I should probably say that our yard is only about 40 feet long and 15 feet wide so it isn’t very big. We have two huge sycamore street trees and we have a tangerine in the yard that is slowly dying from some nasty fungus but I’m nursing it along and we used to have a really obnoxious palm tree that now is just a stump and makes a great place to leave offerings to the Fae when we need to. (I hate palm trees. They aren’t even real trees.)
We have the whole front of a townhouse and we’ve lived here 16 years this month. The owner probably would love to get us out because we’re under rent control and the rents around here are sky high now. But the agreement we had with her when we took it was that we could do anything we wanted to the yard. She’s an uptight Dutchwoman with no sense of humour and the gnomes drive her crazy.
We started the gnome thing because of our Uncle Winn who was magic. He was a Master Mason and he and Aunt Dell couldn’t have kids so he lavished love on all his nieces and nephews and when we came along, great nieces and nephews. He married one of the Swedish side and one of the few of them that never made me feel bad for not being able to see and keep up with the others. Some of my great aunts quite, frankly were bitches on wheels because they didn’t like my grandmother who was a Scot and baked better than they did on their own recipes and I was an easy target.
Anyway, he had us all convinced that if we turned around fast enough we’d catch his gnome with the wheel barrow moving. How we didn’t have whiplash I don’t know.
One summer night we went over for dinner. I think it was the few times we were there when it wasn’t a holiday. He carried me outside to show me some things he said were magic and they were to me. He showed me a hummingbird’s nest with 3 tiny eggs. He showed me a Great Horned Owl sitting in one of the trees in the back of the yard and he showed me Sputnik passing overhead. About the only time before my eye surgery that being excessively farsighted helped.
So when my sister and I moved in together and started gardening we found a gnome and his wheelbarrow at our favourite nursery and he was the same size as Uncle Winn’s and then it got out of hand. So we had to make rules about who came to live in the yard.
We have bunnies because of BunniHoTep. We started getting bears after my brother died because he was a gay Bear. We have faeries because we just have to. We have a few other things like a toad home and various sized mushrooms and a giant acorn and assorted pinwheels and things of that nature and the giant bird feeder. It has hooks so we have different kinds of bird food hanging. We had a tray that the doves could use but the squirrels broke it when they figured out they could jump a long distance to it. The only feeder I won’t have is a hummingbird feeder. They carry disease. I’d rather grow plants for the hummers and bees. That red sugar stuff can get toxic very quickly in hot weather. I’d rather have them in the rosemary and lantana and my shooting star hydrangea.
I just got Ali, three fun colour changing solar lights from Amazon, a hummingbird, dragonfly and butterfly.
We’ve had hawks drop by, opossums, raccoons, plus we have our beloved ravens and crows. You never know whose going to show up here. The only one I wouldn’t welcome with open arms is probably a skunk. Although at some point I know they have passed through because they left their perfume behind.
We love our magical space.