A wise person would simply call the number on the sign and ask permission to look at the garden but I'd taken to leaving my phone at the house as Tmobile coverage is a bit sketchy in these parts. Alison didn't think that we should go in but I thought that garden folk might not mind.
How I wish I'd been here for the sale! There were cool things all over the place!
What lured me past the gate was Dianthus 'Rainbow Loveliness' whose sweetly-perfumed blooms I just discovered myself this year.
Years ago, Sylva found a small black heart-shaped rock and gave it to a man named Bill before she left Alaska. When she returned a year or so later, Bill still had the rock in the pocket of his Carhartts.
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
O.k. so back to the garden:
There are now over three thousand heart-shaped rocks in the garden which takes it's name from that
original heart stone. Sylva reports that Alaska is rife with heart-shaped rocks and once people heard
the story, they brought her even more stones. Bill and Sylva decided to leave their home and garden
for warmer digs, a difficult decision. They wanted to be closer to their kids and Sylva, having
moved all those years ago from Miami, was weary of snow.
There is a clay bottomed pond, dug by the Tininskis, here somewhere in which a rainbow trout appeared and lived for 14 years. Sylva reports that goldfish also lived in the four foot deep pond. They'd freeze solid in the winter and somehow survive year after year until one freaky winter when there was a big thaw and then a freeze which did the fish in.
We were in the garden for only a few minutes as Alison urged that we shouldn't linger longer as "People are shot in Willow for less." (Not kidding - people in Willow REALLY value their privacy.) Fortunately, Sylva has invited people to continuing the garden as they had in years past so this was a safe place to trespass. Of course we didn't know that at the time. Fun to live on the edge, yes?
Upside down tree arbors decorated parts of the garden. Isn't that view gorgeous?
Notice the heart in the twig fence.
In case you missed it -
If these paths could talk, they would have hundreds of stories of garden visitors, and a hard gardening life lived here. In Alaska, one has to work twice as hard to get half the results that we in the gardening paradise of western Washington/Oregon get. We're really very spoiled here. Ain't it grand?
Can you believe that this garden hasn't been tended? It looks pretty good to me!
The metal pole which holds the mosaic-covered birdhouses is wrapped with tree bark.
The soil here is pretty rocky so my hat's off to whoever dug the deep holes to support the upside-down tree pergola. Maybe they set them in cement.
Sylva and Billy T, as they're known in Willow, headed up the path of their garden for the last time but they're hoping that someone who will love the garden will buy the property which includes a house, the gallery, and delightful garden. Anyone up for a life-changing Alaska adventure? You may just find your own heart here!