When Todd and I first married, we joked about my lack of a green thumb.  He’d buy me a plant for a special occasion, and I’d give him a quizzical look.  “Why?”

“Just want to see how long it’ll be before it dies.”

I’d chuckle because that’s exactly what would happen; the plant would eventually (quite quickly usually) die.

Then came the purchase of our home.  When we moved in, there was a wooden flower bucket, which I successfully planted with petunias each summer.  A few years later our daughter was born, and as is customary, we received cards, balloons, cut flowers, and a plant.  Oh how I dreaded the thought of killing a plant given to us in honor of our daughter’s birth, and I was pleasantly surprised when it didn’t die.  Two years later when Ali was born, I received another plant.  By this time, I was feeling hopeful since the first plant was not only living, but needed to be repotted in a bigger pot.  Maybe I did have a light-green thumb at least.

As we worked to update our house inside and out, each spring I’d try

First bed.  Waiting for this year's irises to bloom.

First bed. Waiting for this year’s irises to bloom.

my hand at adding some flowers to our yard.  First came a small bed by the driveway. I tried numerous ideas (tulips, vines, gladiolas) and am still trying to figure out what I want in this bed.  This year I’m waiting to see how the irises a friend gave me look.

My first big chance at gardening occurred when we installed a long retaining wall.  I remember asking around for advice.  A co-worker told me to stop over as she needed to thin out her plants. I remember her using plant names as we walked through her garden.  I also remember answering with,  “I don’t know. What color flowers does it have?” and “Is it one of those that comes back every year?”  (Being a green-thumb wannabe, I lack the right vocabulary sometimes.) I left with enough “green things” to plant about a third of the area. About three years later, my garden area was full thanks to generous gardening family, friends, and neighbors.


This is the redone area by the retaining wall. Thanks to family and friends for the plants and bird bath.

Last summer the retaining wall was redone and extended.  I took this as another opportunity to increase the flower beds in our yard.  Todd, even though he doesn’t like yard work, is supportive.  I come up with ideas, and he’s willing to use his muscle and construction knowledge to make my ideas work, and usually he makes them better.  So as this year’s flower season begins, I’m excited to see the “green things” returning and am looking forward, with Ali’s help, to planting a small food garden area too.  Who knows, maybe my gardening hat will blossom even more.

New garden area.

New garden area.


Redesigned deck bed using old wall’s block.