In mid-October, when the deciduous trees are decked out in vermilion and gold, and the air is crisp and the sun is shining, I enjoy taking Lily the Beagle for long walks. Would you like to see what we see when we tour the gardens here? Join us.
Now, before we head outside, let me offer you a slice of this lemon tart…
Which will go very nicely with this French-pressed coffee.
What’s that you say?
You’d rather sip something a little “stronger” than coffee?
Note: Gardens always look better when one is sipping a martini.
Now click your heels three times…
SWOOSH! We’re in the Boxwood Garden. I grew most of these shrubs from cuttings, just as you can. In the distance is a pair of dwarf, weeping, ‘Red Jade’ crabapple trees. The trees are heavy with fruit.
Looking at the back of the house, we can see trees at their peak of autumn color. The big building on the left is the main house (built 1826). The small wing with eyebrow windows is the original structure on the property, built in 1796.
At the far end end of the boxwood garden is a bluestone path that ascends the north hill. Shall we climb these gently-rising steps? Try to hold your martini steady. Every drop of gin is a precious drop of gin.
And our view, looking west. I planted the hedge of arborvitae several years ago in an effort to screen out the swimming pool. The arbs were skinny little things then, but they are enormous now — probably 17 feet tall. Birds find winter shelter and spring nesting quarters in the evergreen boughs.
I’ve cleaned up most of the beds. In one, I recently planted garlic. And a day after planting, squirrels dug up the bulbs. They didn’t eat them, because they loathe garlic. They simply pulled them out of curiosity.
To stop the squirrels’ squirrel-ish behavior, I covered the garlic with inexpensive chicken wire. The wire is weighted down with pieces of lumber (bricks or stones would work as well). I’ll remove the weights and wire in spring, or whenever the garlic sprouts.
And by the way, if you haven’t planted your garlic crop yet, and you live where winters are severe, you’d better get hopping. The bulbs need time to make roots before the ground freezes solidly. Rooted garlic can survive sub-zero temperatures. How I plant, grow, harvest, and store garlic.
Shall we check out the pool garden?
Between the pool and kitchen gardens are 2 boxwood-edged perennial beds, with an old arbor between. The arbor marks the entrance to the Woodland Garden — the former site of a garbage dump.
The woodland is littered with leaves just now, but I will not attempt any clean-up until spring. Leaves provide winter protection for the myriad ferns, sweet woodruff, and other shade-loving creatures that dwell in this garden.
And the other leaves on the property? I’ll shred ’em and use ’em this way.
Ever seen a blue heron take flight? The bird looks so…prehistoric. Because it is.
Well. You must be exhausted by now. Shall we head back to the house — or at least to sea-level?
Who said chivalry is dead?
And looking down. Would you like to see this garden in its springtime glory? Here goes.
At the base of the Serpentine is the teeny-tiny Herb Garden. Do have a seat while I mix up another batch of drinks. Then, as we sit and sip, you can tell me about your own garden, your love life, or anything else that pops into your head. My ears are liberal to a fault.
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