“My thatch gate has been closed — but opens now for you.”

garden gate

Yesterday the team building the new fence around our old garden finished their work. They’d agreed to make gates and the idea was wire ones, framed with wood. Simple. But yesterday morning I looked out and Brian was unloading two beautiful cedar gates from his truck and then Julia and Kevin arrived to hang them after buying hinges, latches, and handles from the hardware store. I couldn’t be happier with what they’ve done—the sturdy fence, the 4×4 posts sunk in cement (John and I sledged the previous iron posts in that the deer mesh was attached to, awful work in clouds of mosquitoes…), and now these gates. When we fenced the garden with deer mesh (this would be the mesh that the deer figured out is easy to break through, though it took them 6 years, followed by a curious parade of Roosevelt elk), I said I wanted something whimsical as an entrance point. So John built a pretty pergola of cedar that is now covered in Hall’s honeysuckle. The new gate, the main gate (the other entrance is on the other side), fits so beautifully under the pergola. I loved going in and out yesterday while chestnut-backed chickadees checked out the nest box next to the garden. John’s going to build some more nest boxes to install on top of some of the posts. We had nest boxes on the first fence, the one before the mesh, the one that enclosed the early garden, but when we re-fenced, after the septic field had to be rebuilt, we used the iron snow fence-posts, and there was nowhere to put the nest boxes, so they were nailed onto trees.  New boxes, a new gate, and the peonies coming up with such energy after their long sleep. I know the next decade will pass before we know it.

North of me, south of me, spring is in flood,
Day after day I have seen only gulls….
My path is full of petals — I have swept it for no others.
My thatch gate has been closed — but opens now for you.
It’s a long way to the market, I can offer you little —
Yet here in my cottage there is old wine for our cups.
Shall we summon my elderly neighbour to join us,
Call him through the fence, and pour the jar dry?

–Du Fu

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