Monday, December 20, 2010

A Room of One's Own

First, there were the days of garden dreaming. Looking out the window that was really too high to see anything when one was sitting down, as one tends to be in the house. There was a new baby to be nourished, cuddled and hopefully put to bed occasionally, hardwood to be installed, walls to be painted, baseboards to be put in place and upgrades to hideous light fixtures to consider. Of course, there was the unpacking to be tackled, but that could wait. Back to the dreaming. And back to the garden. For that was really where one imagined being with chortling baby.

[window too high that wanted to be a door]

The garden needed a fence, it needed earth - yes, the previous owners has filled the back garden with gravel - and it needed plants - galore. So we started planning. We put in a fence, we took out gravel, we brought in good earth. We ripped dead stuff out. And then we had a place to play and a place to plant. But something was still missing. There was no place to sit and just be in the garden, and we still couldn't see out into the garden when we sat in the house. Back to the drawing board for Phase II.

We decided we wanted a cobblestone patio with a small cedar deck, large enough for the BBQ and a small table and chairs set, to become "one" with the garden. So, the landscapers came, and ripped out earth and sod, reshaped some of the beds we had created

and planted two beautiful trees (of several more to come), a Ulmus americana 'Brandon' (Brandon Elm) and a Prunus maackii 'Jeffree' (Goldrush Amur Cherry). I *love* the bark on this one, it is a real four season beauty.

[bronze satin bark of Goldrush Amur Cherry]

The stone patio went in and we had one day to enjoy it before it snowed. The cedar deck had to wait until the last little warm spell arrived and the carpenters went madly at it to finish it off. And then it snowed again.

But there is now a door. So I can look out to the winter garden and begin the dreaming time again. Sitting in our home these Christmas holidays will be a little brighter this year as we wait for the garden to awaken. And then, Phase III, the planting time will begin. The thrilling time, I should call it. :)

Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing about you. ~Marsha Norman

I hope you are all enjoying Mother Nature's quiet time to dream new beauty into your own verdant corner of the earth.


Amy said...

You have a beautiful setting with all the trees surrounding you. It is evident that a lot of planning and thought was put into your garden.
Also, what a difference you made by putting in the door! It looks great.
I look forward to seeing the changes in the spring and I bet you can't wait to make them.
Have a wonderful holiday! :) Amy

Marguerite said...

I am terribly envious of that stone patio. I have dreams of such things but budget and other projects are in the way. You must be so anxious for spring to come so you can get out and enjoy your new space.

ruthie said...

How wonderful to read here of the steps you have taken in creating your spaces. Enjoy being able to look out over your garden & the dreams of things to come. It all looks so beautiful! x HAve a wonderful christmas time x

Anna said...

Oh how exciting ! I am sure that you will enjoy many hours in your new creation ~ dreaming, dining, planning and idling. The trees sound gems and I look forward to reading more about them. Hope that you enjoy Christmas with your family and wishing you happy gardening in 2011 xxx

Diane said...

how lovely to see what you see. And you have chosen some really appropriate quotations to go with your commentary. May you and yours be blessed with a magical Christmas season.

Diane said...

me again, wanting to add that I too LOVE that stone patio with the summer tent. I also love your two cats.

Kiki aka Victoria said...

So beautiful and charming..what a fabulous and gorgeous post! Awesome!!

sweetbay said...

I love the door, the patio, and the cherry! Perfect!

The Garden Ms. S said...

Amy, the trees were a really big draw to the property. We want to make them a part of the overall design. Now that the hardscaping is mostly done, we can start to see what the garden will be like. It is quite exciting! A Merry Christmas to you too! :0

Marguerite, I have dreamed of a patio like this for years, even before this house. All I can say is, I'm sitting out there next summer rain or shine! :) A wonderful holiday season to you!

Ruthie, the west facing doors bring so much more light into the whole house. The difference is profound. And I do love staring out into the garden as I eat my breakfast. It was the right thing to do for this space and now I cannot imagine it without the doors. A wonderful Christmas to you! :)

Anna, the trees are two that I have coveted for ages. The elm is a favourite I have always wanted and here in Alberta there is no Dutch Elm Disease, so I am indulging that wish. This variety of cherry is smaller than the species and more disease resistant, as well, the bark simply glows in the winter. More spring flowering trees to come later. :) A Happy Christmas to you!

Diane, thank you for your kind comments. I will give Bob and Ellie hugs on your behalf. They always appreciate a compliment. Wishes for a wonderful holiday to you!

Kiki, I can't wait to personalize this space. I hope it will be enchanting. :) A beautiful holiday season to you. xo

Sweetbay, I feel like we are so connected to the garden now. In a couple of years we plan to install a new kitchen and open it to the dining room. I think the flow will be perfect. I can't wait! A Merry Christmas to you!

Laurrie said...

How absolutely beautiful and dreamy. The slow progression of your dreams into reality is great to see. I have wanted a Prunus maacki since I saw a beautiful grove of them with their golden bark, but I read that they are disease-prone. Yours must be doing well.... your post makes me think I should reconsider and try planting an Amur cherry.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Laurrie, the Prunus maackii 'Jeffree' is bred to be disease resistant. There are a few around the neighbourhood and they are simply gorgeous so I am hoping for the best. It is situated so I can see it whenever I am sitting in the family room. It just glows out there in the winter light. :)

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Ms S : )
I love reading and seeing what has been going on in your little Eden to be !
You are truly creating a little heaven on earth for you and your family .. a garden gives us something that is almost impossible to explain to people that don't have that piece of garden soul within.
BUT other gardeners "get it" and we feel the excitement of "one of us" that is in full creating mode, we have been there or are also in the middle of our mode ? LOL .. Seriously though .. how gorgeous is your beautiful garden going to be ! .. I can understand the let down because winter has put the work to a stop .. but all the while you are still planning and "seeing" it in your mind's eye and that is so exciting !
I am still planning as well .. the random stone path winding its way from front garden to back .. some special plant hunting .. all the wonderful garden related dreams while winter ticks away.
Congratulations on your start to your very own retreat from the world .. your little one will be so happy to play amongst those trees and plants : )
Joy "GWN" club ;-)

The Garden Ms. S said...

Joy, from one GWN gardener to another, I knew you would understand the winter dreaming we do with our gardens! lol


Dear Ms S,
Wish you a wonderful holiday.
Happy Christmas and Happy New Year!
Many warm regards,