Welcome to The Colorado Rocky Mountain English Country Sculpture Garden
Tour 3 ~ September 07 to December 08, 2012
Days of Wine and Lupines, or The Calm Before the Storm
In the months that divide the heady golden month of, September 2007, and stark depressing gloom that shrouded December 2008, the garden grew from strength to strength, as oblivious and unconcerned as we ourselves were to the impending global financial implosion that was about knock us senseless.
But as the summer of 2007 wound its course the financial waterfall of the following year was still well downstream blissfully naïve as we drifted merrily along with the slow current and the garden bloomed, blossomed and erupted into a riot of color. The lupines went berserk, the sweet peas insane, and anything that could flower did it with manic devotion.
Very gradually I was coming to terms with the gardening facts of life at this elevation; the intense heat of the day, the bitter cold of night, and the very strange ultra-dryness of the air, so dry in fact that it can and will wither leaves, parch fern and freeze-dry flowers in place on the stem. By this time thankfully I was also beginning to discover the miracle of ‘the garden microclimate’ and was busily exploiting the phenomenon at every opportunity.
Micro climates of course are nothing new to gardeners but whereas with most gardens (every garden I’ve ever had before that’s for sure) micro climates are useful in producing prize specimens, here in Woody Creek they are a matter of life and death! Move a plant three feet over into the direct sun and it’s curtains. Put it in the direct line of the wind and your fate will be to watch it scorch and dry out as if subjected to the blast of a kiln. Yet add the slightest of protection – as in say a river rock – and suddenly it’s an entirely different matter, the plant begins to dream big once again and before you know, voila – a little thriving symbiotic plant colony where before there was only rocks, dirt and dust.
As with all recessions thankfully they seem to come and go, and this one took four years, during which time I pretty much abandoned the garden to fend for itself. I did the odd spot of pruning but that was about the extent of it. The garden was put to fallow and seemed quite pleased with the arrangement if I’m quite truthful. Left alone it grew and matured into a well-established garden, and by the time of our reunion in the spring of 2012 I think we were both ready to put on something of a show.
But for 4 long years there can be no denying that these were very grim and desperate times both for myself, my family and the majority of the rest of the world’s population. However, throughout this horrid period the garden stood as a beacon to me; that times would indeed get better, and that one day it would come back better and more beautiful than ever.
Rather than ‘abandoned’ for 4 years I prefer to use the term ‘left to fallow’, an old English word that was a common concept throughout much of the past thousand years or more – that in order to thrive land, just as ourselves, must be allowed some rest. Perhaps 4 years was a bit excessive but it was I who was the true beneficiary when in the spring of 2012 I rolled my sleeves up to clear the deadwood and take a look at the old girl… only to discover a world teeming with life where just a short time ago there had only been a parking lot.
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