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.
Final Garden Decisions Spring 2011

I've ordered and made definite decisions!

South side of house, full sun. I'm planning a bed that will have bright purple and orange contrast. Below are a Bloomerang lilac, a vitex, a Janet rose, a Westerland rose, and South Seas daylilies. I will underplant with catmint and lavender. The lilac, vitex and Janet rose were planted in the fall so the rest of the bed will come together pretty easily. The mocha trellis matches my house and I really want it to blend into the background. It is a big trellis, 5 x 8 feet and will be the home of the climbing Westerland.

Our back island will be slightly reworked. I am moving the Nishiki Willow out and moving it to a wetter portion of my yard where it will thrive. We will be extending the back of the island behind the japanese maple and putting in some Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass back there. That will give a bit more privacy in the winter and add some visual interest year round. I will be putting in three garden pillars of varying height - 7, 6 and 5 feet in a trio and I will be growing goldflame honeysuckle and moonflower on them. In front of those will be two low growing Christopher Marlowe roses. The double apricot hollyhocks that I planted back there last year will shoot up and bloom this year so that will add visual interest as well.

This entire area in front of the island will become stone patio. The rail on the porch in the middle of the two support pillars will be taken down and stairs will come off the porch onto the patio. On other side of the stairs, which will be wide spanning the entire middle of the porch, will be two new raised beds. On the left where the hose spicket is will be a colonnade spire apple tree, a pinky winky hydrangea and snow storm spirea. I may try and squeeze in some dwarf weigela, though I am not certain yet if I will have room. This will all be underplanted with white creeping verbena and Lady Elizabeth daylilies. The other side will match with the exception of the apple tree and I'll probably put in some tall annual or biennial there, maybe hollyhocks or lupine.

The front of our house will also get one of the mocha trellis and a Westerland rose just like the side yard orange and purple bed. I'm happy to report that nothing planted in this photo below is still there because this garden is sad as can be! I had all the shrubs replaced by our builder and I rectified my mistake of putting those hostas in such a sunny spot (they have been moved to the north side bed) and in their place are 3 very tidy, low-growing azaelas that are a variety that can take more sun. That large garage wall will have the trellis and Westerland rose growing on it.


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