Reading the land
Starting from scratch
Pauline Boyle and her husband, Tom, a 30-year veteran of the Chicago police department, lived for years in a suburb where they fell asleep every night to the sound of jets flying overhead. Now, it's rare that they hear an airplane.
Six years ago, after Tom retired, they moved to Barrington Hills, a small town 50 miles west of the Windy City. They bought 5 acres where Pauline could fulfill her dream of raising chickens and peafowl.
A landscape designer, Pauline was challenged by the property. There were no gardens, and basically the only good plants were a few large trees.
"I was taught to read the land," she says.
"It's very hilly here, so I wanted to expand on that theme and create more natural, rolling garden areas."
But there were masses of buckthorn and other tangled undergrowth that needed clearing, so Pauline launched into that huge task. In the midst of this daunting project came two pleasant surprises, however. She unearthed the remnants of a three-tier fountain and an antique birdbath. Now cleaned up and rejuvenated, they occupy places of honor in her yard.
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