Trellises have become a bit of a joke in our conversations.
Stephen suggests I have a fetish. I argue function.
Soundcliff’s gardens are anything but level…
no broad horizontal spaces for row crops,
so to grow up makes sense to me…
I’ll own such fetish.
There have been several incarnations of bean & pea supports
like this, which I put inside the Mashua trellis
which is 3 years old, I think.
Low plants such as the zucchini I tried there last year were shaded-out.
This tri-tipi encourages vertical growth of vines in conversation
with the sunlight.

Later in the season that conversation became visible as both vines rose to the tops of their supports. While the beans have made much food for our table, the Mashua, a Peruvian nasturtium produces starch crop of tubers we dig around the time of the winter solstice. I’ve written about this plant several times.
There evolved a nice symmetry with the White Pine nearby,
having at least a decade of settling-in on the level below
where the fire pit centers one of the only
actually level parts of the property.
An early Spring piece of infrastructure was Tom’s creation
of a definitive sensitively gentle firm path in the north garden
following the edge of an old slippage which we are healing by
building-up a”permaculture”compost pile
which after 5-6 yearsis beginning to become a plant-able slope.
This was a project we left Tom to design & make this on his own.
He used locust logs which were been harvested on the property.
It is sweetly graceful & we are pleased & proud of it with him!
Tom does sweet work… as you will see more…
Our steep slope requires paths usable by foot & wheelbarrow,
making our beds level & accessible enough to
be usable garden spaces.
Slopes invite the evolution of curving zig-zags
with some hair-pin turns… & trellises.

This very old wild cherry tree has been doing precipitous yoga since
long before I came along.
It has a wonderful gestural glyph-like quality.

We have had it pruned several times
to relieve weight & pressure.
Returning from Japan we were encouraged to
experiment aiding it with a support.
Again Tom was instrumental in engineering this proposed fantasy
project about which neither of us had any experience…
we had numerous problems from the start.
The major difficulty is that the lawn is covering
the sand filter of our septic system
over which much of the tree’s weight reaches.
We really had only one choice of placement…
Then it became almost humorous to me
that we could attempt to “support” such sprawling tonnage?!?
The best we might do is to push a “stool” under it
& see if it wants to sit…
[I’ve been questioning a proclivity
to use the word crutch even as the limb we were supporting
looks more like an arm than a butt.
Tom realized we needed to begin at the top… hanging the lintel s
o we have some stable point at which
to begin measurements. This amused me more!
There were numerous re-measurements
as we informed ourselves of next steps & cautiously cut the
aged logs we rescued on the land… locust… a durable wood.
We built secure foundations using old waste concrete
to develop the final measuremenst,
all secured by a healthy pour of new concrete.
There is a very deep impulse, with a very long history,
for craftsmen to leave their mark…

Tom, my engineer with the muscle…
& me, appreciating the challenge to work with him.
We dialogue well inside our four years of experience
gardening & building such projects together.
We pleased ourselves!
A garden sofa has been another long-incubated dream of mine,
more because the extant path was so narrow
that a wheelbarrow completely blocked passage…
ultimately unworkable!
Salvaged timbers came together to make a
retaining wall & a bench
with Corsican Mint planted as “checkered upholstery”
which will eventually grow solid on the seat.

After all that work,
a cool drink on the Prow Deck is in order!
Its plantings have bloomed a delicious clash of colors.

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