My Urban Garden
April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.
As much as I love our house, from the start it was always about the garden. It hugs the house so it can be seen from every window, inviting you to step outside and enjoy it.It’s a southern facing garden, which means that the roses bloom all year long and we rarely have to turn on the heat in the kitchen or the family room, which are bathed in sunshine.
I think of my garden as a series of rooms that you can wander through at your leisure. Each one appeals to me for different reasons. The rose garden, with its gravel path, abundance of lavender and an array of old English roses, invites you to sit under the gazebo and breathe in the rich floral scent.
The rose garden leads to the shaded part of the garden. On hot sunny day, it’s a welcome respite from the sun. There is a bench, which is strategically placed under the thick foliage of a towering maple tree. On the bench is a plaque, which reads “Toujours Fidele” (Always True) and our wedding date. It was my gift from me to Eric for an anniversarie.
Then on to the main garden, which has a wide expanse of lawn that runs down to a fishpond. On one side of the lawn is a large flowerbed, watched over by an antique stone statue of Diana, Goddess of the Hunt. The statue originally hailed from the Duke of Northumberland estate in England. Eric and I purchased it from an antique dealer in London and had it shipped home. It’s so heavy that it took eight men to move it to its current spot.
Gardens are never finished. There are new plants to be added and pruning to be done. They are also never perfect. Yet they are wonderfully imperfect. My garden gives me great hope and happiness. It also brings back happy memories of the many occasions held there. I think back on some of my daughters’ birthday parties, Easter egg hunts, Halloween extravaganzas and costume parties.
When we first bought our house, the garden was overrun with ivy. It had been left unattended for years. Armed with a machete, Eric worked tirelessly to free it of its shackles. He often tells the story that during this process, whenever he needed a hoe or another gardening tool one would magically appear. It was as though the garden was helping him bring it back to its former glory.
We have plans for the garden that we would like to implement this year. We want to add a fire pit, additional outside lighting and heaters to insure more alfresco dining. Like the garden, our needs are ever evolving. It’s this symbiotic relationship we have with the garden that I think I enjoy most. As the weather gets warmer, you can find me in my garden.
Photograph taken by Ashley Urban