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Brushing Off

Well, hello!

It has been a long time since I’ve updated or visited this blog. For the longest time, I used this site to document lists of plants and their behavior in my garden. I never, in a million years, thought I’d get any traffic here; it was like my little personal diary. But my, how blogs have changed!

Other life and blogging projects got in the way of keeping up with this one, but one of the big reasons my blogging slowed down has to do with the actual life of my garden. In 2009, we hired a landscaper to overhaul our back garden, creating some lovely stonescapes and garden paths. After that I tried to focus most of my efforts on long-term landscaping.

The first thing I did was gradually eliminate all the junk trees. Four hackberries, many chinaberries and lots of overgrown ligustrums–gone! This left a bright area of sunshine that I’d never had before.

Then I went to work removing any experimental plants that took too much ongoing effort to maintain. My goal and hope was to create a bit more of a sustainable garden with native-happy plants. At this point, the only annuals I have going in my garden are the self-sowing wildflowers, which took on a life of their own in that bright area of sunshine.

Then there are my beloved sweet peas, which have a couple of raised beds all to themselves. Even though they are short-lived in early spring, my garden wouldn’t be complete without their fragrance at least once a year.

My hat is off to those of you who gardened your way through the summer of 2011! The awful drought we experienced that summer and my constant efforts just to keep trees alive really put my gardening soul to the test, and another reason I lost my garden blogging mojo. It was too dang hot and ugly to even take pictures. I lost many of my favorite roses that summer. But there were also surprises. The Devoniensis rose which I planted from a small pot 3 1/2 years ago, not only takes the heat like a champ with little effort from me, but has taken over my arbor. Have you ever tried to prune one of these puppies back? It’s brutal. I have to ply my husband with lots of coffee to help.

Anyway, I’ve collected lots of photos of my garden over the past couple of years and some reflections on long-term gardening. I hope to brush off this space with a few of those over the summer.