Dreaming of spring


The diagram above gives you a rough idea of the sort of dementia concretia I am planning this spring. The path at the top of the diagram will lead to the garden gate. The brown area at the center of the large cavern-design meander labyrinth will be a planting area surrounded by bricks, with a large semicircular stone at the bottom, etched with the word “UNLESS” — a reference to the place where “the Lorax once stood, just as long as it could, until somebody lifted the Lorax away.” In the center of this planting area will be either a birdbath, a sculpture of the Lorax (if I can figure out how to construct such a thing), or a smoke tree, crape myrtle, or other suitably Truffulaesque plant.

The smaller spiral will lead into a lawn ornament, stepping stone, sculpture, or decorative planting of some description (perhaps a birdfeeder or butterfly pool) and then back out to the pond. The two paths at the bottom of the image lead to the clothesline (to be purchased and installed when the weather breaks) and to the deck.

The path appears to be black and green in this diagram. The green represents some type of planting along the edges — probably oregano or another mint that tastes good and will tolerate partial shade and total neglect — and the black just indicates where the path will be. The path itself will be constructed of Sackrete and will have bits of broken dishes, mirror shards, colored glass fragments, interesting marbles, broken figurines, and various and sundry other castoffs embedded in it. To get an idea of what I’m talking about, look at this amazing house in France. Amazing work. My little labyrinthine garden path won’t come close to this level of artistry, but it won’t be for lack of trying.

As soon as the weather improves, I’m going to start making regular visits to Goodwill, thrift stores, yard sale outlets, and junk shops to acquire materials for the mosaic. I intend to build the path a little at a time, as my schedule allows, and let the work be very freewheeling and expressive of my joy at being outside, creating something pretty.

I think this will be a good project. I have no idea how long it will take, but it should be a lot of fun, and when it’s done, I should have something unique and very striking.

To give you a sense of the dimensions, the “UNLESS” circle is four feet in diameter. It will be built first, followed by the main spiral path. I’ll make the path to the clothesline after the main spiral is done and install the path to the pond, with its secondary spiral, last.

This picture doesn’t come close to what’s in my mind, but it should give you a rough idea of what I’m talking about.

Not pictured is the Green Man sculpture that I plan to build over to the left of the path leading to the garden. The rest of the yard as pictured will belong to the dogs, of course.

3 thoughts on “Dreaming of spring”

  1. Emily (this is Grace using Mom’s computer) – you totally need to read the book “The Secrets of Pistoulet.” It is a very cheap order from amazon (probably under ten bucks new, and you want to get a new copy because the point of the book is that there are lots of little “curiosities” for the reader to open as the story unfolds.) You sometimes remind me of Madame Claude living in her magical South France fortress of love, herbs and the power of spiritual cooking…Read it. I know you’ll love it. It’s actually the book that inspired the zany Pfaltzgraff pieces I collect, which are designed by the author of the book. The recipes are very entertaining, like the Potage of Heart, which includes the instructions that this dish is to be made strictly in the presence of someone’s grandmother….or the Potage of Spirit, which I believe is the one that calls for a pot to simmer while the preparer dances to gypsy music, etc…

    Anyway…you need this book. Seriously.

  2. I like what you are planning with your garden and am wondering what are the dimensions of this garden. I was at a meeting in Philadelphia a few years ago and saw some wonderful mosaic work. One of these was a mostly concrete neighborhood wall that had colored tiles and mirror pieces making a thing of beauty and interest. Thanks for reminding me I have a place in my own garden where I wanted to add a little mosaic work.
    Rose Marie

  3. I don’t have the exact dimensions of my yard, but to give you a rough idea: The orange circle in the center of that large spiral is going to be about four feet in diameter. To make the diagram, I just took measurements of the distance from our deck to the center of the spiral, from the garage to the center of the spiral, from the center of the spiral to the garden gate, and from the deck to where I intend to put the clothesline.

    The diagram doesn’t show the whole yard, but it shows a lot of it. We have a couple of areas around the deck (not pictured) that will be left open for the dogs to play in, and then actual garden itself — which is not pictured, but would be at the top of the diagram if it were — is about … ummm … 20 feet deep by about 50 feet wide, give or take. We mostly grow vegetables in the garden. The compost pile is also back there, when we have one, because the dogs think it’s a smorgasbord if we don’t keep it fenced off.

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