Pumpkin Seed

When a client, new to country living, expressed trepidation about planting and maintaining a large vegetable garden I half-jokingly suggested that they could just grow pumpkins because the vines and foliage spread over a large area. The growing gourds require minimum maintenance and yield big, colorful returns. We laughed off the pumpkin patch idea but the thought must have stuck because when it came time to design a dry stone-walled garden space for their New Hampshire property it was a pumpkin seed that came to mind.

The seed shape is fructuous. Its asymmetricality suggests continued growth and development. The entry point of the garden, the pinched end of the seed, expresses the concept of compression used by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in his design of foyers. His idea was to constrain the vestibule area to hasten movement toward the voluminous inner space. Compression springs expansion. The sense of garden bountiful is increased by passing through a narrow portal.

A month ago, work began with gathering granite fieldstone from a recently cleared piece of stoney ground. At the site, a ditch was dug and lined with filter fabric to isolate the crushed-stone base from the surrounding clay soil. SEED dimensions were transferred from a drawing to the prepared base by outlining it in spray paint. Stone was distributed on both sides of the wall lines and building commenced. Twelve days of walling has produced 360 square feet of face (measured on one side of the double-faced construction). When the “doubling” is complete I’ll begin the “singling” that will take the garden fence to its completed 5 feet height.

A.S. Clark and Sons and Digz Excavating did exceptional work in harsh conditions to get me the stone and space I requested. Thank a million to Archie, Jason and Asa.