Those of you who are really close to me have probably heard me say that I hate nature. The statement is mostly tongue-in-cheek, though there are many things about the outdoors that I find disturbing (for some reason anything in a honey-comb pattern makes me uneasy….and bugs). But really, if I didn’t find the outdoors beautiful I would never have ended up in this house situated on a three acre lot. About an acre of the property is cleared, but the rest of the land holds loads of beautiful trees from evergreens, to dogwood, birch, and crepe myrtle. In a lot of ways our little community, about an hour’s drive from DC, is a welcome escape from the big city and ever-growing suburbs.
Because of our remote location, sometimes I feel like I live in my very own park. (With 12 acres my parents have must feel like they have their own nature reserve!) And why not? We’re just across the street from Crow’s Nest, a protected reserve, and the area where Pocahontas was kidnapped. Like many parks, we see deer, squirrels, and rabbits on a regular basis — and even the occasional turkey buzzard! But much to my dad’s green-thumb chagrin, our yard is more reminiscent of an untended park left completely to reflect nature’s whimsy, rather than the well-manicured properties of some of our neighbors. This isn’t the result of a lack of desire for a well-groomed yard — it’s more that I seem to have a “black thumb”, I don’t really enjoy yard work, and I’m very bad about making time for it. Sorry Dad! This is one of your genes or habits I didn’t inherit!
Ironically, I love well-tended gardens and parks. When we stopped at the National Museum of Natural History a couple of weeks ago and viewed the temporary exhibit on orchids I was speechless after seeing the beautiful gardens that had been designed for the museum. And nothing makes me more envious than some of the old Fredericksburg houses with their perfect backyard gardens. So perhaps it is fitting that today, on this particularly grey and rainy evening, we visited the small but well-tended Hurkamp Park in Fredericksburg for our “unofficial” stroll. The juxtaposition of the stunning wrought iron fencing, newly sprung flowers, and large fountain feature against the bleak sky made it an interesting walk. Admittedly though, due to the cold weather and darkening skies, it was a much shorter promenade than we would have liked.