The backdoor yard had to be graded to stop water flooding the basement. There is a small hill not far from the house in back and it sloped right into the house. So John drove the backhoe back there and began excavating . . . and found another household dump and the stone foundation of a very old barn. Nothing here is very simply, is it? He hauled boulders out of the dirt and used them to build a stone wall at the bottom of the hill. He spend many hours excavating the dump, and even I was able to work at it one day. There were hundreds of antique bottles, piles of broken glass and crockery, farm implements, leather harnesses, the harrow, metal fence posts, old dry cell batteries, and other debris.
After the excavating and grading, John planted grass seed and put in tomatoes, peppers, and three kinds of squash. He transplanted a good-sized lilac shoot from the big lilac on that hill. From friends, I planted more rhubarb,horseradish, chives, marigolds and small pansies which I put over the brook (which flows under this hill through a culvert that was installed long, long ago and comes out on the right of the photo, unseen here.) I also planted one pumpkin plant that the children and I started at Sunday School. Finally, when Zorro died, we moved a snowball bush from the day lily garden to the left of the big lilac here on the hill.
This wouldn't be Vermont without dramatic weather, and on June 1 we had a violent storm with large hail. In the photo above you can see the rock pile from rocks pulled from the leach field and the back yard. That is where the mink lived this past winter, and from the way the cats behave around the pile, still lives today. You can see some of my many tamarack trees on both sides of the rock pile. Where there was bare dirt on June 1, we now have squash vines growing and blooming all over. Years ago, John had saved Hubbard squash seeds. He planted them this year but figured they were too old to germinate. They germinated. Come fall, I will be selling many Hubbard squash at the Barton Village Market. This property is lush with these new gardens.