Keeping memories and filling my heart.
Seven years ago, an adjacent 76-acre horse farm and cornfield were sold and divided into housing subdivision lots. Natural fencing of tall corn soon made way for bulldozed and sculpted earth, an excavated 9-acre pond and winding streets. Rosy sunsets filtering through backyard trees gradually were obscured by 2-story houses everywhere. These man-made changes to the natural terrain of field, wild flowers and wild life gave me pause for reflection. How best could I keep the memory of the field and its wide open spaces in my heart?
Early one morning, as I walked the former field, I noticed the most beautiful pebbles, rocks, fossils and boulders uprooted from the pond excavation. All colors, shapes and sizes, these rocks were a part of the land’s history. With the help of the developer! and my mom, I built rock-walled gardens, edgings, paths, dry riverbeds and boulder outcroppings. I transplanted rock roses, cranesbill, rosa multiflora, daisies, queen anne’s lace and other wild flowers from the field. The developer’s workmen also helped me move trees and bushes. I discovered two abandoned pups one day and brought them home too. The field has been good to me. Even though the farm, the barn and its field are gone now — their memory lives in clear view whether I stroll through my front or back yards. The pictures tell the story and show the evolving changes.
The front yard has a modified miniature meadow with trees, wildflowers and grasses. I fertilize the grass only in late autumn with weed and feed. Grass clippings are allowed to decompose into the soil. Pine cones are recycled as mulch. Gardens closer to the house have a more cultivated, defined look. As you move away from the house, the gardens grow in a natural and (controlled) wild state. A pergola connects the house to the outdoors with a patio floor sponge-painted brown, rust, green and gold. A latch-hook rug frames the outside brick wall. Birdfeeders, birdbaths, a sundial and solar lighting complete the picture.
Whether entering or exiting my garden gate, you feel a sense of peace. A sanctuary and a retreat, the land provides a respite from job-related duties. My soul is refreshed. Here at Fieldstone cottage — time, history, memory and landscaping come together as… a remembrance of the field.
Contributed by: Marilyn Martin
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