I had a dream.
Totally not in the same realm as the civil rights movement or anything.
My dream, when we first set eyes on a certain room at The Inn way back in 2005, was that it would become the most luxurious thing ever…
An attached garden shed!
I know, wHeird brain.
This was an especially odd dream for someone who… well there is no way to put this gently…
Is a botanical serial killer.
Mostly, I only murder plants in pots (I prefer solitary confinement as a torture method). Couple their time in lockdown with a little unintentional neglect (or overly enthusiastic watering) and eventually I am greeted by bony scaffolding stuck in a pot full of dirt.
This is also known as Skeleton Gardening.
Yes. It’s a thing.
Sadly, the floor of my future attached garden shed was falling in and the walls were all rotted and full of mold. This required a slow and deliberate exploration (er, dismantling) of the space. But we managed to save so much…
That is original dirt up there.
But, one day, the sun rose and the major restorations/renovations of The Inn’s structures were done. And I got to turn my attention to the gardens.
Defining the overall intended feeling, the different garden ‘rooms’… planning out the hardscape stuff like stone walls and paths, choosing the colors and then plants based on everything from climate to bloom time to attractiveness-to-deer (or hopefully not!)…
I loved it.
The thing was, being three hours away for most of the year, I was never able to participate in pre-season (starting seeds, spring pruning, dividing, and planting). Dreams of a vegetable garden remained just that… dreams.
Also – if it has not been made clear – I actually have no idea how to actually do a lot of these things. But I want to!
For years my someday attached garden shed became a sort of pass through room on the way to the back yard. The dog’s bowls (which are really lobster pots with the lids turned upside down) were there, the leashes and brushes and stuff occupied the drawers. That was pretty much it.
And then Granny and Grampa surprised us and said they wanted to move to Maine with us, full-time. This was amazing as Grampa was not considered easily transplantable.
I was so excited!
I had visions of Grampa puttering around the barn, scrawling dates on the walls (ones I’d never be able to attach to anything) and moving my stuff to more logical locations (ensuring I would never find any of it again). Granny – quite the green-thumber – would be advising and dead heading amongst hummingbirds.
This Eutopian scene would be regularly interrupted by JoHn screaming for the Old Yankee Man to get out of his barn. Because real life.
Of course, having two octogenarians living at The Inn meant we not only needed to take their current physical capabilities into consideration, but also what their future physical health might be. So we re-jigged! This included moving a wall in the ‘someday attached garden shed’ so a queen-sized bed could live on the first floor, should that ever be necessary.
Sadly, Grampa left us the year before we moved to Maine. But one day, a few months after he died, Granny sat us down and told us she was still looking forward to living in Maine… sitting in that back room looking out to the gardens, and in the ‘thinking chairs’ (our scattered Adirondack chairs), watching the boats slide by in the summertime.
So the attached garden shed became Granny’s downstairs sitting room! We painted it one of her favorite colors, a warm creamy yellow.
From here, she looked out to the rose and hydrangea gardens (which she did indeed deadhead as hummingbirds flitted around her).
I am so happy she got to do that last summer – live in and amongst the gardens and sea.
Last week, feeling Granny close, I began to slowly transmogrify the back room.
Terra cotta pots and various containers now fill the shelves once occupied by a hodge-podge of coffee cups and dishes, used for afternoon tea and Granny’s peanut butter toast.
An antique french buffet (formal name: “The French Thing”) has been moved from the garage to the area beneath the old Southport Inn sign, and will now hold everything from overflow pots to soils and tools.
Side note: That book beneath the chalkboard is entitled, “The Best Gardens In the World” and is open to Monet’s Giverny. Am I the only one who loves how Monet actually said he thought his gardens were his most beautiful masterpiece?
Throughout the design and installation (and maintenance!) of the gardens here, I’ve needed and had so much help. Six or seven weeks each summer was just so limiting. But now we’re here, and my hands and brain are crying out for dirt and seeds and veggies and…
So, as the snow melts and the hardiest of hardy bulbs stretch their brand new arms out to embrace the sun, this botanical serial killer (at least to plants in pots) is about to embark on her first full season as a gardener in Maine.
AND I have an attached potting shed in which to mix potions and cast spells and stuff!
A bit of soil, a dash of compost, a pinch of bat whiskers, a slice of rainbow…
That’s what gardens are, right…
I have a shed for that.
Thanks for readin’.
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