Soon to be renowned!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Master Plan

It's all coming together. My vision for the soon-to-be unsurpassed gardens at Fencebroke Promontory is incubating as we speak, growing strong and viable, safe and warm as I gaze out upon the wintery grounds from the comfort of my drafting room. And by wintery I mean kinda overcast. And by drafting room I mean utility closet.
OK, so I'm hiding inside, blogging, alongside the washer and dryer, instead of actually doing any garden work. Having hung up my professional gardening career in favor of slightly-more-upright employment at an urban garden center, I find I've lost my taste for elemental punishment. Too many winter days spent shivering for warmth, on hands and knees, clutching at a few more weeds with numb fingers, have left me scarred and none-too eager to brave chill and drizzle in the name of casual gardening.
So I stare out the window and compose my master plan; my blueprint for beauty; my grand scheme for grandeur; my opus of green opulence; my, uh, syllabus for sowing — OK, this is going downhill fast. How about I just give you a sneak peak of what I've got cooking so far? Ooh! My cookbook for, um — no, sorry, I thought I had something there. 
Anyway. We'll start out in the Western Meadows. Here, I will recreate the American prairie, with lots of grasses, wildflowers, and buffalo:

Give me a home, where the buffalo roam
Now, moving on to highlands of Fencebroke. Since this portion of the grounds sits on a natural bluff, I envision a crashing, five-story waterfall surrounded by my beloved native Northwest conifers. Several miles of hiking trails will wend through the lovingly crafted forest.
The deafening roar of a waterfall
Here I plan on taking advantage of an existing structure. This beautiful old barn, once properly retrofitted, will serve as stables for my thoroughbreds. I will set aside 10 acres or so for pasture and arena.
The Stables at Fencebroke
OK, this is really exciting. The exposure of this south facing slope is just perfect for my orchards and vineyard. The tasting room/gift shop for my award-winning ciders, perries and zinfandel will be carved into the side of the hill. I really should get started on this if I want to be bottling by 2020.
Tasting room coming soon!
Moving to the Northeast plains, I will go straight-up Versailles up in here. Clipped hedges, ponds, all that boring stuff I swore I'd never have. Just because I can.
And after the pompous baroque of the previous section, I will effect a somewhat ironic transition into a serene, meditative Japanese/Zen garden nestled into this natural glade. My own personal selection of Japanese maples will be flown in straight from Hokkaido.
Breathe in: one... two... three. And out.
And finally, leading from the villa to the gardens proper will be a long avenue of pollarded hornbeams. Visitors will either trot down the road in my antique, horse-drawn carriages or saddle up their choice of custom ATVs.
By horse... or by beast?
So that's what I've got so far; just a rough draft really. There are still a few things I need to fit in. For example: a moon garden, a sculpture garden, a xeriscape/desert garden — oh, and a small organic farm! I'll also need an area for cutting flowers, an herb garden, a 9-hole, links-style golf course — oh and for crying out loud where am I going to put my authentic, Victorian glasshouse!?
Clearly I still have work to do, so I guess for now it's back to the drawing board for me.
Aaaand, next to the drawing board there's still plenty of laundry that needs folding ...


  1. You have a blank slate to work with and Winter is the perfect time for the gestation of ideas. I have heard that you have vision when it comes to gardens so I hope you continue to post your plans and progress--especially the buffalo. :-)

  2. I can see it! Lovely.