This is a story about a ruined garden.
If I were writing fiction, I'd give the main character a green thumb and a strong spine.
She would rescue the garden in a day and not break a sweat.
Dirt and broken fingernails wouldn't freak her out.
But this is a true story about a bad gardener (me).
I'm a tick-magnet and sort of a weakling.
I have no sense of color or design.
I can't dig a hole without getting dizzy.
I've killed a lot of plants in my time.
I've made huge messes, too.
I shouldn't be such a plant philistine. I come from a long line of Women Who Garden.
My mother didn't always have a spade handy, and she would dig holes
with a soup spoon. Her yard is a lush, flowery place, thanks to her green thumb.
When I inherited the gardens at Rattlebridge, the flowers were facing ruination,
if not extinction.
I was determined to preserve the beauty that had been
created by the previous owners. Michael and Holly had put time, love, and effort
into their yard, and I wanted to make them proud.
You can read about the cottage garden restoration HERE.
The hill garden had gotten away from me completely.
But I was feverish from a tick bite and finishing a new novel.
Should I wait until next summer when I didn't have Lyme Disease or a deadline?
Let the garden grow into wildness?
First, the area was cleared and the old stone border went into piles.
The old butterfly bush was trimmed back.
Weeds were cleared away from the peony.
(It bloomed its heart out this past spring.)
Everything was tidied.
Looking from my husband's hilltop vegetable garden, you can see the
The stones were put back into place.
And the digging commenced.
Oak leaf hydrangeas and daisies and all kinds of pretties.
A deep layer of mulch will keep the weeds away for five seconds.
Sadly, I have already managed to kill one plant.
Bandwidth sliced open his hand while fixing a garden hose,
but we managed to set up a sprinkler.
"Gardening isn't for sissies," my mama said. "Buy you some bug repellent and get you
a big spoon and don't let the weeds take root."
My grandmother, Mimi, used to say that gardens are outdoor rooms,
places to collect your thoughts, work off excess calories, and disperse mental energy.
We began with weeds and wildness and ended with a tidy, colorful spot.
Next, we're building a little potting shed near this garden.
The shed will need a path.
And a path needs flowers.
Aren't you loving how this story ends?
Garden photos courtesy of Tyler West