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Although our Federal-era house, which my partner and I purchased in 2002, was on the National Register of Historic Places, its four acres of grounds were certainly not on any Botanical Society’s registry. In fact, there were no gardens here at all. There was, however, a parking lot directly behind the house—and, of course, it was in the perfect, sunny spot for a garden. Yes, a parking lot, thickly paved with asphalt.
I viewed this lot daily, with great disdain, from the office, the kitchen, and the guest room windows. But the more I looked, the more I saw roses, evergreens, and fountains in place of the asphalt. Four years later, once the house was restored, we hired a contractor to remove every last trace of blacktop.