I just stumbled upon this old post from 2013, when I first began transforming this broken, juglone-poisoned yard. It’s really difficult to imagine just how desolate, aggressive and sometimes scary this yard was when we first moved to Goshen. In the photo with the first pile of wood mulch, you can see how brown and unhealthy even the grass was, and how barren the land in front of the blue house was. Both yards now sing with glorious flowers from March through early November, and we’ve got holly berries, rosehips and evergreens for winter interest now, too.
The post tells the story of our gut-rehabbed house, and now I smile knowing that we aided a similar transformation of the house next door — from total junker to beautiful haven.
The last paragraph of this post begins: “In case you haven’t noticed, we are currently gut-rehabbing and replanting our entire world. Change is happening, sometimes on the hyperlocal level. Sometimes in your own town or even your own backyard! If you feel discouraged by the state of our world, look for the beauty in discarded things. Become the visionary; embody the artist.”
It’s good to take stock every now and then. In what ways has your own life blossomed? What inner visions have you brought to life in the world out there?
Well, it’s gardening time again — our first year cultivating this wild yard that used to be a spooky urban forest before our landlord, Larry, gut-rehabbed our house. “I remember that house” is the refrain we hear from people around town whenever David and I mention gardening and tell them where we live.
To put things in perspective, David’s dad is, among other things, a professional photographer and lecturer, and he has a slideshow all about Appalachia. He knows our landlord, and … true story … before we rented this place, David’s dad used to stop by and tease Larry late at night as he worked on this impossible project of meticulously restoring a “stripped beyond the studs” old house. The contractors in town used to tease Larry, too, asking him why he didn’t simply tear down the property and start from scratch.
As a little mischievous wink, David’s dad…
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