Yesterday I posted about my new garden. Today the story continues...
As I stepped into the greenhouse, feet crunching on piles of brown leaves that had fallen through the holes over the last decade, I imagined myself back on the North Shore, where I did home and garden writing as a Pioneer Press reporter between 2003-2007.
"It's like discovering a Jens Jensen garden," I thought dramatically, scooping up leaves (and more than a few snails--the bane of English gardeners--who had taken refuge in them). "I can almost see myself on one of those palatial yet neglected Lake Forest estates, finding a little garden shed filled with rusting but still usable supplies."
Or, of course, I could pretend to be Mary Lennox, the child from "The Secret Garden" who finds a once-loved garden that's been long abandoned to the ravages of time.
I knew such romantic fantasies were frivolous, indeed, but that's what a lifetime of reading about dreamy, spirited heroines like Anne of Green Gables and Jo March will do to a girl! Soon I was very busy clearing out the leaves, picking bits of broken glass out of dirt and emptying pots of dank water, but a delightful sense of mystery and discovery remained.
Troy and Timmy, the Pasture House cats, were very happy that someone was in this quiet corner of the garden at last, and came purring into the greenhouse to visit and "help" me. Timmy even curled up on the shelf to keep a close eye on all events (and just in case I spontaneously decided to serve them their tea out in the garden, no doubt).
It's been a good 12 years or so since my English family used the greenhouse. ED (English Dad) loves to garden but gave it up when the demands of his business got too strong. My English "brother" David, a strapping 23-year-old, sent more than a few balls through the glass through the years, but since the greenhouse hasn't been used, the family hadn't bothered to patch it up.
Still, EM (English Mum) is very pleased that I've decided to start using it. They've even discussed replacing the broken panes so it will be fully functional once more.
Even now, though, I feel so lucky to have a greenhouse for potting, storing and working in. Yes, there is one ceiling pane missing, and bushes have grown through the holes in the side, but there are also dozens of pots and containers that will come in mighty handy. As I worked yesterday sowing my many seeds in plastic trays, a sudden hail storm broke out (as it's done nearly every day for a week), and it was satisfyingly cozy to be snug in my little glass house with my hands in good dirt.