Annie’s Garden

This weekend, after the 4th of July BBQ, we took a drive upstate to Cooperstown NY with the kids. For those that cannot recognize the name, Cooperstown’s fame stems from being known as the birthplace of baseball, and the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

To us, however, Cooperstown is something more than the baseball themed stores and attractions that seem to populate Main Street and the outskirts of the village. To us it means family, a place where the pass of time seems to have graciously slowed down and where we can still see bits of how life used to be in a not distant past. My wife’s parents established there in the early 1960’s, and raised a family I am proud to be part of. My father in law held very dearly the title of native son of Cooperstown, to which he became entitled after residing there for 50 years. All of my wife’s family now resides there, and it is a special treat for us to come up and visit with all of them.

My wife’s family home in Cooperstown

When in Cooperstown, and especially in the summer, my sister in law’s garden is a must stop for us. Annie is always innovating and trying new thing, and she is an open book when you have a question on anything pertaining to gardens. It was actually Annie who without knowing what she was doing at the time, planted the gardening seed in my head a few years ago. Even with that she had a green thumb…I still amaze at how bountiful her garden is, even in a much cooler climate and with a shorter growing season than ours on Long Island. Her vegetables, and flowers seem to fight for the limited space, and show how worthy of keeping they are by exploding with color, or giving incredible crops all season long.

Beautiful colors and textures
Borage flowers, a nice addition to lemonade
Garlic flowers, are clipped off the plant to induce greater production, and can be a nice addition to a dish


This year, a major addition was the construction of a natural fence to contain their garden. It is a very nice and interesting structure that I am sure will weather and age even more beautifully. To build it, her husband, Russ, bartered with local land owners to allow him to to cut the locust trees that he turned into posts, and the maple saplings that he interlaced in interesting shapes to form the fence. Russ tells me that the materials were cut and gathered by hand from over 6 acres of land, and dragged out of the woods without the use of machinery. Enjoy the photographs, leave any questions, I’ll get them answered for you.




In order to use less locust trees, Russ split some of them into 4 posts
Fence seen from the neighbor’s side

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