Saturday, June 28, 2008
Last Times
A few weeks ago, Lisa, over at The Preacher's Wife, was having a garden party. I planned to join. Alas, I'm very late. My gardens are even a bit late, as I'm STILL planting and the 4th of July is just around the corner.

I shared this photo of my front porch clematis around that time, and it's still covered in blooms, leaving a lovely carpet of purple on our front door mat. Mrs. Jenny Wren, who build a nest in the birdfeeder just above the chair, has a lovely view I think. Do wrens like purple? I hope so!

This front bed looks better now than it did when it's photo was being taken. What I think is yarrow is now blooming, that deep purple clematis is strutting it's stuff, and the other little petunias, marigolds and celosia have filled in a bit. In other words, less dirt shows.

This long bed runs across the front of the house. When we moved in, three not-so-attractive tall 'trees' were lined up, like soldiers on duty, in front of the columns. Not really being into military-style gardening, we pulled them down the first week. This bed was started with a garden hose to curve around the ground, then a can of hot pink spray paint, followed by layers and layers of newspaper. I can only imagine what the neighbors must have thought when this was in process! It amazes me how much everything has grown in the years we've been here.

There are daylilies, black-eyes susans, a holly bush, two types of azaleas, some pretty grasses and several varieties of hostas. I fill in every year with impatients and begonias, and we keep fresh water in the bird bath for feather visitors who need to cool off a bit. I planted the taller shrub on the left, specifically to hold white lights at Christmas and it's grown to be taller than me. It's twin sits just across the sidewalk, in another long flowerbed to dress up the other side of the house. That bed has rhododendron, azaleas, black-eyed susans, grasses, and periwinkle for ground cover, with impatiens added each summer. (You can see a glimpse of it in the photo below.) We added the white porch railing a few years back, for a backdrop to the flowerbeds.

Twelve years ago two less-than-lovely prickly shrubs sat at the end of the sidewalk, which was also in bad shape. We hooked each of the shrubs to the back of our little S-10 pickup, and tore up the driveway, quickly removing them, rootball and all. In their place we planted ground-hugging shrubs, day lilies, a few other perennials I can never remember the names of and every year I pop in some geraniums, petunias, celosia, whatever full-sun plants I bring home from the garden store. The brick sidewalk was one of our more crazy efforts, also a few years back. I love it, but am not at all sure I'd tackle it again. It's back-breaking work. Still, a brick sidewalk calls out, "come on in!', don't you think?

Just outside our front door, behind that long flowerbed, is a nice place to chat on the phone, or curl up with a book and some sweet tea (not that anyone else up here drinks sweet tea!). It's not enough porch to keep you dry in a downpour, but is better than no porch. If you look closely, you can see the test patch for the new paint job. We're having the house painted a soft khaki, with very dark green shutters, later this summer, whenever the rain finally stops. I think it'll set off the white columns and porch railing, and any girl needs a new look after 35+ years.

I also added a new monogrammed rug, with a big 'G' in the middle. There's just something about monograms - I love, love them. I'd have a monogrammed toaster if they made them.

The back yard gets a bit wild and wooly, with woods so close behind us. This bed was in serious need of weeding when I shot the photo. It's since been cleaned up a bit. That board, across the archway, is to keep the turkeys and deer out. My daughter, Sarah helped me make the little Mary Englebreit birdbath, out of clay pots turned upside down, and stacked, one on top of the other. Having a birdbath in your yard will really increase the number of feathered visitors.

This funny little strawberry patch grows like crazy every year, and we've never, ever, ever gotten a single berry from it. The birds grab them all before we get a chance. I've given it over, and just enjoy how it looks.

A fence badly in need of painting, but it's the one that trashed my knees last summer, so when Mr. Painter shows up, he's going to tackle this. In the meantime, I squint so all I see is the black-eyed susans, peonies, lamb's ear, coneflower, and Miss Addison's pink rose, planted in honor of her first birthday. I plan to dig up the rose, when we move, to deliver to Sarah for planting outside Addison's bedroom window. I'll replace it with another for the new homeowners.

What's supposed to be my herb garden. Herbs grow here, I just forget what they are. I know there's basil, mint, and chives. We planted two lilac bushes, too close together to get quick impact, and there's also columbine (Colorado's state flower), in honor of my husband's home state, plus more black-eyed susans. You can't have too many of them. Hostas abound, there's a animal feeder that's squirrel friendly, and our dearly departed golden retriver, Lindy, is also planted here! In an urn. That we will deliver to middle daughter, Leslie, when we move away. I know - might be a bit creepy to some, but she and Lindy were dear friends, and it's just ashes, in an urn. I personally think Lindy would like being under the squirrel feeder.

Someday, not too far down the road, we're going to pack up everything, and pull out from this place, turning around for one last look. I pray already that the family who moves in here will love it as much as we have. That the woman who works to turn this house into their home will enjoy having beautiful flowerbeds to care for. I imagine now that she'll come out here, in the early evening when it's cooled off, pulling on her garden gloves and grabbing her little trowel. She'll spend time out here, thinking through her day, about her life, adding her own new perennials, rearranging the ones I'm going to leave behind. Hopefully she'll add her own front porch rocker, and spend some time there, with a book and a glass of tea, even if it's unsweetened.

And I'm confident she'll put little white lights on those two shrubs we planted. Surely that's the type of woman who will want to call this place home. In the meantime, it's likely my last summer to enjoy these flowerbeds, so today, even though it's a bit too late, I'm going to pull on my garden gloves, grab my trowel, and plant just a few more petunias.


  posted at 9:30 AM

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    Girl Raised in the South

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