A Bundle of Love and Joy

Guarding – Sleeping – Watching – Creeping – ELECTRIFYING 

Always a smile on my face 

The home of a dog is a home filled with LOVE and JOY

Maddie

Maddie

Maddie

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Why do we garden?

I started the gardens at Valley View in 2005. Each year I add and I subtract. I visit other gardens and watch gardening shows. During quiet moments one question persists – Why do I garden? Why do I spend countless hours creating a vista that may disappear tomorrow?

Ajuga and ragwort garden
Ajuga and ragwort garden 2017
Fallen trees
The garden is on the right under the fallen log

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really don’t have an answer but I have looked backward to see where I’ve been. 

 

 

When I was 14 part of my parent’s property was taken by local government for a flood control project.  Bulldozers came in widened the creek and left behind a mud pit.  My mother and father were devastated. Their garden was gone.  The following year willow trees fell and more damage was done to their space.  I spent countless hours cutting tree branches and raking ground to bring life back because I wanted them to be happy.  Fast forward to age 49.  My husband and I bought that house and created gardens that made me smile.  Then one morning it all disappeared in a flash flood. Oh the irony!

September 18, 2004 flood

September 18, 2004 flood

Photos from the post

Gardens Do Not Happen in Isolation

 

 

 

Now I garden at Valley View. First it was to take control of overgrown areas and create spaces where I could sit and enjoy what surrounded me.

Everything was done on the cheap. There was very little money for plants, let alone hardscaping. The bricks and patio block below are what you see in the above photos.

North garden from upstairs window 2007

The next step in the evolution of the gardens was to make them wildlife friendly.  I added plants specifically for native creatures. 

female scarlet tanager on sumac September 2018

I then began to remove invasive plants, which I continue to do to this day.  After my desire to invite native wildlife, I wanted to create sacred spaces.  A labyrinth and bowling ball pyramid were added. 

Maddie viewing the labyrinth

Bowling Ball pyramid with hostas

I then learned about pollinators and wanted to add plantings to encourage their health. So back to natives.

Native bee on white cone flower
Native bee on our native Echinacea

I found myself ping ponging between trying to recreate what I saw or learned at that time. It has taken me awhile to understand that my garden should be for me and should reflect my inner being. 

Now, I’m still not sure what that is.  But I should not be ashamed of liking non-native hostas and wild unkempt pollinator gardens.   I am fortunate to have the space for both.

 

Pollinator garden July, 2018
Pollinator garden July, 2018
hostas by rain barrel
Hostas August Moon and Gold Standard by rain barrel

Reflecting on my past involvements with gardens,  I venture to say I have always been trying to recreate something I’ve seen rather than create something of my own. It’s time for me to take pleasure in my own creative endeavors.  For once again, I’ve learned it might not be there tomorrow.

The meditative garden
The meditative garden June, 2018

A Year in the Life of the Garden

The garden has matured as I have grown older. 

Old gardens have evolved as new ones emerge.

Plantings encourage new visitors while old friends come and go.

Yet I struggle with new-found freedoms.

Like the gardens I can jump boundaries and begin again. The garden embraces all that is new and all that is unplanned. 

Can I do the same? 

THE GARDENS IN 12 PHOTOGRAPHS

JANUARY 2018 the labyrinth in snow
JANUARY 2018 the labyrinth in snow

 

FEBRUARY 2018 Lyman Whitaker wind sculpture in snow
FEBRUARY 2018 Lyman Whitaker wind sculpture in snow
MARCH 2018 Winter aconite at the standing stone
MARCH 2018 Winter aconite at the standing stone
APRIL 2018 bowling ball garden
APRIL 2018 bowling ball garden
MAY 2018 daffodils near the road brought from the old house
MAY 2018 daffodils near the road brought from the old house
JUNE 2018 labyrinth and lower gardens
JUNE 2018 labyrinth and lower gardens
JULY 2018 summer rock garden
JULY 2018 summer rock garden
AUGUST 2018 new bowling ball sculpture
AUGUST 2018 new bowling ball sculpture
SEPTEMBER 2018 Cut and stacked fallen trees
SEPTEMBER 2018 Cut and stacked fallen trees
OCTOBER 2018 bowling ball garden in autumn
OCTOBER 2018 bowling ball garden in autumn
NOVEMBER 2018 the barn and berries
NOVEMBER 2018 the barn and berries
DECEMBER 2018 looking down at the labyrinth
DECEMBER 2018 looking down at the labyrinth

Intimate Spaces

 

Vegetable garden
Vegetable garden

A garden for a gardener is a reflection

Sitting area in the lower gardens
Seating area in the lower gardens

A reflection of who they are

potting shed in July
Potting Shed in July

Each bed is a piece of a puzzle once completed mirrors the gardener’s soul

Standing stone and hosta Whirlwnd
Standing stone and hosta Whirlwind

A piece of planned chaos – a piece of chromatic flora – a piece of neutral shades

Outside the back door
Outside the back door

 

Rain Garden behind home
Rain Garden behind home

 

DSCN1892

Come, walk the garden paths and meet me

The labryinth garden
The labyrinth garden

 

Looking down on  lower gardens
Looking down on lower gardens

 

Deer sculpture an way to lower gardens
Deer sculpture on way to lower gardens

 

Hosta Herifu and the pyramid
Hosta Herifu and the pyramid

More Than Ice

I love discovering new and unique things in the gardens.  An insect viewed from a different perspective or a non-traditional flower.

Lady BugJack-in-the-Pulpit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter offers an entirely new perspective challenge. Void of the rainbow of colors and abundance of life found in other seasons, winter’s gifts must be sought out.

Ice Crystals

I wait for the cold to envelope the land and snow and ice to fall.

Winter landscape of snow

When warming air collides with subfreezing temperatures, magic happens.

Snowy Winter's night

Beauty abounds.

Icycle on evergreen

Bluebifd in the snow on sumac

An alternate view of the world can be found at

Tootlepedal’s Blog A look at life in the borders.

Across a vast ocean he too looks for unique and unusual. Take a moment to take a bike ride with him

via his post Slow Progress

 

Resolution

RESOLution – resolve “firm determination to do something”

reSOLUTION – solution “the act of solving or explaining a problem”

I’ve never been one to make a resolution. I’ve always believed if one wants to change an aspect of their life you do it whatever day or time it is. Something I resolved to do on a long past day and time was to appreciate the world around me.

Those I love

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Our oldest daughter’s wedding officiated by her father. Our younger daughter was matron of honor.

And the those I fear

Common Garter Snake
Common Garter Snake

The smallest of creatures

Pennsylvania native bee
Pennsylvania native bee
Pennsylvania native bee on Echinacea flower
Pennsylvania native bee on Echinacea flower

The tallest of buildings

Austin Texas
Austin Texas

Each day presents me with a gift

I only need a moment of time to find it

a series of photographs of ice crystals on the stream behind our home

                        A magical find

January 1st, 2018

Ice crystal

ice crystals

ice crystals

ice crystal

 

ice crystals

 

ice crystals

Abandoned 

I’ve walked past this farm more than a hundred times…

abandoned barn

Corner stones of the barnDuring those early walks when I  looked inside the abandoned barn I could clearly see chairs and broken piping

Barn on Meadow Road

Abandoned barn

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now all I see is the Earth taking back what was once hers.

Poiaon ive and grape vines overtake the wooden barn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I watch as the barn is slowly being consumed by vines of grape and poison ivy

Barn wall

and wonder how long it will be until this place is no longer exists even in memories…

Abandoned barn on Meadow

 

Upper window of the barn