The Lay Of The Land: The Approach

Last fall, my good friend Dotty Attie, a wonderful and provocative painter whose work you can see here, expressed a desire to see more complete views of the inside of my house; she'd been frustrated by tantalizing glimpses in still life images. I took her suggestion and did a series of popular blog posts titled "My Old House". You can see the last post, on my barn studio, here, and it has links to the other posts. This spring she asked if I could post some images of my land and gardens because it was difficult to get a sense of the landscape from my preferred close shots. Thanks again to Dotty, here is the first of a series of posts of landscape views of my beloved house, barn and land.

I live on what was an old hill farm; this part of Vermont has fertile soils atop hills, so many little farms existed in years past. A winding and steep dirt road, well maintained by the town and ending at my house, passes between my small fields heading towards the west, showing a glimpse of barn and house above the grasses and weeds.

Here is a closer view of the barn, probably built around the same time as the house, in 1821. It was the horse barn; a much larger cow barn was torn down before I saw the property (and fell in love with it) in 1989.

And here is the house, a small cape with a huge lilac bush which has grown larger and larger over the years. The approach to my house and barn is most lovely in spring when lilacs are blooming. If you notice where the car is in the two photos above, you can see that the house and barn are not far apart, the house sitting on a slight rise.

Here's a closer view of the barn with the deep purple hybrid lilac Ludwig Spaeth and the yellow-green spring leaves of dwarf ninebark. The barn, with its high peaked traditional northeastern metal roof, encourages the snow to slide off in winter.

The large double doors to the left open to a storage area, while the rest of the barn is my studio. The hostas in front of the building are giant varieties, a perfect scale for the building, and happily this year haven't been munched on by deer.

Standing next to my car, I took this closer shot of the house, with its weathered spruce siding and white trim. The strange silvery metal object is a propane tank. Two upstairs windows in my bedroom face east to the rising sun, where I begin my days looking out at the White Mountains of New Hampshire.