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I Can Dream, Can’t I?

We bought our current house the end of April 2011 when snow (and a lot of it) was still on the ground. Last summer we had some work done on our property such as removing 5 dead trees. At that time, the .97 acre that we have looked manageable, at least in my head.

This year, with mild temperatures and little snow, our property looked more like an overgrown forest. Weeds grew abundantly and the growth of small trees and bushes could be seen which is not good for a dreamer like me who wants things to happen sooner rather than later.

Here is what our property currently looks like:

The Back Yard

The Back Yard

The Back Yard

The Back Yard

It looks messy but the wood pile has halfway been cleaned up which is a big plus. This next week I’ll be working on the woodpile so it will be “done” (although we might be felling two more almost dead trees so we have to put the wood somewhere.

But — I have a dream of what I’d like my backyard to look like. It doesn’t help that I visit Japanese gardens as they make my mouth water from the simplicity, structure and beauty that they have. I know, I know, it takes awhile to get a garden to look like that and my friends in Seattle reminded me that it took them over 5 years for their one acre to resemble anything like they wanted. Five years!  Well, it seems long until you remind yourself how much time it takes to work it every day.

I usually don’t work full days in the yard either. I like working in the cool of the day, the morning. By noon I’m ready to head inside and do something else. In the summer it’s easy to blame the bugs for only working a little each day, but in the autumn when the bugs are ready to hibernate (or simply die off) there are no excuses. Although, my left hand has gotten swollen and achy again from the fall I took in the Caribbean back in January so I guess that’s a really really good reason.

When we went to visit our daughter recently, she took us to the Anderson Japanese Garden in Illinois. It was a wonderful garden and gave me even more incentive to “get out there and work!”

Since I am a visual person, it gave me more ideas with what we can do with our property. But it will take time — lots of time. Eventually the park-like setting I’m looking for will happen. I’m thinking I should organize our property into four sections and then work on one section per year. Thoughts? Has anyone ever done this before besides the designers in Japan who come to America and do it for us?

Here’s a glimpse into some ideas although I don’t have a pond on my property. But I could put a fountain in …

Anderson Japanese Garden, Illinois

Small hints of wood and bamboo can be seen through trees and bushes …

Anderson Japanese Garden, Illinois

Anderson Japanese Garden, Illinois

I especially like this lamppost …

Anderson Japanese Garden, Illinois

And I definitely will need one of these fountains. I read that the noise from these bamboo fountains scare the deer away.

Anderson Japanese Garden, Illinois

It would be nice to have a Japanese style building but, who will build it? I wonder if I could buy a kit to put together …

Anderson Japanese Garden, Illinois

You can barely see the wooden steps that lead up to private property outside the gardens. Our property has a slight slope to it so perhaps I can incorporate some steps onto it.

Anderson Japanese Garden, Illinois

We won’t be able to have a waterfall like this although we might be able to build a small fountain that looks like one.

Anderson Japanese Garden, Illinois

Maybe little boys will come and play in our yard. (laughing)  That’s our grandson examining the rocks.

Anderson Japanese Garden, Illinois

Incorporating a couple of bridges sounds really good to me.

Anderson Japanese Garden, Illinois

A koi pond is the one thing we won’t have as I don’t want to have to worry about bringing the fish inside in the winter.

Anderson Japanese Garden, Illinois

Well, what do you think? This garden combined open areas with areas that were more bushy which would work well for us since I like a more structured look and my husband likes a wild look.

I can dream, can’t I?

An Afternoon in a Japanese Garden: Photographing the Anderson Japanese Gardens

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