Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I have become obsessed. Now that the coursework for my bachelor/masters degrees in landscape architecture is finished, I have become a maniac in the garden. It has been four very long years since I have really worked in this space I call my garden. Spring is always the most welcome of the seasons for the work that needs to be done. I have a new set of eyes, so I am tweaking here and there...continually envisioning how it could and will be. The veggie garden is in, the peonies are moved from an all-too-shady spot in the wayback to a new bed dug especially for them. Last year I figured out that I have way too much lawn, as does everyone, so I brought out the brick edging about 4-5 feet and now have more square footage to plant. The shady beds are filling up with hosta, and the sunny areas are taking on daylilies, peonies, lambs ear, and iris. This is just in the back garden!

The other day I read an article in our local paper about one of my profs who convinced an entire neighborhood to install rain gardens to catch and convey roof and pavement run-off so the stormwater infiltrates into the ground rather than dumping into the storm sewer and College Creek. I have a downspout that empties my roof runoff onto the neighbor's drive, so I decided to change that. Today I talked to Mr. Berg, our postal carrier. He cuts through our property along a path that intersects where I want this rain garden located. I laid out the curve of the new bed that has moved his path to the south approximately 20 feet. He says "no sweat"; he looks forward to seeing the new rain garden. He just wanted assurance that he would know when he could no longer walk his usual path. I told him when there are plants in the middle of his path, he should take the new route.

So now I am pulling up brick edging that was laid 20 years ago. Can it really be that long since I planned this entry bed in front of our new home on Friley Road? As I was toiling away this past Memorial Day weekend, it dawned on me that this was the same garden bed that I was digging in the day my son hurled the name "gardenmother" at me. He was all of 3 1/2 years old and he was hungry. After the second attempt to get my attention to come into the house to make his PB&J sandwich, he cried out, "you, you, gardenmother!"

So for the last 21 days I have been working on my return to being gardenmother. The world can go to hell in a handbasket when I am in the garden. Early mornings are my favorite time in the garden... with a cup of coffee, my slippers, nightgown, and sweater. I am happy to report that despite four years of training in the field of landscape architecture, I am still, and will always be, the gardenmother.

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