A look at the Past

Do you ever think man don’t look back?

I do.  All the time.  And about most everything!  Yet eventually you realize letting the cobwebs obscure the past, makes you forgot whats important. It blurs the tapestry woven with the fine threads of every day life.

While cleaning out the cobwebs of this site, I came across pictures of a youthful Katie dog, in my first home.  There she played in a barren backyard stripped for its makeover.  That was 2002.  I had saved enough money to get a patio put in.  It would replace the tiny cracking flagstone with nice strait edges – and boast a built in garden bed ready for spring daffodils and summer blooms.

Old S. Sherman St., Englewood.

our little house

The front after 5 years - little change

I had such a love / hate relationship with that house and yard.  It was the first place to call my own and make of it what I could.

It’s where I got my garden bug. And where I fell deeply in love with a wonderful man.  It was my every goal to make our home as beautiful and comfortable as could be.  A yard for entertaining was high on list.

2002 was another year of drought. I decided it was better to put in a lawn that could stay green with no water. Out went the patchy, bug-infested, crab-grass infested blue grass.  In came buffalo grass and a raised garden for vegetables.

I never got to fully complete my vision, as we bought another house in 2004.  But this house will always hold a special place in my heart.

A comparison of old and new can be seen at

the view out back

After a complete scrape

another view

From the north


A True Gardener

Much of my life is given to understand the earth we inhabit from its celestial foundations to the organisms that benefit from the Earth’s life giving condition.  By its nature, gardening feeds all these interests through the combination of:

  • earth
  • weather
  • water
  • microorganisms
  • plants
  • insects
  • birds
  • animals
  • and the sun’s driving energy

Imagine all the university degrees needed to be fluent in the language of these ecological helpers.   Luckily we don’t need to know the depths of each to be gardeners, we only need to know how each play into bringing forth life in the microcosm we call our gardens.  What special power we wield when tending to an ailing plant, or preparing a bed for new life to grow.  So many never see beyond the color of a pretty flower or the neat row of hedge, or worse the drudgery of mowing and weeding.  But to know gardening and true gardeners, you must look beyond that which landscapers tend.

How do you know if you are doing it right?

Many would have varied opinions.

But to me its captured in the pictures below.  Its species sharing nectar, or the birds who trust your garden to shelter their newborns.  Its life above and below the dirt… and even the snakes in the grass.  The more life you see in your garden, the more you are a TRUE gardener.  You tend not just the earth but all its inhabitants.

Share your story of what it is to be a gardener.

Sharing the feast

The Pollinator Garden has been a great lesson in natives and the importance of providing habitat for the insects we tend to ignore.

A youngin


The blue spruce provide protection for many bird species who’ve made nests over the years. Blue jays and the dove you see here are just a few of the many that call our neighborhood home.

For two years flickers nested in a hole they made in the silver maple. Today a hive of honey bees live there. But the flickers remain close. Perhaps we’ll have more babies in other nests.

Flicker hatchlings

Flicker babies 2012



North Pole Arborvitae

Added this to the garden today 11/23/2015.  I have never planted a plant this late .

This is a thuja occidentalis ‘Art Boe’  North Pole is the trademark for the proven winners selection.


3-5 feet wide and 10 -15′ tall, this arborvitae should fit nicely in the small space at the head of the shaded fence garden.


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