My garden is an art piece. My garden is therapy.
I live in a Queen Anne Victorian cottage built in the mid 1890’s near downtown Evansville, Indiana. The back yard is small and mostly concrete, which makes for interesting gardening.
I inherited several backyard features when my husband and I moved into the house. One was a raised bed on the east side of the yard that is edged in stacked concrete chunks. My first spring living here I pulled an enormous amount of concrete from the bed before planting perennials in it. I wish I was better at taking before and after shots, but here’s one in progress:
and the space as of June 2011:
Also inherited were some art, some yard furniture, and a shed. And lots of bricks.
On the west side of the back yard, I cleared out a pretty Rose of Sharon grove and an overgrown flowerbed to make a vegetable garden in the only fairly sunny spot I have that isn’t cement. Here it is in June 2011:
I might have a much different kind of garden if I was in a different location. To me, this site calls for an ornate array of different types of plants packed into the limited spaces available. It’s constructed and constrained, not loose and natural. I’m trying to add plenty of art to add to the effect. There are mosaics I’ve made and many garden markers and plaques along with bricks and other pieces of things I’ve pulled out of the ground and stacked. I also enjoy watching birds who enjoy my birdbath and feeders.
Even being a small, paved, artificial corner of the city, it’s an old corner of the city with big trees and abandoned buildings that make a habitat for plenty of wildlife. From my back door, I see Cooper’s hawks, migrating warblers and other birds, woodpeckers, raccoons, possums, and squirrels along with some neighborhood cats and dogs.
So far, I’ve focused my gardening efforts on the backyard, but I hope in the future to wrap around the sides of the house and the front.
Oh, and Squirrels and Tomatoes? They’re the opposing forces in my garden vying for supremacy over it. Last year the squirrels (and raccoons) won.
(And if you’re interested in learning more about my other art, please see my website: www.AmyRich.org.)