Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Garden to Love

And now we come to the finale of the Gardens I Have Loved Before series.

It took months from the time we left Gibsons to the time we found ourselves in our new home.  We crossed the country, we visited friends and family, I looked for work and we searched, what seemed like endlessly, for that elusive home.

There were actually two offers made on other homes before we finally purchased.  Obviously those choices were not meant to be and I sometimes wonder what life would have been like had we bought a different house.

Life however had other things in store for us.  Just when we thought we would never find something suitable and wanted to give up Jody said, let's take a second look at some of these houses.  And we did, and there it was.  Why did we turn away from this house the first time?  No good reason really.  But we re-read the ad again and thought ... maybe.  An appointment was booked.  What I remember from that day is that when I exited the vehicle in the driveway I started snapping photos immediately.  And smiling.  I remember seeing apples and runnning from tree to tree excitedly while hubby and the real estate agent were left in my dust trail.  There was no question this was it.

When we moved in I began to see traces of gardeners before me.  The large cut stones set up to create a border alongside the house. 

This border created by the stones was then filled with bleeding hearts
The large rectangular bed with its intricate geometric pattern that must have taken many hours and care to construct.

After some of the weeds were removed the patterns began to take shape
The apple orchard planted many many years ago.


The peonies planted by the front door.


Not just one person but many were responsible for these improvements and we are but another caretaker in the life of this garden.  Hopefully our relationship will be a long one.

26 comments:

  1. Your house looks awesome in that photo. When I bought my house there were no traces of 'gardeners past' unfortunately.

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  2. What fun to discover previous gardens. Like Jess, mine also had no gardens. 3 pathetic peony bushes, that was it.

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  3. What a fantastic story...some things are just meant to be. So glad you found your garden to love.

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  4. Marguerite, I am really enjoying your story. What a great house and garden you found. Carolyn

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  5. The apple blossoms would have been the hook for me...was it May? Were they blooming? How nice that you are discovering traces of former gardens and the work of previous gardeners. Your garden has a little history and a little mystery.....

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  6. Oh Margarite, I can so relate to your search for "The House'. It took me over 4 years to find mine, all the while in a temporary rental, constantly digging things out of storage. Just as we were begining to give up we found THE place. Antebellum home & acreage!

    When its meant to be....

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  7. What a great story Marguerite. I'm glad you have found a place to love!

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  8. it is interesting how sometimes we feel things are meant to be and how close we come to nearly missing them, so glad you found your house and garden it looks wonderful, Frances

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  9. Marguerite - I understand what you mean about inheriting a garden. I met the previous owner of my garden a couple of times briefly, but after digging around in the garden for a year, I feel like I know them so well.

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  10. Marguerite, What a wonderful journey you've taken to finding your new home and garden. I wish you many years of gardening joy.

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  11. I really have enjoyed your look at the previous garden finds. Like a few above, I had no garden what so ever. It was all grass on only grass. It had one dead tree, that is all. But I have added many plant cuttings from older relatives, so it has a sense of history in that respect.

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  12. This has been a really great series to read. How lucky to have found a wonderful home with a garden! I've never been lucky enough to find a garden at any of our houses, although there were some peonies at our house in NY. I put in a large garden at our house there and when I was planning a trip to go back and visit a friend, she warned me not to drive by our previous home since the new owners weren't gardeners. I can only hope that someone someday will discover what I left behind.

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  13. This series has been wonderful to read:) I loved finding out where your green thumb originated and that you brought it east with you. I look forward to the challenges of gardening in a different zone, with different soils and with the leftovers from previous gardeners before me. What an adventure!

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  14. Jess, thank you. The house above all was what attracted us but the huge property definitely had some allure.

    Bonnie - I vacillated between wanting to find a house with a garden and wanting no garden so that I could start something of my own. This was a nice inbetween. There were a couple beds but lots and lots of open space too.

    jodi - we were very lucky to find this place. But we also put the wheels in motion so that it was possible to find it. one part luck, one part destiny and lots of hard work made it all come together.

    Carolyn, thanks, we think so too! Almost every day we congratulate ourselves on how well things have worked out so far on this adventure.

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  15. Laurrie - it was actually late fall when we saw the house. There were apples hanging in some of the trees but I had no idea at the time just how many trees there really were. Some parts of that visit are just a blur to me.

    Sandra - 4 years!! I don't think I could have lasted near that long. I'm such an impatient shopper and living out of boxes had me utterly stressed out.

    Melanie, thank you. It was fun going through old photos and remembering places I've been.

    Frances, hind sight is 20/20 as they say. I remember the second house we put an offer on. When that didn't work out I was an absolute wreck. Now I'm so glad we didn't get that house.

    bag - how lucky that you came along to adopt your garden. I think a great fear when we leave our properties is that the ones that come after us won't love it the way we do. I'm sure the former owner was very pleased to see the care you're taking.

    Debbie, thank you. I sure hope we get to stay a long time and get to see this garden mature a bit.

    Donna, part of buying this house included the fact that it came with much history. Over 100 years actually! Sometimes it's intimidating because everyone knows our house so well - I've worried about making renovations, how people will react. But it's also interesting to see ourselves as part of the home's history, rather than it being a part of ours.

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  16. Casa Mariposa - Watching my parents pack up their home and leave my mother's garden, then leaving my garden on Bowen was very difficult. I can imagine how you must have felt. The hard part is worrying what people will do with it once you're gone. I'd rather not know what happened to my small plot, I suspect it would be heartbreaking.

    Jane - I look forward to seeing more of your new home and what awaits you there. Inheriting bits of a garden has been nice, as last spring flowers came up unexpectedly like surprise gifts. But the yard had been neglected as well so there's a lot of work to do to uncover what was left behind. Some of it isn't to my tastes and that's been difficult to figure out as well. Always an adventure though.

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  17. I'm looking forward to seeing what you add to the work of gardeners past. I've never inherited a garden, at least, not one with anything worth keeping other than a couple of shrubs. I rather like the idea of picking up where someone else left off.

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  18. Your first spring there must have been amazing. What a delight to see what comes up from the gardeners before you.

    I've really enjoyed this. :)

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  19. What a lovely ending to your series, Marguerite. I very much enjoyed reading it. I am sure that you will find Prince Edward Island is a wonderful place to live.

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  20. Marguerite, you know I have always loved this house. From the first picture the first time I saw your blog I love this house. Sigh, such a happy ending

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  21. Plantaliscious - It's been surprising and interesting to see what was left behind but also difficult to decide what to keep. Some people advised the apple trees were too far gone to try and save, the geometric garden wasn't exactly to my tastes. It's both a joy and a burden to discover things that I now have to deal with.

    Ms.S - it was one of the things that prompted me to start this blog, discovering all the plants that started to pop out of the ground last spring. I was afraid to weed lest I pull out some prize plant that I didn't recognize.

    Jennifer - so far so good. We've been here for almost 2 years now (is it possible that time has gone that quickly?) and we're still enjoying every minute.

    Cheri - It certainly is an eye catching house. A grand old dame, if you will, sitting on her corner. I hope we're able to do it justice with our renovations.

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  22. Marguerite, This post is such a wonderful antidote to all those depressing "you put all this work into creating something and then it dies when you can't tend it anymore" posts. I love the way you've found traces of previous gardens and worked with them in making the garden your own. -Jean

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  23. Dear Marguerite, Clearly it is always a good idea to take a second look! I love your story of how you found your new home and gardens. I hope you have many, many happy years of love and gardening there. It is great to see what it is like now and I look forward to seeing the changes and additions you will make. I recall fondly your story of all the gardens you have loved and had to leave and so hope you have put down an anchor for a good long while . . . if that is what you want! The house looks a solid and fine house, with lovely shadows of shade to keep you cool in the summer months. Happy New Home!!

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  24. Jean - I can't say the remnants of gardens that were left behind at our home were in great shape but they still brought beauty to this old house. I think the key is the style of garden and our level of expectation. There seems to be a lot of gardens designed to need upkeep and when we aren't able to prune consistently or move plants about our expectations aren't met and we feel the garden isn't as good as it should be.

    Carol - Thanks for coming along for my story. It's hard to believe now that we originally didn't want to look at this house. All the reasons we had against it seem so trivial now. I'm looking forward to many more gardening seasons here.

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  25. Margurite - I caught only one of these posts at the time and I was meandering through your blog today, I just read the lot of them in a row :) What a great little post series. Loved it!

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    1. Thanks Jess! It was fun tracing the gardens through my life and gave me something to write about in the long winter months.

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