Saturday, June 4, 2011

Africa Bound

In this foto, Tess is moments away from walking into a new life adventure....a trip to Uganda for a high school service project of building a small school in a little village on the other side of the world.

For 24 hours, I watched the website that showed a cartoon plane as it flew across the Atlantic Ocean toward Brussels, then across the Mediterranean Sea toward North Africa, then finally southeast across this big continent called Africa heading for Entebbe Airport.

Once the plane landed, I was relieved, but no word from her in 24 hours left me feeling a bit anxious. Finally...last night around 11 pm she called. What a relief to hear her voice. She had just gotten up (they are 8 hours ahead) and wanted to check in. She sounded happy and rested and was looking forward to heading out to the building site. When we answered the phone, we both asked where she was. It sounded like she was calling from next door. Hard to believe someone could be so far away and yet so close in communication. Had a very nice sleep being able to tell her "I love you" before I snuggled down.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

June Garden

laying out the pavers to expand the front bed

the new old wheelbarrow

first day of bloom for these old roses
staging area for a ga-jillion hosta to go in the front bed
the hops plant climbing up to the trellis
the veggie garden...everything is up

and finally, Mom's old yellow rose bush....this is the very first bloom since she passed away.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Yale student Kevin Olusola pushing the limits of a cello, and taking the music it makes up a totally new path. He bows, plucks and strums his cello, while accompanying it with beatbox, a hip-top derived use of voice as percussive/musical instrument. The music is so integral, it seems like the two sounds are really one. Then you realize that Olusola is the instrument.

tap on this artist's name, then the youtube button and give a listen....

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.