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.

I love plants, I've grown to love gardening as an adult. It is an endeavor full of possibility and rewards for some basic effort put forth. I tend to a tomato plant a few times a week and I get loads of tomatoes for a few months to enjoy and eat. The pay off is worth the effort.

We bought a brand new house in December and the house is in a brand new neighborhood which means that the landscaping is all immature. And it is builder grade stock for the most part - builders are so cheap they won't even spring for boring old boxwoods any longer, you're lucky if you get a few spindly azaleas, japanese hollies and some monkey grass to spruce up the front of your house. We did get an "upgraded package" so we got a laurel and a crape myrtle thrown in as well. Nothing to brag about, for sure.

Our backyard is really pretty awful to be honest. It is shallow and bumps into our neighbors driveway. We are on a corner and the people behind us face a different direction so their side load garage is our view from our back porch. They are nice people to be sure, but our view is not so nice at all. There is zero vegetation in the backyard aside from grass so clearly it was going to be up to us to spruce it up a bit and to block our lousy view as well as create a pretty significant barrier between the backyard and the driveway to keep little feet from running over to it.

I've researched my heart out because buying a tree is a much different proposition from buying a six pack of petunias or a tomato plant. Those are $5 decisions and easy to let go of if they don't work out. Trees, especially mature trees, cost a lot of money. We don't want to over-plant the space in our zeal to block out our lousy view and yet we don't want to wait 20 years for the view to be improved. And we do have a pesky little consideration in the form of a budget!

We've planned a long, mulched bed that will run the length of our porch and will include several trees and some shrubs. We've elected to do the planting ourselves to save about a thousand dollars - in my world that is a lot of money to fork over! We decided on two cryptomeria, 1 japanese maple and 1 crape myrtle. We will have elaegnus and nishiki willow to fill in along with a 6 foot tall skip laurel to be placed in between and forward of the two cryptomeria to help fill in the space a bit while we wait (years) for the trees to grow and mature.

I'll try and post a few pics over the weekend as the bed takes shape and things get planted. As Bob has reminded me a few times, "Happy Mother's Day!".




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