We have a couple of wooded acres behind our house that we fenced in for our dogs. I suggested to my husband and our contractor that we clear a little walking path with a bench, where I could sit and read a magazine while the dogs played. Things got out of hand fast! If you're interested, you can join me on this little tour.
This arch was part of an antique gate that I found for our front walkway. But, it was "too much". So we had it cut apart from the gate and built into the stonework as an entry point for our wooded walk. The stacked stone was done by hand, by a hard-working group of stone masons from Central America.
My short path turned into one-quarter mile of slightly-raised wooden boardwalk, winding gently through the woods, up and down little hills and in and out between the trees. Two young men from the Czech Republic built the entire boardwalk in just a few short days.
Being wine-lovers, my husband decided we should have an arbor to grow our own grapes. We commissioned the arbor to be built by a local man who we met at a garden show. Unfortunately, the grapevines didn't get enough sun to produce, but the arbor still provides some "architectural" interest.
We collected hand-crafted birdhouses, in all shapes and sizes, to hang throughout the woods. Unfortunately, the squirrels were very busy chewing most of them up!
Of course, we had to have some tributes to our "pack" members!
The boardwalk was nice, but we really needed a "destination." So, knowing that my husband loves to fish, our contractor suggested a pond at the bottom of the slope. A pond was dug and a dam was built. A small wet-weather spring, coming out of the ground near-by was our source for filling the pond. Amazingly, over a period of a week, the tiny trickle filled the pond right to the top.
A dock was constructed, complete with gas grill and small outdoor refrigerator. The pond was stocked with bass, blue gill and catfish. The refrigerator was raided nightly by the local raccoon population.
More craft show treasures!
A quiet place to sit and enjoy all the beauty of nature in our own back yard. This bench is another hand-crafted treasure, by a local woodworker. It sits on top of the dam, for a nice view of the pond.
Again, at a garden show, I spotted this enchanting miniature cabin, and I knew we had to have it! Made of wood, it has a copper roof and a chimney made of tiny stones. It even has a light that comes on at nigh and shines through the windows. Our stone masons built the bridge for it to rest on, so that the spring could flow underneath it. In the beginning, the porch was decorated with tiny fishing poles, a wooden canoe, a watering can and a straw sun hat and the cutest little bench. But, again, those busy wood critters made quick work of all that cuteness!
A waterproof pump in the pond, recycles the water through piping up the hillside. The water then creates a waterfall back down the hillside.
It's a beautiful spot in the Springtime. Beginning later this month, we'll have dogwood trees, wild magnolias, native azaleas, hydrangeas, fig trees, eucalyptus, hosta, holly ferns, flowering cherry trees and the most beautiful variety of wild ferns growing everywhere. If we're lucky, we'll spot a few morel mushrooms growing wild. Maybe just enough to garnish a bowl of pasta.