A comment I made in one of my posts on Monday made me think a lot more about the sense of place in my garden. I was talking about this one particular garden that I drive by–the garden with the windmill–and the sense I get that those homeowners (who I don’t know at all) had relocated from the Midwest.
It’s not just the windmill. In the fall, they do a display that also makes me think that. I think I posted about it last fall with a similar theme, talking about how certain things don’t belong in New England gardens. In that case, it was the hay stacks, and scare crows. It’s not that we don’t really have such things here–we do, occasionally–but they are much more common on the plains of the Midwest than they are to our more limited farming here in New England.
Pumpkins, gourds and corn, while they struggle to grow here some years, do grow here so it’s fine to decorate with those things. But this whole haystack and scarecrow thing is a bit over the top. If I recall correctly, they might have even had a stagecoach wagon wheel–but now I might be mis-remembering.
My thought, however, was that no one would realize where I’d grown up by looking at my garden. It’s not that I have any dislike for where I was raised. I was raised at the Jersey shore, on one of those barrier islands that was almost obliterated by Sandy a few years back.
But beach grass and shore pines, aside from being woefully out of place in my landscape, probably wouldn’t grow very well either. And I don’t like them. I didn’t like them when I lived there and I don’t like them now.
Inside my house you’ll find evidence of upbringing. I had many happy times there and still get back to visit often. But “beach” gardening is a very specific type of gardening. And it has no place in an inland garden, whether I’d like it to or not!