9.22.2015

Sibling Assignment #169: Keep the Obsession Strong!

Brother Bill gave the sibling assignment this week. "We all have our little obsessions.  What are you currently obsessed with?  A book? A movie? An idea? A song? A project? An activity?  Write all about it ." I will post links to the other siblings' assignment upon completion.


Having a new home and yards to landscape creates lots of opportunity for obsessions. Right now inside decorating is a low priority. The walls are decent colors. They have recently been painted. There are new wood floors and carpet so we are content with the inside of the house for now.

The outside is a different story. The yard looks similar to how our yard look next door in the sixties when we were growing up. A few lilacs, the original cement patio and sidewalks, the original long clothesline in front of the lilacs, and mostly grass. JEJ's obsession has been to get the grass green, which he has succeeded in doing. His obsession will continue as he maintains it. 

My obsession is plant choices. I went from over a half acre of gardens to a back yard that is 100x100. ( I do have flower beds in front of the house also). The main obsession is choosing plants for the backyard. I mentioned in a recent post the lessons I learned and plants I have grown to love from 18 years of creating gardens at my former house. You can find that here.
Somebody recently asked me what I was going to plant here.  I couldn't even answer. I am obsessed with revisiting garden plants from the past, studying successful flowers in Mom's gardens next door, remembering plants I loved that never made it in my last garden, and what color schemes I want. We love roses, but don't have good locations for roses here. We may have to narrow our choices to roses. Everett loves the Iceberg Climbing Rose above,  so we may try two of those the ends of the shed. We have one I brought to fill in also.

Right now the burning decision I must make with this obsession is which spring bulbs I want since they need to be planted soon. I love all of them, but don't have the room to plant them. I think tulips may win out. They are showstoppers in the spring. Somewhere I must find room for some lilies also.
The two sunflowers that just emerged on their own before we arrived inspired me to keep sunflowers in that corner at the end of the patio. Whew! One easy decision. We want vines again, but will wait until the fence is built to see how that will work. The Silver Lace Vine will definitely find a place in our back yard, plus we love honeysuckle, trumpet vines, and hops.

I want to try again my list of "plants I have never been able to grow".  This list includes lupines, delphiniums, bee balm, and foxglove. Alas, another obsession. 

Obsessing over all these plants is timely because now is the time to buy perennials at garden stores. They are marked down for quick sale. It is also a good time to get starts from other gardens. Cooler weather makes replanting much more successful. Creating gardens isn't a cheap hobby so this project will be spread out over a period of time. Obsessing over all these plants is also exciting, energizing, and it keeps my head full. Now off to the magazines, catalogs, articles, pictures, and notes I surround myself with. Keep the Obsession Strong. 

Stay tuned for a follow-up of what I decided. 










9.08.2015

The Things We Leave Behind: Farewell Tour of Martin Creek.

I knew the time would come when I would say my last goodbyes to the home I have lived in for nineteen years. My home at Martin Creek was like a  gardening classroom. I learned from trial and error everything I know about working with the soil. I learned what to grow and what to get rid of. What to do, what not to do. I will use that wisdom as we plan our next gardens. A lesson to remember-always throw your fruit pits and seeds in the yard. We raised peach, cherry, plum, and apple trees from seeds.

Someone asked me recently what I would miss the most at Martin Creek. At first I thought the view and then I realized it will be the gazebo. We spent so many wonderful hours talking, dreaming, warming by the fire, and appreciating the beauty around us in that gazebo. I loved what JEJ created.

I hope to once again grow Oakleaf Hydrangeas. They were beautiful blooming shrubs that took on color and provided colorful foliage all through the year. The blooms were always a surprise, and when they dried, you never knew the color the may become.

If you are ever looking for a hardy vine, purchase a silver lace vine. We will certainly get another one at this house. The are green and hardy, and the white flowers add to the display through at least two seasons of the year.

 Autumn Joy Sedum are the hardiest flower you can grow that looks beautiful in September. They require little water and little care. Perfect for the sandy soil I just left. I will miss them, but did bring a few to start again in my new garden.


I will miss the maple trees.  Every season of the year they provide beauty, but autumn is when they really show their stuff.
There is nothing like apple trees to fill in a orchard. I was so tempted to pick the little apples that were on the branches, but decided to leave them for the next owners.

The experiences, the photos, the family memories, and the various images I have stuffed in my head will help me remember this place fondly. It was a learning place in so many ways. I hope to take that learning and use it for our next garden projects and life itself. I'm so glad we had this time together.