My Garden

Since I have mentioned my yard several times, I thought I’d share it with you and take you on a tour.

Our house is a brick house that was built in 1920. It looks bigger on the outside than it is on the inside. We have been remodeling it for years. The work goes slow because my husband has always worked a lot of hours at work, and he has chronic back problems. He injured his back years ago, before we met, when he slipped down two flights of stairs at work. When we were first married, I got frustrated that home improvements went so slowly because while I don’t need to have things picture perfect, I do like to have order and prettiness. I have become more patient over the years, and I finally recognized that a relationship with my husband is more important than a fixed up house, and I saw his faithfulness and love in him working so hard to provide for us. So we get to improvements when we do, when EJ’s back doesn’t hurt so much, when he has time off from work, etc., etc., etc.

My peony garden is at right (along house)
with Snow on the Mountains in front of them.

Our yard has several levels fenced in by stone walls or wire fence. It had some garden areas when we moved in, but over the years I expanded the garden areas, put in brick paths, and planted more and more flowers until the front areas are all flowers. A few years ago, I planted herbs. Little by little I have been learning how to use and to dry the herbs. It’s rather fun growing my own sage, basil, oregano, chives, thyme…

I am not a skilled gardener. I do not garden so others will be amazed by the beauty of my yard, but simply because I like flowers and it’s relaxing to be outside working in the dirt. I don’t know plants very well. I kept getting a poison ivy rash several years ago until a friend walked with me through my garden and pointed out all the poison ivy growing everywhere. Oops! I now know what it looks like, and am very careful to eliminate it when I see any. I am pretty sure that sometimes I have pulled out plants I planted the year before, thinking they were weeds. I don’t always know how tall or short something will be, so I put it in the ground and if it doesn’t look good in that spot, or doesn’t grow well there, I transplant it. My garden is a riot of plants, very unlike our elderly neighbor’s yard. Our neighbor is retired and spends hours in his yard. It is neat as a pin with everything growing in beautiful rows or ordered clumps. His wife says she prefers our garden with it’s wildness. Go figure.

My philosophy of gardening is that if I plant enough plants, something will grow. I also consider flowers to be anything that grows where I want it, and weeds as anything that doesn’t grow where I want it. If I see a pretty weed, I might plant it, and sometimes I pull up flowers that have taken over. When I first made the whole yard into a garden, I planted perennials that would spread quickly because I wanted the garden to not have a lot of bare spaces. The fast-spreading plants grow fast and then I battle to keep them from taking over the garden. Sometimes my yard feels like a jungle, especially summers like this one where I don’t work much in it because it is too unbearably hot to be outside. I now have goldenrod growing in my garden, which will need to be pulled up–unless I decide it’s a flower and not a weed. I think it’s a weed.

JJ in the Sunflower Forest

Last year a friend gave me a head of a sunflower. Rather than eat the seeds as she intended us to do, my husband suggested that I save the seeds and plant them. So early this summer, I planted sunflower seeds. I planted them everywhere that I thought would have enough sun and wasn’t already planted with something else. I had no idea how tall they would grow. When I stand next to them, I feel as if I am in a forest of sunflowers, or as if I am Jack and have a sunflower stalk, and if I climb one, I will find a giant at the top. The sunflowers are so heavy they are falling over. I hadn’t planned to support them because I didn’t know they’d grow so tall and heavy. I have nothing, really, to support them with, but I did the best I can. I hope they will ripen before they all fall over so I can have some to plant next year and some to eat. I think sunflowers are very cheerful flowers. They make me happy. Next year I will plan better where and how to plant them, since I now know what to expect.

My husband’s garden is in the back yard. He plants veggies and fruit. He doesn’t plant in orderly rows or gardens, but wherever he thinks a plant will get enough sun. He plants veggies such as tomatoes, peppers, squash and beans. He also has planted a peach tree, blackberry bushes in his garden, as well as two cherry trees in my garden area. I have planted rhubarb in my garden and strawberries in his garden. The strawberries aren’t doing so well.

Grape arbor and clothesline. The blackberry bushes are now
on the other side of this fence, crowding my clothesline.

In our back yard, we also have the grape arbor, which holds our picnic table in the summer–although this year I put the table on the front porch, not that I could use it much, with the heat and the swarms of mosquitoes. The grape arbor does not grow grapes. It used to, but they were very sour, and they died out. The grapes used to grow up into a nearby tree, so it looked as if we had a grape tree. In the winter, we have been using the grape arbor as a woodshed. We have a retractable clothesline in EJ’s garden, but we might have to find a new spot because the blackberry bushes are crowding it.

In our garden, we also have wildlife. We have several gardener snakes of various sizes. One lives in our rock wall in front of the house–I saw it drop from the rocks one day. I found a baby one under a piece of bark a few weeks ago. After a surprise snow in late spring, I saw one move through my garden veeerrrryyyy sloooowly. I was worried that it would freeze to death before it could reach safey, but it wasn’t there later, so I think it survived. I absolutely HATE snakes, but I am fond of the gardener snakes for some reason. I named them all Nachash, which is Hebrew for snake. I also have found interesting frogs of various types in our garden. JJ says he saw a garden spider in our yard. The first time I saw one in our garden several years ago, it terrified me because it was so BIG–the size of my hand, I swear–so I killed it with cheap hairspray. I hate spiders worse than snakes. But later I felt bad because I heard that garden spiders are not bad, but are a sign that a garden is healthy. So if the spider does not get close to me, I won’t kill it. We also have hundreds of sparrows that nest in the vines growing on our house. If we walk by that part of the house, they fly and fly and fly away by the hundreds. At night we can look out the upstairs windows and see sparrows sleeping. Pretty cool. I do not yet know the Hebrew words for frog, spider, or sparrow.

Here are more pictures of my yard. Some of the pictures were taken this year and some were taken previous years.

Looking toward my herb garden
My herb garden/rhubarb patch. This year I planted some sunflowers here.
The west side of the house looking south.
West side of house looking north toward
EJ’s garden.
Looking at house from herb garden
Looking toward peony garden. Lilacs are at left.
East side of house with herb garden at right.
My husband’s garden
South side of house
South garden. I have herbs growing at right.
South garden looking east toward
elderly neighbors
Sunflowers near back door.
Back yard (North side of house). I took
the picture standing by the back door.
Our house. Gardener snakes live in the rock wall at front.

2 thoughts on “My Garden

  1. thewomanatthewell says:

    Absolutely Beautiful! Thanks for the tour. Your post made me think of how God gardens and what it must look like with all us wildflowers!God Bless- WATW

  2. TJ says:

    Good thought! I never could understand why people discriminate against people of different colors/cultures. God obviously loves variety–He has made a world filled with all sorts of colors, shapes, sizes, and flavors.

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