We spent some time with a neighbor who has lived here for several decades and knows the stories of most of the original owners in our area, and he gave us a history lesson on our land that I ate up. Apparently, our little cabin has two previous owners. The last owners (obviously) cared less about this property. They did no upkeep on the land (or the house) besides paying someone to weed-whack the hillside once a year. The first owners, however, absolutely poured themselves into this homestead. They originally built what is now this cabin as their two-car garage and they were going to build a nice, big house somewhere else on the property. As they saved up for that house, they made this garage into a home, had three little girls, and ended up falling in love with their little house and decided to make it their permanent dwelling. And the land? It was simply immaculate. The woman was a nurse, but when she was home, you could always find her outside, gardening. The man worked for the telephone company. He was thrifty and had vision for cast-offs, so he fenced up the pastures with sections of old telephone poles and turned telephone company boxes into beautiful, circular planters. The barns were almost completely made with massive, solid-wood planks that the phone company had no more use for. As the man grew older, our neighbor said he entered his, "second childhood" and he would decorate this little house to the nines at Christmastime. He'd ask all his neighbors eagerly, "Are you decorating for Christmas this year?" The man eventually left this world and his wife grew too old to care for her beautiful garden, and she spent the rest of her days in a nursing home.
The tale had such a happy beginning, but what a sad ending. Why didn't one of the daughters decide to make this place her own? Why did the following owners let it go so down hill? Was is because it had already been left to overgrowth for too long before they bought it that they couldn't see the vision? Now it rests in our hands, and the story will continue.
After hearing about this place's past, and as I looked closer to it's detail, knowing there was serious devotion at one point, I began to see what this place once was, and what needed to be done. I started imagining all sorts of stories about our new surroundings.
This spot was someone's secret garden.
|Can you believe that ivy enveloping the oak?!|
It's hard to tell, but there is rosemary growing to the right, and to the left, there is a little path that winds up to a huge patch of some sort of bulb that haven't been separated in too long, and I doubt they will flower this year, but I'm guessing they're irises.
This place (I imagine) was the woman's favorite breakfast spot.
There is a little rock path from the house that leads straight to this landing, and there was a circular table with five chairs, one for each family member, and they would enjoy breakfasts there on a glorious spring day like today. I can smell the freshly brewed coffee hit the dewey, spring air and hear echos of laughter woven through quiet, morning-time conversations.
This barn (why it isn't painted red, I don't know) sheltered three horses, one for each daughter, I suppose.
And these randomly planted lavender bushes weren't actually random at all.
They used to form a perfect half circle around a cluster of roses. Only one rose bush is still living.
I noticed right where I dreamed of planting a small vineyard, there were several mounds of vines...
... That happened to be grapes! I felt even more of a connection with that first couple who probably planted these forty years ago. I spent all of Saturday afternoon trying to untangle and prune the vines that already started bulging. I'm praying they survived such a late-season hacking, because now they look like this:
That pile to the right isn't a vine... it's the aftermath.
So, here we go. The beginning of uncovering the secret garden. This place will once again be cared for, and it will all come back to life. I look forward to taking you on little garden tours as we continue to discover, prune, plant, and grow.