In Natick, Massachusetts, seventeen miles west of Boston, Joyce Ahlgren Hannaford has created a garden that is a neighborhood landmark. She shares photos of her garden with us, along with the very personal associations her garden has for her, with plants and landscaping features that serve as memories of her friends, family, and past homes.
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How long have you lived in your house?
We bought the house twelve years ago, which was built it 1923. It hadn’t had any attention in 35 years. The woman who lived here before us, had lived in it for 20 years, and it looked pretty bad. The house is a colonial with a gambrel roof and with two wings, but you couldn’t even tell, it was so overgrown with trees and shrubs. We took down about 40 trees—including two 100' white pines—and many overgrown shrubs. It took about five years for the yard to look full and the newly planted trees (30' to 35') to fill in.
After taking down the trees and ripping out the overgrown shrubs, we put in a 150' well. The next task was putting in the lawn because I couldn’t stand that we were just living with dirt all around. The well supplies me with free water for my 10-zone sprinkler system. Otherwise, the water bills alone would probably be around $5,000 a year.