- Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Once a Gardener
From the appearance of the yard, you'd never know that a once serious gardener lives on Summit Court. There was a time when I ordered winter hearty roses from Canada, day lilies from Oregon, and dwarf fruit trees from Michigan.
I planned and planted window boxes and containers that looked like paintings with their subtle mixed colors. Out on the deck landing I always had containers of fresh herbs, baby lettuces of all shades and varieties, and flowers at the ready for cooking and color.
These beautiful scarlet peonies were given to me by my 84 year old Aunt Draxie who'd had them in her own yard for over 60 years.
From July through August the Oregon daylilies were in full glorious bloom, massed in sweeping beds of many colors. This one I called Georgia Peach for its soft peachy color.
My idea of a great Saturday morning was to hop in the truck with my neighbor Buddy and pick up a de-thatcher from General Rental. We'd then spend the whole day combimg and raking my lawn until we had a soft green carpet for a wide variety of beautiful flowers, shrubs, and perennials. I was up at daylight and out in the yard working, sometimes still at it after dark by the porch light. I read about gardens, talked about gardening, spent my money on plants and garden tools. Any travel in the U.S. always included visits to the great gardens, especially in the south--the pocket gardens of Charleston, Bellingrath in Alabama, the Biltmore in North Carolina. In New England, it was shopping at the old nurseries like White Flower Farm and Logee's. All the time I was learning about plants and garden design. Then, I tried to apply what I learned in creating my own landscape. Sometimes the student did pretty well, don't you think?
All this was 15-20 years ago. Now my yard looks like the starting photo at the top of this post. The grass is spare and mossy, last fall's leaves cover the ground, branches and limbs from dead trees came down in the recent storms. There are no good foundation plantings around the house and moles have created underground condos all over the yard.
With the first signs of spring--yesterday I saw the first chevron of geese flying overhead on their return from winter feeding grounds--I'm ready to make Summit Court look like a gardener lives here again. These last dreary days of winter will be a good time to get out the books and catalogs and do some plotting until it's time to start kicking up some dirt again.