very little of the wild available to one upon the banks of Lake Ontario.
This year, this spring, in this new place, I have the opportunity once again to create something from dirt. Again, as has always been and will always be, this garden is imperfect and full of challenges – as all the best ones are. Today this garden out my door is buried in several feet of snow, but my dream is for the wild beauty of a woodland. In time, everything underneath this big old Black Walnut tree just out the door will be mulched with green husks and spit of the colony of Squirrels that call this tree home, so this reality must be accommodated.
In my research into what plants are tolerant, I was delighted to discover that many of the wild, native and adapted wildflowers I love live under Black Walnuts – such as Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis), Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), Barrons Wort (Epimedium), Dog’s Tooth Violet (Erythronium), and Trillium. Other, more domesticated Perennials, such as Hosta, Primrose, Coral Bells (Heuchera) and Periwinkle (Vinca minor), Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) as well as various other ferns (Polystichum, Athurium etal), and of course Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis), are also tolerant.
My landlord has said I can do whatever I’d like, and I’m so looking forward to creating a little wild, forest garden right at my doorstep. I love gardens that seem to both enhance, yet seamlessly become part of the surrounding landscape. My desire is to create something that is, as in the Japanese style, in homage to the native landscape that is so often far, far away from the concrete and cityscape.
Here are a few of my inspiration shots I took last year around Dodge.