Friday, May 23, 2008


It is the middle of the afternoon, and there is a wonderful rain coming down. This shower is muffling out all the sounds of our household, allowing the babies take a long nap under our tin roof. Outside all the dust is being washed away and the flowers and trees are soaking in this spring shower that is steady and cool.

Yesterday Mazie Bell woke up first from the morning nap, so she and I walked around the yard taking some pictures of what is growing around our house. Before I moved here the site for the house was completely cleared. It was just a dirt hill. So, anything and everything growing here we've had to plant. This has been quite a challenge for me.

Gardening is a skill I truly envy. Flowers, vegetables, shrubs. It doesn't matter. None of it is easy and all of it is beautiful. H's grandmother has the prettiest yard you will ever see--no competition. The most beautiful water oaks with lush beds of flowers beneath. Huge azaleas that she will tell you they planted in 1949. Camellias in white, pink, and fuschia. Grancy Graybeards. Elephant ears. I try to bring all my gardening questions to her because she is such a wealth of knowledge. I have much to learn from her.

The first planting we did at our house was three years ago. That was the first spring we lived here. Some things have done well, but we have lost a lot too. For example, Papa Glenn and I planted seven plum trees that February. Three are still alive and none has bore fruit. Of the three oak leaf Hydrangeas I planted, none survived. A tractor, a logging truck, and the drought took them out.

Here are some photos of where we are now and what we are working on. The photo at the top is a volunteer sunflower, a boon from H's bird feeders that I get to enjoy.

We have gorgeous gardenias around our house. They really are stunning. I can say this because I have absolutely no idea why they flourish here. It has nothing to do with me. They just really seem to like it here. The only thing I did was plant them. In three years I may have fertilized them thrice. (Probably only twice, but there are such few occasions where the word thrice can be used that I wanted to throw it in.)

The gardenias are blooming right now. The smell will lift you up it is so intense on our porch.

Spring of 2005 we planted gardenias on each side of the three sets of stairs at our house. We also planted azaleas among the gardenias around two sides of the house. The azaleas never did much. The gardenias, as I've said, flourished. So, this spring I took out all the azaleas and planted them out in the perimeter of the yard and planted eight more gardenias in their place. The photo below shows a gardenia planted three years ago on the right and a gardenia just planted on the left. (Right there, below the left corner of the left window. You don't see it?) When I planted it, the one on the right was the size of the the one of the left.

Here is the vegetable garden. We have herbs: rosemary, oregano, chives, thyme, basil. One plant each of eggplant, bell pepper, and jalapenos. Twelve squash plants (H didn't read the labels and thought she was getting more of a variety of vegetables). Eight tomato plants. I have never had any luck with tomatoes and around here tomatoes are The crop to bear fruitfully. I am hoping for more success this summer.

Here is the first little jalapeno. Cute, huh?

And, look at that first tomato. Gorgeous already.

Here are blossoms on the Granny Smith apple tree.
This will become a Granny Smith apple, God willing.
Here are blackberries. These four plants were just put in the ground a month ago, so they most likely won't produce much. But, we are hoping they live and will prosper greatly for us. We've found some wild berries that will hopefully hold us for a few seasons until these take off.

Here are the blueberries. They were transplanted down to our house from H's parents who were opening up their view of the pond. We are happy to house them. We might even share some berries with them.

We'll see what does well and what bites the hot summer dust. Hopefully we will get some good eating to come out of our yard and garden. Come for a visit and we will share with you.

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