Please indulge me as I digress from sewing. Today is my daughter's 23rd birthday, and she is in the Peace Corps in Madagascar- so far from home! She and I share a love of gardening, so I took a walk around the yard to show her how beautiful the flowers are this year. Hopefully she will be able to get to a computer soon and enjoy these from 10,000 miles away.
Gardening is another passion of mine, and when we built our house in 2001, we started from scratch with a blank slate. We are on the very edge of town, so our yard backs up to a grain field. Here is the Illinois sky.
There were years when we didn't think anything would ever grow, as the topsoil had been removed from the site by the developers, and all that was left was hard clay. It was so hard, it actually broke the tines on a tiller when we tried to till a vegetable garden!
But with lots of composting and mulch over the last 15 years, it is now great soil.
I grew up on a farm, and started flower gardening in 4-H when I was about 12. My brother is a professional florist, and I had an aunt and uncle who were florists, so I think that it is a bit genetic. Even my Dad who was a cattle and grain farmer, appreciated and enjoyed flowers.
Clematis and roses are my favorites, and apparently they love clay soil! Lucky me! I have a lot of David Austin English roses which smell divine. This is Heritage.
When we first moved here, the wind was so strong that it would almost knock you over, so we planted teeny little spruce trees. They are now about 20 feet tall and are just getting to the point where they are blocking the wind.
Here's another clematis growing into a lilac bush. We also have a lot of lilac bushes which bloomed about a month ago, so now the clematis can take over and keep the color going in those bushes.
Here's one of my favorite clematis: Josephine
Here's an apple tree with achillea and perennial geraniums.
The grassy like leaves are daylilies which will bloom next- late June, early July.
And here is our living shrub fence to separate our lawn from the neighbors. It has berries develop after the flowers and the birds love our lawn.
I typically don't plant a lot of annuals, but I fell in love with these striped petunias and planted them out front in a planter.
A rich red rose called The Prince.
And lastly our pond with a weeping cherry and magnolia trees.
I won't lie- it's a lot of work! And it is always a work in progress. If I neglect it for even a short while, the Illinois weeds take over, so it keeps me on my toes. But I love being able to bring in a vase of fresh flowers every day.
Here is a long distance birthday bouquet for you, Alyssa! Good luck with your garden in Madagascar. We miss you and love you!!!!