Making Shade

When we were first looking for land to build our house and garden we had a basic choice.  We could buy open property, with no trees, and plant everything we needed to make the gardens.  Or we could buy wooded, treed property and remove what was necessary to make space for the house and gardens and people.  This wasn’t a deciding factor in any way; just something we were aware of.  So the open property we chose was simply the best property we could find:  it is in the area where we wanted to be; the size we wanted; at a price we could afford.  And it is completely open.

I actually thought, oh so innocently, that it made no difference whether I had to add trees or remove them.  Well, it does make a difference.  And the difference is shade.

Many years ago I wrote this article for House Beautiful about the importance of shade in the garden.

Shade article

So, as you can see, I knew that shade was important.  Essential in fact.  The only way to be comfortable in a garden.  And of course the design of the gardens at Timshala includes planting many, many trees and shrubs to create – eventually – a shady woodland.  There are pergolas to be covered with vines to shade the entries to the house, front and back.  But at the moment, the pergolas are naked still.  The ‘woodland’ isn’t one yet.   Even with the trees that have been planted, it’s absolutely sunny everywhere.

So here I am, relearning what I already knew, busily making shade.

Neatness Counts

A good part of the garden is actually looking like a real space.  Not what it will be of course, but still it looks tended, cared for…as if someone lives here.  (I do, I do!)

summer 2014 mown

This is now what I look out at when I’m having breakfast.  I can stroll with the dog along the decomposed paths we put in last fall.  I look at the few, hopeful little trees and shrubs.  Appreciate the work the enclosing deer fence is doing.  Even though all this can do is make it look neat, somehow that counts for a lot.  It isn’t just acres of weeds any more.  It’s almost civilized.