With the gift of good weather James and I have set out to
work in our gardens. This year it is somewhat of a different task.
While we were away in Umbria eating all the foods that were in season there, likewise, here in
New Hampshire a woodchuck was dining in our garden. It ate well. I
discovered this caper on my first real look at the perennial border. Something was wrong,
I observed large gaps where by this time in Spring young plants should have emerged.
The first big clue..... all the missing Tall Garden Phlox, there was without doubt a
critter in the picture and it was most certainly a woodchuck. Phlox is a known delicacy to
those garden raiders.
Strange, I though, other plants were also on the Missing List; a large stand of Astilbe,
Baptisia, and Coral Bells. Were these plants lost due to winter kill, collateral damage caused
by this digging varmint or simply eaten by it?
A garden restoration project was at hand. The damage was done but to keep from allowing any more James put up a critter fence, above ground and below.
We visited our favorite nurseries to replace plants, then got ready to get our hands dirty.
First on the list was to clean up the mess, filed holes and then prepared to replace plants.
Once the restoration was complete, then the usual weeding, edging
and mulching was left to do.
With the work complete it is time to share the view.
This is a private garden. It is tucked behind a wall and the house with a gate at the entrance.
It is an extension of our house and can be viewed from all of the windows on the southeastern side.
This garden is an intimate space where stepping out the back door lands you right into it's
midst and like any room it can be walked through. A small bench in the shaded end of the border provides a quiet place to sit. This is a very private place that requires an invitation.
OUTSIDE THE GATE
On the other side of the gate is another area under a stand of hemlock, this
is the Shade Garden. James and I ( mostly James) have been gardening
in these beds to stay cool and out of the sun.
Again I would say that this area is an extension of the house yet it goes beyond that,
inviting itself to be visited. The cool shade welcomes you to refresh
yourself and to sit and rest awhile.
After marathon weeks in the dirt, we have taken back our garden.
Time to take a break in the shade.
Spring Ledge Farm
New London, NH