By Marilyn Zuckerman
The crushed rock walks
wander here and there
the bright autumn Japanese Maple trees
bend over the path—
and there the different grasses.
In the distance Puget Sound shimmers
against the white-shrouded Olympics behind
in the quiet garden.
Sunday in the Garden
Now the birds arrive,
and skimming through the garden
as though on urgent errands.
Most are hummingbirds,
those nimble acrobats
Then a swarm of bumble bees,
saved from extinction,
buzzing and sipping
—and butterflies too
attracted to this new habitat
—refugees from the holocaust.
Colette in the Garden
Colette in blue,
over the blue Lobelias,
looking like a flower herself.
· · ·
One thing to know about this superb garden is that it has evolved mightily from its original plan. At first I thought I wanted a walking path for exercise, meditation and the culling of ideas for poems—like Darwin’s sand walk. Then three things happened.
- Colette read a book about a Japanese garden and passed it on to me.
- I saw photos of Zen gardens in Kyoto.
- A team was assembled consisting of Louise Wright, architect and designer for the house reconstruction, Clint Ceder, carpenter and creator of the trellis and gates, Colette Highberger, landscape designer and gardener—and me.
Next, Louise and I visited Kubota Gardens in downtown Seattle and it became a model for ours. Since we had begun to think environmentally, the vision for the garden expanded to one with less grass, more Pacific Northwest drought-resistant plants, and crushed rock paths and huge rocks set within a Japanese scenario.
After Louise drew preliminary plans and Colette fleshed them out and began the planting with the support of Usiel Lopez (2nd gardener), Jaswinder Singh of A and J Retaining Walls gathered rocks large and small and with his team dug trenches for the paths and placed the huge quarry rocks in their proper place. The result is what you see today—a
garden not only lovely to behold, but environmentally green and already a habitat for bees, birds and butterflies.
The Upright Construction Team
Brian Highberger: Head Coach and Master Builder
Louise Wright: Residential designer and overall design coordinator, who worked with me to help create my dream house
Mary-lynn Ballew: Interior designer—another magician
Colette Highberger: Landscape designer and garden visionary
Robert Mitton: Master Craftsman
Ron Horne: Foreman and primary contact man
( Both Robert and Ron checked out final details on the project—commonly known as the Punch List, and spent about 2 weeks at my house on that task thus allowing us to become good friends).
Marty Walz, Captain (demolition)
Dillon Baker: Demolition
Austin Thompson: Demolition (and framing)
Marty Walz: Demolition
Steve Bell: Painter and poet
Clint Ceder: My ambassador to the team and detail man
Everyone did extra duty and extended themselves in order to find and use only non-toxic materials from paint, finishes, window trim, and closet doors in order to provide a truly Green house. My gratitude to all.
These poems form the sixth and final installment in a sequence about the construction of my home—read the first here. Read the second here, the third here, the fourth here, and the fifth here.