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.

It's that time of year again.

I wait and wait and wait all fall, winter and early spring for things begin to grow and show life out in the garden. And the bulbs shoot up in March and keep going through early May. By then there are perennials peeking up and I know all will be well in my world. How anyone could stand to live in a perpetually cold or dry place, I do not know. My husband mentioned a job transfer to Minnesota once and I almost had a heart attack! I need a decent length growing season, at least zone 5, to make me content.

Anyway, August heralds in the shabby month of gardening. This is when I always wish I'd focused more on structure rather than on color and blooms. I like messy, rambling, big and busy gardens. I do like a bit of structure but only so that the whole garden doesn't look totally desolate in the winter months. But August also sees me rethinking what I've put where and what I can do to improve things. August is about the time it gets so hot that most things are getting leggy and dry, blooms are having trouble really looking their best. My roses look so promising as they bud and then quickly brown and dry out in the heat. My hydrangeas each have blooms that feature crispy petals. My geraniums last only about a day and I'm deadheading them before all the petals have bloomed because the rest of the flower ball looks so pathetic. Even the petunias are starting to look a little desperate.

I just gave most of my garden a major hair cut (er, stem cut). It was time. So now I have a lot less blooms to blot out the ratty foliage. I'm planning on rearranging the north side shade bed quite a lot. I can see better now that the astilbes really are getting too much sun where they are at. I can see that the hellebore I had such high hopes for is probably never going to reach the 36 inches promised on the plant tag and it needs to move forward. I can also see that I should have been more patient and bought fewer hostas because they are now crowding each other out.

I feel as if I am in a holding pattern. It has been in the 90s-100s for the past two weeks. We have a drip irrigation system installed that is keeping everything happy and well-watered which is good because I can hardly stand to be outside for more than a half hour at a go. My children cannot take the excessive heat either so we have been cooped up inside just the same as we are in January.

September will arrive soon and then I'll get my spirit back. I'll start haunting online plant nurseries and visiting my favorite local nurseries and cajole my husband into digging more holes for me in the ground. I can see where we need more structure and I'm starting to plan exactly what we'll need.

I'll keep you posted!




Rach said...

Yes. This exactly. Stupid end of July into August heat. UGH.

Your garden still looks lovely. Mine is in shambles.

Hailey said...

I followed your links from the WTM forums and I just wanted to say your garden is beautiful! I wish I could get mine to look so nice!

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