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Whoever said “change is good” was not a gardener. In a shape-shifting world where the garden is one precious oasis of sameness, change feels bad even when it is good. One hundred and seventy-eight feet of change feels completely traumatic. I’m speaking of my new fence.

The garden is handling it better than I am. With garden beds lining more than fifty percent of the fence and a good chunk of it planted on both sides, I’m delighted and amazed to announce there were only two casualties so far. The jack-booted thugs installing the fence (of course they were all men!) have been extremely careful. The foreman is even kind of…sensitive. He paid attention when I described my concerns; he and his crew avoided the areas I asked them to when it was possible, and the “thugs” left plants intact that were planted right up against the fence. They even worked around a trellis only about four inches from the fence so the Snow Queen clematis wouldn’t have to be cut back. The foreman is designing a special pergola over the gate for it to grow on…bonus!

The only casualties were trillium that came up too early because of the warm spell in Michigan this March, and one asparagus crown that was in the fence row once we moved the fence inward to keep it to code. I divided and replanted the asparagus, so we’ll see if new plants grow from the thick rope-like roots. What a cthulu monster asparagus is underground! I had no idea!

The trillium, carefully nestled in an undisturbed corner, couldn’t be avoided. I admit I even stepped on one when I was tidying up afterwards. As ephemerals, they may grow back this year or the next, but after nurturing these little wildflowers for several years, it’s terribly sad to see them trampled. I’m glad I took a few pictures before the onslaught.

In recompense for my loss, the garden gave me this gift: new trillium sprouting where none grew last year! You can see it on the right side, a little seedling by the anemones. This little act of grace will help me recover from my post-fence stress disorder. Also, most of the older trillium remained unharmed and are ready to start flowering with a little more warmth. Mathematically I only lost one plant, but that one plant is heartbreaking!

I’ll begin recovery when the fence is done. The project is taking longer than expected, and had rain delays. The foreman assures me he’s the only one who will need to come back to finish the fence and professes he will be tremendously careful. But my garden is under siege, and I will not relax until all thugs are banished, even relatively sensitive ones. Then I’ll finally get some vegetables started, transplant columbine seedlings along the sidewalk outside the fence, get my little hydrangea tree into the ground that I made from layering the Limelight hydrangea out front, and get my clover lawn underway.

I think we’ll have to name the day the fence is completed Armistice Day, because it will be the day my garden no longer looks like a war zone, and we begin the slow steady process of rebuilding. It will truly be a day of peace.

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