I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.
In The Garden

My daughter, a good helper:

It doesn't look like much right now but this is the result of hours of work!

The carpet shrub and the prickly red shrubs in front will be removed next weekend. We aren't sure what we are replacing them with:

Pots of geraniums and petunias:

This is what I came home from the nursery with:

Spring is my favorite season. There are things I like about all the seasons but in Spring there is this sense of renewal, of survival almost and the reward is the gorgeous blooms of the season- phlox, crocus, tulips and daffodils to name a few. Nothing energizes me more than seeing those first flowers bloom, seeing the teeny shoots of hostas pushing up through the dirt and in a matter of two weeks becoming big and lush. Clematis creeps out and overnight it seems to climb two feet and burst with beautiful colored blooms, dark purple being the showiest and my personal favorite.

This year I finally have a yard in which I can do real gardening. We've lived in a townhouse with a postage stamp sized yard for the last several years and I have been making do with container gardening which is rewarding in its own way. I love containers way too much to sacrifice them now that I have a yard and landscaping so they are back out and full of my favorite flowers. I ordered quite a few seeds to start from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, a first for me. I started 7 varieties of tomato, several herbs and some peppers. Just yesterday I transplanted them out in the raised beds Bob built for me. We have reserved one box specifically for flowers, the other three are full of veggies and herbs. We have 13 tomato plants, two types of beans (one bush, one vine), two types of peppers, lots of herbs (LOTS!), cucumbers and swiss chard going. We have already harvested our leaf lettuce and have eaten some very tasty and fresh salads in the past week.

Today I headed out to the nursery. We found a local nursery, Heartland, and let me tell you - I think I was practically high when I left there today. This nursery has anything a gardener could want. Heirloom varieties that are hard to find and usually must be grown from seed are in abundance. I had hollyhocks on my list of plants to buy and I had so many varieties to choose from that I almost bought one of each! The same applied to every single other plant I had on my to-buy list. I bought so many plants that I had TWO huge plant carts full and a sales woman had to help me get to the register. After several years of buying annuals and gardening I know which plants make me the happiest and thrive even under lazy gardener conditions: geraniums, creeping verbena, wave petunias and coleus are always on my "to buy" list. And I purchased quite a few perennials to fill in our landscaping: poppies, hollyhocks, hostas, hydrangeas, and phlox.

As I was standing in line, my 3 month old son in a Mei Tai carrier on my chest, a man in line behind me asked me how I was going to manage all my plants since I had such a new baby! Hah- I'll tell you how, my son happily spent a couple hours in his swing in the sunshine today, Ella ran around the yard and "helped me" dig, plant and water. Why people think you have to find solo time to garden is beyond me. Nothing is better for little children than to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine learning about the earth and all it can produce and grow. Ella already understands the difference between seeds and bulbs, shrubs, flowers and probably even perennials and annuals. At two years old she knows that plants need water and sunshine and mulch helps keep weeds away. And it is so good for children to be involved and aware of the cycle of the year.

My biggest excitement of the day is my purchase of four hydrangeas. I adore big, showy, flowery, untamed looking plants so hydrangeas are high on my list of favorite plants. If I had room I would have a lilac but I digress. Bob and I have such different landscaping tastes, his run very tidy and neat and would include begonias, impatiens, a japanese maple or two and boring old boxwood shrubs. I like rambling, leafy, flowery messes. So, we have to compromise. I have kept many disliked shrubs for him and he has conceded to hydrangeas for me. I have researched hydrangeas for awhile, I knew I had a nice shady area under my dining room windows in the front of our house in which they would look gorgeous. I decided on the Endless Summer, Original variety because they bloom all summer and can be either pink or blue based on the soil's pH. I can't wait to have some big, puffy blossoms to put in a vase on our summer nature table!



Rach said...

I LOVE hydrangeas! How fun for you all to be outside enjoying the sun and each other. Yay! :o)

Kristi Ann said...

I of Bug's and Drama Mama's FAVORITE things to do is help us out in the yard.
As a matter of fact Bug planted HIS first vegetable this chard....and like a good little "father" soon as he gets home from school he wants to "check on them and make sure they are o.k". :):)

I love it..and I love watching them explore....Drama Mama's favorite thing to do it explore, dig, catch bugs (this child has NO fear) and throw things into the water..only to try and fish it back out! MY favorite thing?

just being able to glance up, and see such wonder! :)

P.S The walk looks great! :)

Jen said...

hahaha - well close your eyes when you come over, as we are about to purchase "boring" boxwood shrubs this weekend! :O)

日月神教-任我行 said...


日月神教-任我行 said...


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