The wordsmith mused the other day: “Why we don’t name our houses like the English do?” (She’s heavy into “Wolf Hall.”) I admitted I had wanted to call this place Goodwood – both as a reminder of a family pronunciation of the valley south of Anchorage, where we spent a lot of time, and also because it is true. But there’s no reason for such a name.
In this country, naming a house or garden would be purely for fun. Practical people use proper street addresses. But practical gardeners do name garden beds. We identify for to-do lists and garden journal notes by calling areas after particular things or people. Sometimes in honor of and for heartfelt reasons like Rita’s Garden, and sometimes just for convenience like herb garden or garage bed.
This map for “Her spirits rose…,” is like a garden map in a garden book, simply indicating buildings and beds and orientation. Five years ago on a sunny day, I sat on a pile of lumber and drew a diagram imagining how soil from the foundation hole might be enriched and shaped into a front garden and a quad garden.
And now those garden beds are labeled on the map. The symbols are rudimentary and leave out all the sounds and smells that bring a garden to life, but it’s a start for telling the spring story.
And a reason for a name is to title a map!