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A Baby Boomer Garden Choice

A vision on the SW Oregon Coast: Shore Acres

A vision on the SW Oregon Coast: Shore Acres

If flowers spark something in you that’s hard to explain, don’t worry. You are a gardener.

Turning yourself into a Baby Boomer gardener is an act of evolutionary force.

It’s more than mowing the yard.

With a shovel in your hand and a sack of fresh dirt to mix into clay soil, you rank as a master of the universe. You hold the power of life and death.

You decide which plants live and which ones go to the compost bin.

Once you attain master of the universe status you look for others with similar power. You find no one with your gift in the neighborhood, so you look back on history at other gardening accomplishments.

Egypt catches your eye because of the hardscape. Is there another ancient civilization as obsessed with stone?

Viewing the pyramids for the first time leaves you confused. They make your garden retaining wall look half-baked. They make everything look half-baked. As a master of the universe you vow to achieve what the Pharaohs’ accomplished.

Your retaining wall will grow into a funeral-ready crypt if it kills you.

Like other real gardeners, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon catches your eye. You feel the glory of the Babylonians until you read Herodotus who claims the outer walls were “56 miles in length, 80 feet thick and 320 feet high. Wide enough to allow a four-horse chariot to turn.”

Your wall is wide enough to turn a wheelbarrow. It’s a modern equivalent to a chariot, you reason, so you don’t lose focus on the Egyptians.

One of the greatest examples of garden hardscape is Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plain in Southern England. It dwarfs your garden wall so you look to smaller examples, like the Merry Maidens Stone Circle in Cornwall England. It couldn’t fit into your yard, but other stone could.

With a shovel and a wheelbarrow and the right attitude you can build something wonderful. It may not be a Wonder of The World, but your neighbors might think so.

You could do worse than Louis Simpson. His mansion burned down, lost to the modern world, but his garden lives on in Oregon.

Yours will too.

About David Gillaspie
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