For the Love of Gardening
What works & What doesn't...
Although these pages tell my story, there is so much more to share so I have included some other links at the bottom of each page.
There was a time, not so long ago when I didn’t like to plant flower gardens. I confess, I didn’t like to get my hands dirty. (yes, really).
I had no plants and no trees. Any task that involved putting something green into the ground was just too daunting. I had pots that someone else planted and I loved that.
But when my perfect life encountered some not-so-perfect speed-bumps, I started digging around in the earth just to hold things together. Behold, the gardening bug (pun intended) bit me and now, I am a gardener.
My story is a bit long, but I’d like to share that journey with you… the one from flower pots to flower beds and from dirty hands to the real love of gardening. All my mistakes, and my successes - my “aha” moments and my lessons.
If you're in a hurry, you can start with one of these and come back for the rest of the story....
PLANTING TREES and all that goes with it.
Making gardens and maintaining them; waking them up in Spring and putting those Gardens to Bed for winter for winter; from trimming to Pruning and so on.
Come with me, bring your tea, strong coffee or your favourite drink and let's start at the beginning.....
I believe it's because we see it as proof that hope and faith are still alive. The last time you planted something, didn't you just KNOW it would grow? .. that it would blossom into something divine? Of course you did.
DO YOU ALSO KNOW THAT GARDENING IS GOOD FOR YOU?
Well, I am not sure that was my thinking when I started out... but now I know the combination of dirt, water and sun is a magical formula which creates more than a miracle from a hard little seed. But back to my story...
On my own with two children (fabulous, of course), I had little time for the luxury of digging any beds, much less planting anything.
Our Spring outings consisted of racing off to the greenhouse, piling lots of pretty annuals into my convertible and hauling them home.
Then, all I had to do was arrange them on the verandah or walkway and ...Voila.... instant lush.
CONTAINERS are a wonderful way to have beauty you can move around. If you're moving from one home to another or from the front verandah to the back patio, take them with you.. instant lush.
Or, if you are entertaining, put the pots where you or your guests will see them upon entering your home you could move them to your deck. And, better still, you can have a different colour scheme every year!
For me, though, digging in the dirt didn't have much appeal. I wasn't that girl. Besides, I vowed when I grew up, I would have nice nails no matter what... , so getting dirt under my nails just didn't do it for me.... ugh... not very earthy, huh??
Note: By now, you may have guessed that because I have this web site, things have changed dramatically for me. Now I can even tell you names of most plants... and, I wear gloves.
But I found some amazing gloves. Each Spring I treat myself to a couple of pair in delicious colours like soft green, lavender, light blue or peach. They have rubber-like palms and fingers with a nice cool mesh on the upper... they are thin enough that I can pick up a tiny seedling, or be protected from those sharp little thorns. They are called 'MIRACLE WORKERS ' - at any rate, find some you love and buy a few pairs.
I throw them into the laundry after each use.... it gets rid of any bacteria or other stuff hiding in the soil ... besides, who wants to put on wet, dirty or gritty gloves? While one pair is drying, I have a fresh, clean pair. Besides, if an offer of a little help comes along, you can hand over a clean pair of gloves... a nice touch.
But back to gardening - my stint with containers did change ...
... a few years and a few hundred hours later, fate twisted and I needed to fix my shattered life....
Just then, as "luck" would have it.....a tree fell in the lousy-looking backyard and the cost to remove the stump, had me more than stumped. I decided to make the best of the scar in the middle of the patchy grass and make something colourful around the unloved stump.
Surprisingly, my little pile of dirt blossomed into a bit of prettiness. I happily dug holes, moved dirt and pushed soil around. (Isn't that what DESIGN is? who knew?) What a great and healthy way to heal the problems of life. Puts a little hope and faith back into the bigger scheme of things.
It wasn't long before I was carving curves of earth around the edges by the fence and filling them with daisies from the side of the road, or from the farmer's market, and wild phlox I found along the railroad track. I haunted yard and garden-club sales and started asking questions.
Then of course, ... I wanted a Rose Garden. Who wouldn't? But that's another story you can see here...ROSES
Each time I brought home more things to plant. I had to enlarge the beds... the grass was getting greener but it wasn't long before there was less and less of it.
I poured heart and soul (and more than a few dollars) into my backyard-garden and in fact, I became a downright show off, and a bit cocky too... I loved how it all looked in its third year and it didn't take much to talk me into entering in our city's Communities in Bloom Garden-contest....
I came in third.... (goodie for me)...
So full of bravado in fact - in the early Spring of the next competition, I really got caught up in it all and (with the help of some muscle) took up all the grass at the front of my house and made it into a hosta-garden. Yowza... what a lot of work, but I loved how it looked... it was stunning... and I think the judges liked it too - I'll show you the process and give you a few do's and don'ts in my Grass-to Garden page.
By this time gardening was in my blood and flowers were all I craved... more and more of them.... and each year, the joy of choosing the colours for that summer was no longer a task.... it was thrilling but it can be a daunting task to choose a colour scheme when the greenhouses are full of so shades of the same colour. Let me give you a few tips that work for me.
In no time at all, my life was healing and the sad and lousy yard became a lush-garden.
The following year when I entered the competition again - and -
I won FIRST...ooh la la....
All this to say, if I can do it, so can you. I'll show you what worked and what didn't.... the shortcuts, the successes and the failures..... and how I am learning to go hand in hand with Mother Nature and not pretend I know more than She does...humble pie is still pie and I love a good piece of pie now and then.
I'll show you how I did it.... sometimes on my own, sometimes with help... learn what works and what doesn't..... follow along with my story -
Let's pretend we are gardeners and make some flower gardens together.