This seems to be a banner year for my little side garden. Virtually everything is in bloom or promises to in short order. The tiny plot is small and shady, but full of wonderful memories.
When we bought the house 18 years ago, the narrow space between our house and the neighbors was in sad neglect. A ragged shrub divided the property line, creating a dark, narrow opening between the garage and the gate to the back yard. In short, it was a pass through
The side yard was low on the list of household projects since we didn’t spend any time there. Of course, if you garden, every bit of available soil eventually meets the wandering eye. What if we…
So when the neighbor asked if the shrub could go, the answer was a resounding yes! Between households, there were five children, all under the age of ten so I suggested a ‘children’s garden.’ It would be a place for them to play, plant and experiment. A small wooden bridge, once in the backyard, spanned the tiny space and unified the area. I relocated my dinosaur topiary and Mike transplanted a pair of azaleas from the back yard. The kids loved it. At one point my six-year-old decided to dig a ‘hot tub’ in the middle of the garden. Shavings of sidewalk chalk turned into magic dust, as long as you believed. I miss those days of wild imaginings.
Within a few years, the neighbors moved away. Our boys got older, the bridge began to rot, and the garden morphed again.
As it turned out, the little bridge proved to be an excellent hiding place for snails. I’ve never seen so many of them congregated in one place. Out it went.
We planted sunflowers in front of the lemon tree, but it eventually took over.
I planted Alyssum from starters and a bag of wildflowers. Just enough came up to fill the garden that summer, but just as quickly, they died off in late fall. I added a few begonias, transplanted overgrown fescue from the fairy garden, and eventually the baby tears meandered over the exposed dirt and made themselves at home. Our dwarf lemon tree moved in at the edge of the garden and agreed to stay.
Our little patch of garden makes me smile. It feels like a living scrapbook of our years in this home. It mirrors the ebb and flow of life. It’s also a reminder of the joy to be found in a tiny patch of dirt.