Sarah’s path

shade garden planI will have to take more pictures when I return to the farm; but I wanted to write about my latest landsaping caper.

I am calling it Sarah’s path as I started creating it on her birthday.  And I wanted to honour her friendship in some more practical way than just our daily email.

Yes, daily. Which I know is rare among many friends but it does make our homes of Minneapolis and this mountain a little less far apart.

If you look back to the 1st September you can see the work I had already started in building the wall above the shade garden.

But there was always a problem linking the top part of the garden above this. Like all abandoned terraces, this one sloped.  So getting from the top of the chestnut steps (on the right) behind the hedge and towards the potting shed the top way was always tricky.  It had a carpet of festuca glauca grasses (slippery when wet) and random rocks. All inconveniently placed.

So I started with my fork and levered out the grasses and placing them upside down at the very edge of the slope to try and make it more level. Luckily I have a lot of material to work with.

And I now have so many new rocks and stones to add to my wall.  But for now I just left them on the side behind the hedge.  Some were so monstrous I didn’t dare lever them down the hill myself.

And after a few hours I had almost finished. And it’s perfect.  I raked it flat, and admired.  It is not very long, about 10 metres I think but it links parts of the garden I never had easy access to before; it makes it more pleasing to see a path rather than a neglected slope. It gives me even more ideas about how to expand the hedge area beyond it.  And when you stand on Sarah’s path and look down you get a fantastic view of the future shade garden beds.

That is the feature of a mountain garden; often looking down on plants is more pleasing that seeing the flat.  Like the lavender bank we see out of our bedroom window.

I want to be able to look down on the shade garden and see a pattern among the shrubs I want to plant.  I do the curves in so many other parts of the garden, why not here?

So Sarah, you and your path are indispensible to the garden in a small but very important way. And once I decide how it’s going to be finished – gravel? bark mulch? the same wood chipping as the shade garden? – you can come and dedicate it.  Do gardens get bottles of champagne crashed against the sides of new paths once launched?