Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Going Back

The making of a gardener



Photos by Jobe Family and Sally Green

I visited my old garden last year. I started planting it in 1993 when we moved to our little house in the woods. It sat on a bit over two acres in Pound Ridge, with lots of old trees and shade. A creek trickled and emptied into a pond across the road. It was paradise for a fledgling gardener. I knew nothing about grading and drainage, let alone garden structure, zones, or deer-resistant plants. I didn’t have horticultural knowledge yet, but I knew what I liked. I loved the way I felt at the end of a long day of digging. So began my life as a gardener.

I built our garden slowly—unsure of myself in my garden laboratory, experimenting with obscure plants and planting thousands of daffodil bulbs, calling our little paradise “Daffodil Hill.” I visited the New York Botanical Garden in springtime, embarrassed to learn that Daffodil Hill was the name of their incomparable daffodil garden. My garden was hardly worthy of the same name. I kept it anyway.

A rocky hill behind our house beckoned to become a waterfall. We edited natural boulders, added rocks here and there, and made a waterfall that trickled into a pint-sized puddle as if Mother Nature planned it herself. The sound of water was the music this space was waiting for. We accumulated rusty relics and knitted them into the garden.

We found a weathered birdbath which we used to baptize our daughters at the edge of the woods. We hung an old garden gate to nowhere, collected birdhouses, watering cans, and pots of varying shapes and sizes. But there was something really special about this place by itself. I once held out my finger to a yellow finch as he hopped up my arm before perching on my head, where he sat for a good six minutes. One snowfall we watched nervously as two young bucks rammed antlers outside our bedroom window.

At the end of a long day commuting from the city, my husband never knew what he might find when he walked through the gate. Bulldozers? Very pregnant wife digging up the patio? Kids throwing snowballs in July (ammo frozen in our fridge from the previous February snowfall)? Indeed. I planted trees with my babies strapped to my back. I sweated, cursed, laughed, and cried in my garden.

I talked to my late father in that garden, wondering if he could see me raising my children. My own Daffodil Hill became my church, the tall oaks surrounding it were the steeple.

After our first daughter was born, I went back to school to pursue a new career in landscape design. Years passed, our family grew, our little house burst at the seams. We found a larger home just a mile away, not ready to leave the woods. That garden was hard for me to leave behind. There were important memories there. Lots of history. I got down to business in my new garden, picking up from where I’d left off on Daffodil Hill.

A decade later, working as a landscape designer, I found myself in the garden of my pal, Sally. She was looking for a tree for her own garden. I offered options, and remembered a paperbark maple I’d planted at Daffodil Hill 18 years earlier. I suggested we drive over and look at it since we were close by. I hadn’t seen the garden in ten years. It wasn’t until I walked through the arbor that the spirit of this place took my breath away.

The sedum and rudbeckias were thick and robust. The hellebores and bleeding heart matured and multiplied. The to-die-for, slow-growing European ginger was an impressive carpet of deep-emerald green under a red-twig dogwood. The hillside was a lush and harmonious medley of shrubs and perennials to rival the gardens I paid to visit over the years. And that paperbark maple was now tall and healthy even after weathering damage in Hurricane Sandy. Best of all, the current owners took pride in this place.

A tidal wave of memories flooded my head. I felt as if I were walking into my own history book, each turning page touching my heart. I walked through the garden slowly, soaking up every memory paired with this special place. Much to my delight, things that I had left in the garden “just because” were still there. Curly vines covered the old wire arbor. The rusty gate still hung at the bedroom patio. Timeworn, paint-chipped reminders beckoned me. Moss filled the gaps between the stones, marking time.

This garden, like a child of mine, was now all grown up and more beautiful than I could have imagined. It made me weak in the knees, and Sally knew it. She grabbed my phone and snapped a photo of me. When I look at it, I am taken back to that day, in that garden. The cur- rent owners were making their own memories there now. It is, after all, a very special place, no matter who lives there. That’s when I humbly realized that the gardens I’ve had a hand in creating for over 20 years for myself and clients hold so much promise. New memories lie in wait to be planted, long after I am gone. 


THE GLORY OF GARDENING:

HANDS IN THE DIRT,
HEAD IN THE SUN,
HEART WITH NATURE.
TO NURTURE A GARDEN IS TO FEED NOT JUST THE BODY,
BUT THE SOUL.

—Alfred Austin, 1894 

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

             

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Catch the Vibe Newsletter

See this weekend's events in the area!
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Trees for Good

Where to get your tree in the Bedford area

Bedford Shout Outs––Holidays 2018

This, that, and other things

Bedford Out & About - Dec

Upstairs Downstairs

Bernard’s and Sarah’s Wine Bar serve excellent food in both an elegant and casual setting

Where do competitive equestrians train in winter?

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

January 2019

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Hartford Boat Show (HBS50) features the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, luxury cruisers, deck and pontoon boats, sport and...

Cost: $12 in advance online, $14 at the door, $10 Senior/Military one day pass

Where:
Expo Center at Mohegan Sun
1 Mohegan Sun Blvd
Uncasville, CT  06382
View map »


Sponsor: Connecticut Marine Trades Association
Telephone: 860-767-2645
Contact Name: Kathleen Burns
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy based on his famous "I Have a Dream" speech by creating a mobile that expresses your own dreams—for yourselves and your community. Each...

Cost: No Cost

Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Telephone: 914-666-8041

More information

Drop in for help with any of your technology devices.  No appointment necessary.  First come first served.   PC, Google, Microsoft savvy volunteer with help you with troubleshooting,...

Cost: No Cost

Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Telephone: 914-666-8041

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Come be a paleontologist for the day and create a dinosaur of your own imagination out of cardboard and tissue paper. Materials will be provided.  Ages 4 to 11 (under 5 with caregiver)Sponsored...

Cost: No Cost

Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Sponsor: Friends of the Library
Telephone: 914-666-8041

More information

Wednesday, January 23rd at 7:00 PM Create a cool yarn hat in a single evening! All materials will be provided. This event is free and no registration is required. Ages 12 and up. Hosted by North...

Cost: Free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

We invite families to drop-in and enjoy interactive pop-up activity stations, gallery games, and art projects around the KMA.  Get inspired by Outrageous Ornament: Extreme Jewelry in the 21st...

Cost: Member price: Free Non-Member price: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Katonah Museum
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Katonah Museum of Art
Telephone: 914-232-9555
Website »

More information

Bring the baby and enjoy a lively conversation inspired by the art on view. Enjoy light snacks while socializing with newly-made friends. Crying babies welcome and activities provided for older...

Cost: Member price: Free Non-Member price with Museum admission: Free

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Katonah Museum of Art
Telephone: 914-232-9555
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Saturday, January 26th from 1:00 - 2:00 PM, Ages 4+ Attend for groovy crafts, snacks, games, and more in celebration of the Pete the Cat book series. This event is free and no registration is...

Cost: Free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

  Touchon transforms verbal language into handsome geometric compilations, to reveal the beauty and musicality of language characterized by warmly colored shapes, interlocking irregular grids and...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Hudson Chorale, the area’s largest mixed voice chorus, is poised to please.  The group will begin its 2019 season with two matinee concerts on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 3:00 pm and Sunday,...

Cost: Advance Sale-$25; Door-$30; Students-$10.

Where:
The Chapel at Maryknoll
55 Ryder Rd
Ossining, NY  10562
View map »


Sponsor: Hudson Chorale
Telephone: 1-800-838-3006
Contact Name: Anne Norum
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags