The best feature on This Side of Paris is the garden wall. It was love at first sight. It is not beautiful at first sight. To the contrary, the rock wall was covered with overgrown plants, ivy, and this kudzu like vine. The gardener inside of me knew with a bit of trimming and landscaping design, this hidden gem that anchors the landscape will be the focal point as you make your way to the house.
It took three weekends and a total of 42 hours to weed, pull, and cut whatever greenery holding on to dear life on the surface of these river rocks. As I unveiled the beautiful patina that gives this wall character, I realized that whoever built the wall must have considered the curvature in the design and hand-picked each of the stones that were used.
With so many questions I had about the garden wall, I sought my new neighbors for answers. My neighbor Barbara and Ann have been coming to the mountains since the 70's. They finally settled and built their house in the 80's. In 1976 Artie and Sissy, who lived at the bottom of the hill, Billie, Jack, and Kathy, all had a hand in building this garden wall for Sissy's mother, Louise, who lived at "Eagles Nest." Just think, this little charmer was once called "Eagles Nest." Their local friend Robert had a truck load of river rocks delivered to the house along with some single find along the river down the road. It took one week and twelve hours and seven sets of hands to bring about this wall that I adore. I knew there was and is something special about this wall. Now, I know it was built on friendship, laughter, and love for the lady of the house that once lived at This Side of Paris.
Some of the original builders have gone on.... The ones that still make it every year we want to honor and thank for being part of such a beautiful story. Seasons come and seasons go. It's just another reason to Gather. Eat. Enjoy on This Side of Paris.
The garden is shaping up. A splash of unexpected colors are surprising me at every corner.