Now I am going to talk about my biggest garden ornament. My house. That I think of it as a garden ornament should tell you quite a lot.
My house is really old. For Oregon anyway. I mean it’s not a Greek ruin or anything, but come to think of it “ruin” does apply in some respects, and it does have Greek Revival elements. But I am working as hard as I can on the restoration so give me a break. (If you detect defensiveness well maybe.)
It is true that I have been nurturing this building, you might say, for about thirty years. But time flies. And it was 130 years old when I found it–so there was some catching up to do. Then there was a divorce, and children to raise, and that time I rolled the car. Life is not tidy.
But I still love the old house. Now it’s 153 years old and a wonderful place to surround with gardens while providing a place for the gardener (me) to live, not to mention all the room for Mr. O and Max the Westie. Stupid amounts of room really, but when the grownup children come home to visit we can fill it up fast. Other times we have to use the cell phones to find each other but, as my friend John the Artist says, “oh well.”
Last summer Mr. O put the scaffolding up on the south side of my house and I spent many happy(?) hours scraping and then priming and then painting twice the whole wall with its four windows and giant eaves. I got a pretty good suntan. And now that side is done and Mr. O set the stones in the basement window wells so now the gardener (me) can replant the garden bed. To begin it was inhabited by a moss rose (special, must remain) and two out of control Cecile Brunner climbing roses. We extracted one with a winch and the other I have so far pruned into submission.
Let me just clarify that I LOVE the Cecile Brunner roses. But not on this wall anymore. Of course I planted them myself eons ago, but they want to grow up to the second story windows and fall all over everything. I can’t keep up. I did of course start a cutting of one last fall, and it’s thriving in a pot waiting for me to plant it in another inappropriate place. (“Oh well.”)
But this is a new summer coming, and the scaffolding has danced around the house to the east side. That’s where the front porch is, facing what was the access to the house 130 years ago and now faces away from the approach. So it’s like the house is looking away from all visitors, and the front gardens are actually at the back. I love it. Which is lucky, because it won’t let me leave. I expect to be buried in the gardens someday, like my cat.