We do like a good garden project, we do. Not those perpetual projects that never seem to get finished (or even really get off the ground). You know those types of projects – for us it’s things like replacing the nasty chain link fence at the front of the house (BORING!) or building an actual, proper shed (boring, but also daunting since the area where the shed will go needs some serious hard landscaping and a retaining wall).
No, I’m talking about the fun projects. The fru-fru things that aren’t particularly pressing but somehow leapfrog the more important projects.
Last summer it was making the terrace outside our back door. This spring it was revamping the edging on the veg beds. This summer: a Moroccan courtyard area. Because, well, why not?
We’ve got this strip of land between the house and the summer kitchen that we’ve never known what to do with. When we were turning the tumble-down barn into a summer kitchen, it became home to all the junk from the barn. Then, when we finally cleared all that junk, it became home to a pile of nettles and bindweed. It’s an awkward area, too – dominated by a huge, tangled mulberry tree and, somewhere underneath, our septic tank. It overlooks the driveway and wood store. It’s just a depressing mess.
So here’s the plan. We’re going to attempt to pollard the mulberry tree – basically chop the top off that sucker – to rejuvenate it and get it under control. The whole area will be terraced with stone. We’ll make a few symmetrical raised beds planted with statuesque, exotic-looking plants – maybe some hardy palms or something. There’ll be a wraparound bench around the mulberry tree. And we’ll build a tiled wall with a water feature/sink to screen off the driveway behind. Add some lanterns. Throw in some colourful cushions. Bung on a kaftan. And bosh, our very own Moroccan courtyard in the Balkans.
That’s the plan, anyway. Let’s hope it’s more successful than our never-ending front wall and garden shed projects. The idea of having a Moroccan courtyard and pretending I’m lounging in a Marrakesh riad is certainly more motivating than ‘it’ll be nice to have somewhere to put the rake’. In other words, I know we need a garden shed, but I want a Moroccan courtyard. Which do you think will get done first?