This year was the first year I was able to

earnestly pursue gardening. I’ve been dabbling with perennials and vegetable gardening on

and off for the past 15 years. When I was at home with my parents I had a pretty good

sized plot that they let me take care of and I loved it. My sophomore year that I home

schooled the vegetable garden was one of my prized projects. The garden provided us with

some great corn, beans, peppers, zucchini, and pumpkins and helped me to lose 25


Now in a new place that we can call our own it was my desire to make the

land burst with color. The summer was extremely dry and hot so the extent of my revamping

of the land had to be limited. My husband encouraged me to take up container gardening.Â

That worked out well since the containers were close to the house and were large enough to

keep flowers, small shrubs, and some tomato and pepper plants.Â

In expectation of

getting an early start next spring (2008) I dug up 4 x8 foot plots in our back yard for

vegetable gardening. I’ve sought out every potential place for flower beds for a couple

reasons. One is to gussy up the place a bit and the other is to try and eliminate the need

to trim with the weed whacker.

In the front of our house near the end of our driveway

I made two 6 x 6 pie shaped flower beds. At first I didn’t have a clear idea of what to

plant in them. My friend Bobbie invited me over one day to take some plants from her

catch-all flower beds and my plan was set. She gave me white yucca, pink garden phlox,

pink wild geranium, yellow daylily, hollyhock, some small variegated hostas and lily of the

valley. The hostas and lily of the valley had to go to the shade bed at the back of the

house and the hollyhocks went back to a sunny spot there, but all the other items found a

home in those front plots. I had some dahlia and canna tubers and some asiatic lily bulbs

that I also planted there. Near the end of the season after a whole summer of looking I

finally found some very pretty “Spangled Star” and “Neon Pink” dianthus and artemisia that

lined the peak, front border, of the beds.

Craigslist and FreeCycle were also great

sources for plants this year. I got to connect with people from all around the area that

love gardening and want to make sure their extras don’t go to waste. Hostas, irises,

hibiscus, coneflower and giant daylily were among the plants that came from the resulting ad

leads. The same day that I followed up on those ads my father in law offered some Elegans

hosta which I gladly accepted and gave him some iris corms from my earlier score. Another

friend of mine saw my ad on FreeCycle and mentioned that her parents, with whom I’m also

friends, had hostas they wanted divided. As I have become a sucker for hostas and anything

that will grow in the shade I made arrangements to go and get them. When I got there,

Margaret, my acquaintance’s mother, dug up daisies, irises, dianthus, liatris, coneflower,

coral bells and more daylilies.Â

After a bit I had more than I could reasonably

handle in such a short period of time. Just days before we went on our “50th Anniversary

Celebrating-Family Reunion-Vacation” to Georgia my mom was kind enough to come over and help

watch my little girl while I tried to find a place for all the plants. Many had to go in

containers, though next spring they will find a home under some trees in our front yard. I

can’t wait to see what the flower bed at the back of the house is going to look like when

it fills out in the spring. I planted four varieties of hosta, coral bells, and ferns near

the north side of the house. It was never easy to mow there and is fairly sheltered from

the wind.Â

Around the same time I got up the guts to ask a neighbor in town about

her hostas. Thankfully she was very friendly and even agreed to share pieces of them with

me. They are very beautiful variegated hostas that seem to glow in the


The past three nights we have had some pretty nasty killing frosts so

it’s time to wrap things up for the season. Dig out my bulbs and tubers, bring in my

potted plants and pull out the remainders of the vegetable garden that bit the frost over

the past few nights.


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