I wish I still had my big garden. And wish I had written this.
Thursday, October 29, 2020
My View: Backyard oasis needs just the right name Oct 12, 2020
Cheryl Krajna is an author, communications professional and Master Gardener who lives in Cheektowaga.
By Cheryl Krajna
A rose is a rose, but what should I name my garden?
For some, as leaves and temperatures fall, so does their interest in their garden for the year. But many of us look forward to late fall and winter because we know that while we may not be physically working in our gardens as much during that time, we will still be thinking about them and planning for next year. We look forward to poring over seed catalogs and planning how to squeeze in “just a few more” plants next spring.
Our imaginations never stop, which led me to the conclusion that my garden needs a name. Not “Bob” or “Penelope,” but something befitting the hours upon hours I have spent digging, planting, weeding, pruning, mulching, watering and tending to the flowers I call my own.
Last May I suffered an injury that prevented me from gardening at all. At first it didn’t seem like a big deal, but one day I suddenly realized why I was feeling “off.” I wasn’t getting my hands in the dirt. I wasn’t smelling the lavender or running my hands along the pillowy cushion of Artemisia schmidtiana (Silver Mound). Science has proved that microbes in soil ease stress and depression – and I couldn’t take advantage of any of it.
So this year I more than made up for it. I planted more annuals in more pots and planters than ever before. I cleaned out the shed, finding a few treasures, and more pots, that I forgot I had. I spent hours just sitting on my patio enjoying the beauty of it all.
But what to call my glorious backyard oasis?
Many famous gardens have names including the melodious Chanticleer, an estate and botanical garden outside of Philadelphia, dating back to 1912. There’s also Longwood Gardens, also outside of Philadelphia. Named for “the nearby Longwood Meeting House ... Longwood probably derives from a nearby stretch of forest known locally as The Long Woods,” according to its website.
Literary references abound: “The Secret Garden,” “Tom’s Midnight Garden,” the “Garden of Live Flowers” from the Alice in Wonderland books. Not to mention the unnamed gardens in works by Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, the Bronte sisters, Beatrix Potter, Oscar Wilde, Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare. And let’s not forget the garden of all gardens: Eden.
I don’t live on a slope, so “Hillside Haven” or “Hilltop Hideaway” won’t work. If I had any big old trees, I might consider “Oakview,” “Ashview,” “Forestview” or even “Shady Pines.” (Any reference to “Golden Girls” is purely coincidental.)
A woodpecker loves to wake me up early, so “Woody’s Revenge?” Sometimes I hear the unmistakable coocoos of the mourning doves that like to perch on nearby telephone wires. How does “Dove’s Delight” sound? I could always name it after those pesky rabbits living under the shed. “Rabbit’s Run” or “Hare’s Breadth?”
On days when all I see are weeds, names like “Dandelion’s Delight” and “Crabgrass City” come to mind. When some of my plants are more hole than leaf – “Beetle Mania” seems like a good choice.
Maybe inspiration will strike in the coming months. For now, I’ll just call it home.