In response to my Homegrown National Park contest invitation this past summer, Mike Foster, who lives in Reading, PA, sent me some before-and-after photos of his property. I was intrigued by all of the stonework I saw in the photos, and any garden that contains a water feature is enough to catch my interest. (Foster’s landscape has two.) But I had no idea that I was in for such a jaw-dropping experience.
From the street, Foster’s house and property look like many others I’ve seen. Walk around to the back, though, and it’s like being transported to another world, because after only a few yards of level ground the land stands up. There’s the house, a narrow strip of flat land containing a patio and deck, and then, abruptly, a massive, nearly vertical hill. When I entered the space, I felt like I had stepped into a canyon.