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Saturday, January 3, 2009

How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence
Benjamin Disraeli

The little brick house was in desperate need of a face lift and landscaping as well. After many attempts and failures to capture the "French garden look", I settled on using textures and different shades of green to evoke the sense of peace I had wanted to emulate. What seemed like endless searches on the web for French gardens, resulted in the discovery of an exquisite place in Southwestern France that exemplified the mood I yearned for. On a trip to France in 2001, we stayed in the Perigord Noir but just missed this charming place by several miles during our excursions. With undulating patterns of boxwood hedges, the gardens at Marqueyssac speak volumes of peaceful silence. I had already started planting boxwoods in 1999 and had great success. To this day, these hardy bushes thrive and faithfully billow out tender lime-green shoots every Spring. However, the now lush garden that you see in the first photo started out as a muddy wasteland of despair. When we first laid eyes on our potential dream-house in December, we were not able to fully inspect the snow-laden backyard. When we moved in July, to our chagrin we were faced with a muddy wasteland of a nightmare. As you can see in the next shot, the very same location in the backyard as the first photo, required visionary eyes.
The men in the picture bravely cut down a large and sickly silver maple and an ash tree the first week we moved in. The mud problem was resolved but then we were left with ugly patches of grass and dirt. After months of contemplating, searching and making trips to various garden shops, the journey began. Our little garden may not be the most impressive one you have seen, but "How fair is a garden..." and to me, the garden at The Little House on the Northeast Side of Town envelops me with joy ...amid the trials and passions of existence."