Garden Dreams

It’s been nigh impossible to keep our property from going completely “au natural” the past 8 years. In 2013 we spent a good part of late spring thru summer in Virginia Beach taking care of mom. Charlie would come up from Florida for a week, then Cousin Larry would slot in, finally Chris & I.

Then in 2014 Chris & I undertook our grand adventure – attempting to cycle the TransAm trail on our tandem! Clearly not a lot of yard work was accomplished that year.

Then my in-laws, Tom & Merry started having medical issues. Many trips to Seattle ensued between 2015 & 2020. Each lasted at least 2 weeks with one trip taking close to three months!

That trip was a bit odd. We went out for Merrys hip replacement, so Chris was in hospital overnights with Merry while I took days with Tom. We got her home, installed the potty chair beside her lift recliner (Merry has slept in a lift chair for decades) as she couldn’t makeit down the long hall to the bathroom. Fortunately Chris has a strong stomach as he had to deal with cleaning the recepticle after poops! Anyhow, once Merry was healed enough to be mobile, no more potty chair, able to handle cooking etc Chris & I hopped into our car to motor back home. We were *exactly* halfway across America when disaster struck… Merry called to say she & Tom were in a cabulance (a term we were to become intimately familiar with) on their way to hospital. Long story short – this is when we discover the suspected ulcer in his esophagus was actually stage 4 esophageal cancer. We were in Seattle for a two week trip that blossomed into three months. Then there was Merrys kidney cancer, Toms surgery… So not much time to work in the gardens or on the property, and not so shocking to say but our five acres are quite happy to self seed and sprout! We have spicebush filling the gardens near the driveway, spirea has selfseeded to completely cover the gardens on both sides of the (broken) slate steps by the deck!

In fact is has spread far enough to almost completely block the broken slate steps! Ah, maybe I’ll let it go on… No steps to repair that way!!!

I have decided to allow the miniature variagated bamboo to win.

It’s taking over the land between the slate sidewalk & forsythia hedge (to stabilize the slope down to the forest). This fall we’ll lift the bluebeards bush & peony and move them to safety – then it’s “spread your little heart out, bamboo!”

This is the Secret Garden! It is outside my little office window. This has been my main reclamation project. First we had to oust masses of forsythia and raspberry which were both suckering from underground runners. I have reimagined this garden with the addition of summer blooming shrubs so hopefully in a few years time weeding will be less time consuming! It’s all about transitioning to enjoying the gardens with a ton less labor!

Spring bulbs greens are dying back, while the perennial flowers are filling in. The spring brings blueberry & cherry blossoms, forsythia, then azaleas, rhododendrums. Roses & peonies are blooming now, soon the pink & bluebird rose of sharons & butterfly bushes will start. Then blackeyed susans, milkweed & butterfly weed. In August there will be bluebeards bush & wingstem.

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