The Mystery of the Missing Arbor

Sorry I’m a little late with this post. A landscaping miracle happened the other day and I’m just not sure where to begin to explain it …

I suppose I began to explain it several posts ago, when I mentioned I wanted to move my beloved arbor to a different spot in the yard. This is the arbor that my dad built, very sturdily, for my backyard wedding. The arbor has sat next to my pond for the last year, not facing it, just adjoining it. The long-term plan is to ultimately build a pergola-covered patio adjacent to the pond, where we can entertain next to the sound of the waterfall. Given that, we knew keeping the arbor in that spot would eventually look crowded. And since I’ve been itching since day one to cover the arbor in gorgeous greenery, I knew it would be a good idea to move it sooner rather than later.

The white arbor looks so elegant by the pond … that we hope ultimately to expand it, by building a white pergola-covered patio next to the water feature.

This stately lady provided inspiration for my planned Japanese style garden.

Inspiration struck in a few small spurts, but the first was when I inherited a motley collection of Oriental statuary from my grandmother: a few bluish lanterns for tea lights and several lovely statues. The second burst came when riding the mower (naturally) and I began to suspect that a certain patch of ground in the back right of the yard was beginning to settle down, much like the spot that is now the pond. Chris and I began thinking that we should follow the same course as our last “sinkhole,” only this time, we were thinking dry creek bed: A little touch of whimsy that would tie in thematically to the pond on the opposite side of the yard. The third lightning bolt was courtesy of Akira. It was, quite simply, noticing how much she gravitates to the back right side of the yard, where the trees keep things cool and there are so many interesting smells just over the fence.

All of this amounted to the fact that the hubby and I very quickly decided we wanted to plan a Japanese garden-themed sanctuary around our arbor, once we had relocated this heavy-duty hardscaping item to the back right corner of the yard.

The where was easy. The how turned out to be a little more challenging.

In my last post about the arbor, I may have mentioned once or twice that my dad’s masterpiece is nothing if not sturdy. As a result, Chris and I began plotting back in February that we would  have to throw a party, with lots of free “motivational beverages,” in order to round up enough muscle to move the massive thing. We were thinking eight beefy firefighters ought to do the trick. Life, however, kept getting in the way, and the date for this work-disguised-as-fun event kept getting pushed back and pushed back.

Then last weekend we had an impromptu gathering, in which Chris’ best friend brought his two little boys over to “camp out” in our backyard. We all spent a lovely evening chasing lightning bugs and racing Akira for the soccer ball. After dark, I left the two little boys  snuggled in a tent and the two big boys talking by the flickering glow of the fire pit so I could curl up in my own warm bed.

The next morning, I woke early for work. I peeked out the bathroom window while I did my hair, as I usually do, admiring the glow of the early morning light along the pond. When I went to kiss Chris goodbye, he raised a sleepy grin to me and said, “Did you notice anything different about the backyard?”

I raised my eyebrows and went to peek out the window again.


“No?” His eyebrows dipped low in puzzlement, as if he was wondering himself how much of last night was a dream. “Nothing big and white?”

I went downstairs, gathered the dog on my way to the porch, surveyed the landscape, and then returned upstairs more confused than ever. “There’s nothing big and white out there.”

And that, it seemed, was precisely the point. Somewhere in the wee hours of the morning, the two dunderheads had gotten it into their noggins that they should move the arbor. “Your dad built it so sturdily we could just roll it,” Chris said proudly (ah, wince!) as my jaw dropped.

Sure  enough, it was all in one piece – about two feet from its intended final resting place.

Someone somewhere knew a miracle had occurred and cast a perfect spotlight down on the relocated arbor.

Luckily, the second move didn’t take nearly as long as the first. While I worked that afternoon, Chris removed the leaves and debris from the corner, leveled the ground and put down a protective weed barrier. Two days later, his friend returned and the little boys and I cheered while the men moved the arbor, leveled it and assured us it was sturdy.

There is much landscaping yet to be done to fully beautify this elegant structure and its new space.

It’s everything I wanted. The arbor glows from the back corner, like a little mystery half covered by dogwoods. It creates a crisp triangle of white, from porch to shed to arbor, that I feel provides nice continuity. I’ll have several updates as I begin working on maintenance and then completing this project, but for now I’m just pleased as punch to have a new play area for plants!

One response to “The Mystery of the Missing Arbor

  1. I am amazed that it only took two! It looks wonderful in its new spot.

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