An Open Invitation

You are most welcome to have a look.

It’s a flat corner lot, large but unimposing. Sidewalk rims it, conducting a flow of passers by. Beyond the sidewalk, parking medians sprawl eight feet to the streets. A lawnmower’s width from the walk, a chain link fence, in mostly good condition, rings the yard. Stroll by and you’ll see every part of it. The surprising thing: I like these homely features.

At what level did I know I wanted exactly this plain, see through place? I’d been looking for seclusion in which to create personal sanctuary, an “invitation only” sort of space. The front yard should have had a public face with an engaging smile, but the back most certainly shielded from view. This place had neither enclosure nor good grooming, yet it was right.

I’ve lived and labored here a little over a year, and realize the experience has me shifting my perceptions.

Perhaps what defines sanctuary is really intention and tending, a safe yet permeable boundary and welcome. Is it any wonder that a well conceived garden begins in much the same way? Another tenet of good garden design is the wedding of the garden to both the architecture and the nature of the surrounding environment. Here it must be written that a beautiful garden and a sacred space can be neighborly.

As a freshman at Macalester College, during a unit on poet Robert Frost, I learned that his least favorite word was “exclusive”. Both democratic and mystic in character, this bit of revelation speaks to me once again. This flat corner lot calls me into a new creative edge that is at once inclusive and sacred, visible and safe.

I would be most honored for your company and witness as yard and person transform into gardenhood.