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Archive for November, 2010

We work with this garden so that when people walk into it they sense that they have entered the edges of a wilder area, perhaps a meadow.   The formal terraces near the house drift into softer terraces that become simple footpaths entering into the woods.  The farther terraces are naturalized rather than formal and well-defined.  These  varying locations are gardened differently and provide constantly changing colors and textures with each season.

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It is hard to believe that there is still this much color in the New York winter yard, but there is.  Here is our Thanksgiving Dinner floral arrangement that we made from our garden plants.  Brightest are the Winterberries and Hydrangeas, and also the varied leaves from a variety of bushes.  Softest color comes from the purple berries of the Beauty Bush.  Free for the taking and free shipping, of course.
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Color’s Last Blast

A worthy and sustained attempt to be colorful in the late autumn.  No plastic surgery for these fellows.  Just the beauty of the fade.

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In one of his garden projects,  Joe is designing a grassy circle of small trees, surrounded by hydrangea, rhododendron, and native grasses, at the top of the hill as a location especially for children, so they may take “hikes” and sit on blankets in the side yard and look at the big view across the river and through the trees.

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The Palisades are a terrific respite from hours of weeding and raking,  my knees stuck in the dirt, arms and legs weary from tugging and pulling on horrible, creepy, invasive vines.  It pays every once in awhile to stop looking down at the weeds and to look up and catch the larger view.   This view reaches past all the noisy leaf blowers, dismisses the roars of lawn mowers and shifts one’s thoughts beyond ones aching muscles.  When I stand up from weeding, I see the Palisades of New Jersey across the Hudson River. What a mood they provide each day. Posted by Picasa

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Mint Tea Anyone?

Pinch a couple of mint leaves out in the yard, drop them in steaming water and have a cup of mint tea.  Delicious!  It is late November and they are still fresh and green.

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Falling, tumbling, rolling down the hill, limping upon our return. We finally gave in and repaired the steps. Now the entire backyard is available to us for planting. We have a completely new medium for our work. Water trickles through the granite rocks leaving small streams to be a constant source of water for certain portions of the yard. Shade mixes with bright sun. It is a bit like going into the Grand Canyon, because the noises of the street and yard disappear as we step lower into the backyard. You can see what our steps used to look like in the 2009 part of this blog.

A woman visited us last year and told us that she lived in our house 35 years ago.  She said her parents built  the original steps so that she could quickly visit her best friend and neighbor who lived in the house below.  Now that the steps are finally repaired, I envision a new group of children using them them for adventures exploring the backyard.  Hopefully this includes our grandchildren.

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