Until the Lodge came along, I always played a game with Mother Nature as to what she would let me grow if I were not to prune her trees back to sharply. At Raymond Court, I loved the shaded yard given to me by the host of maples which grew abundantly in the side yard. But, that meant I was restricted plants that could tolerate or perhaps enjoy the shade like hosta, astilbe, daylilies, ferns and sedums. When we got the cottage, I was faced with the same plight. It is in the woods afterall, and we did not wish to change that. The front garden was a special challenge, as, when we bought, there was only "forest soil" a nutrient poor, combination of decomposed pine needles and sand that was hard pressed to hold any water. We fashioned stone walls to terrace off the embankment and brought in loads and loads of loam to backfill and create garden beds. Slowly, I learned which plants could live largely off just rainfall and tolerate the small amount of sunlight the garden was provided with each day. This photo shows that I am now in tune with this garden, though it has taken me years to achieve it. That is why Oak Hill is such a fun place to garden with its many areas of sun and shade, wet and dry, but tremendous soil everywhere!