At the bottom of the back lawn is an area of untended garden (one of many) surrounding the well cap. It’s a shady spot, surrounded by trees and separated from a wonderfully green slope of grass by a small creek. A flat rock provides a rolling spot for the cats, and a suitable place to leap across the creek, into the scrubby patch around the well. My plans for this circle of possibility have included a butterfly garden, herb garden and Japanese style landscape of gravel paths, artfully placed trees and rocks, all accessed by a curved bridge.
Seeing as the path to our front door is still unpaved, projects behind the house are a fair way down the list. There are other considerations, too. Twelve acres of wetlands form the rear border of our property, an acre of which we ‘tend’, meaning ‘leave undisturbed’. The well cap rests just north of the border, a proper part of our yard, but I don’t want to plant anything there that might march into the forest behind, uprooting native species along the way. And, there are the deer.
Deer seem to have indiscriminate appetites. They eat everything, including plants on the list of plants they’re not supposed to eat. Many mornings I have ducked outside only to find a row of stubby stems in place of sunny gerberas, half chewed leaves and headless lilies. The desecration does not end there. To the endless amusement of my daughter, I have often been sighted in the yard with a foul smelling mixture of deer repellant in one hand, waving and yelling at the deer to ‘get off my lawn’. In between such bouts of madness, I do enjoy watching them roam through the wetlands. Sometimes. It depends on how recent the scars of destruction are. There are other creatures roaming through the woods (and my garden) as well. So, my options for the patch out the back are limited.
This morning I came across an idea that appealed, however. A friend posted these pictures on Facebook and I have tried to find out where this garden is, to no avail. I find them entrancing! The eyes, particularly. I can easily imagine looking out across the lawn to meet this stony, but curious gaze. I would call him The Well-Guard, and he would probably scare my daughter spit-less. (I am not exactly cackling here, but…close.) I doubt he will scare the deer away, but I have a fertile imagination, I will make up stories about him, nonetheless.
So far, the deer have shown no interest in plants that grow close to the ground; blue juniper and ivy, for instance. I have rocks galore, piles of them, rows of them. One of my hobbies is moving them around the garden, which is a subject for another ramble, I think. The bridge would still fit this small landscape; any space guarded by such a being must be accessed via a bridge—beneath which will dwell a troll, or another small garden sculpture.
And, there will be cousins; one reclining by the fire pat, offering hip and shoulder as a casual perch to the brave, another peeking out of the soil in the herb patch.
Maybe, one day, I will end up with a sea serpent diving through the front lawn, as well.