There once was a lumberyard here in Woodbury that specialized in large timbers, flooring, and barn siding recycled from old mills, factories, and barns as they were being torn down. It is a trend here, probably elsewhere, that if you can afford it, you can buy these materials to make your new house look old; to invest it with a feeling of substance it perhaps doesn’t warrant. At some point the yard owners added stone to their inventory, worn out millstones, lintels and foot-worn steps to be repurposed as garden accents, and had constructed small sample gardens as examples for their use. Then the bubble burst and they went out of business. Most of the wood has since been moved, but the stones are still there, too heavy to move for the casual opportunist. Nature, as she will when given the chance, has returned. In the absence of regular foot traffic and weed whackers, the place has become wonderfully overgrown . The weeds have returned and the flowers too, now as wild, uninvited volunteers; the insects and birds are back too.
I began to lose my sense of smell while in my fifties and now at sixty-seven it’s almost completely gone, but not the memory of how places like these gardens used to small. I can recall walking these places, the summer-dry vegetation sending up a symphony of smells as I moved through it. Flowers going to seed, the tangy aromas, the mixture of herbs in an herb garden once carefully tended, warm earth and sun heated stones; the sun on my back as I walk in an abandoned garden in search of photographs.
Now, I look at this photograph and recall those hot summer days and I remember how it was; to be able to enjoy those smells.
Pentax K10D, 35mm macro lens, processed in Photoshop CS4 and Nik Color Efex Pro4.