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In spring, a landscape's most telling time, the unruly outer woodlands needed honing. Primary on the to-do list was ridding the land of invasives such as "the evil honeysuckle"—a task that's still in process. "Once we get the dead, the down and the dangerous out of the way, we'll see where we are," she says. In the meantime, she's planting hickories, native cherries, sugar maples and white pines to replace the saplings that deer have consumed.
There are other projects, too. Rather than fighting the shade cast by a canopy stretching over the walled garden, Angela is switching the plantings there from vegetables to a shaded woodland scene—think trilliums and hepaticas. But first, she can't resist unleashing an onslaught of tulips: They shout and swagger their way through spring, extending the vernal fever the Crugers so enjoy. Their goal is to make the rest of the year equally fertile, but that's just part of their down-the-road dream. Angela maintains a simple, long-range mission: "Fifty years from now, I'm hoping someone will look at this place and say, 'They knew what they were doing.'"