Along the Long Wall

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You, dear readers are hereby invited to the before and after and everything in between story of the long wall behind the main house. This is an in depth explanation of the evolution of the Fairegarden told from the perspective of the steep slope and the wall that holds it in place. Please make yourselves comfortable, this will be a bit long winded in the telling. Above is the present day, November 2013 view of the pond. It is what we see from the glass sliders in the master bedroom, so designed to offer nice garden viewing during inclement weather. A few crimson leaves remain on the Japanese maple, Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Crimson Queen’, the pink muhly grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris is swaying in the wind, The large leaves of the millions of hellebores, Helleborus orientalis are catching the final rays of the setting sun. It is pleasing to look at, but this was not always the case.

1996 (2)
Time travel back with me to 1996. While we were then living in the Tri-Cities area of northeast Tennessee, daughters Semi and Chickenpoet are now both attending a small college in southeast Tennessee on soccer scholarships. Having the two girls together was a blessing for us. Chickenpoet, the eldest, had previously been taking classes elsewhere in the state. It seemed a good idea at the time to look for a small, inexpensive house to buy for them to reside in, also giving us a place to stay when visiting. It was cheaper than dorm fees for two and allowed them to stay in town during the holidays and summer when the dorms were closed to students. Home prices were very reasonable and a place was found near the college that met all the criteria. It even had a yard for me to plant a few extras from my own garden. The back yard was a flat space with a lawn and a steep hill of wilderness. Some plantings of shrubs were done by the girls and our two sons, referred to in our very first blog post as semi-adults. That is how the name Semi came to be used as the internet name for our youngest daughter, who thought it was funny.

2000 terracing (2)
In 1997 we left Tennessee for Texas due to a job transfer. Semi continued to go to school and play soccer, Chickenpoet moved back to northeast Tennessee, got married and had a child, a boy, our first grandson. An executive decision was made for us to return to Tennessee in light of this new family addition. We decided to live in the small house and do a very necessary renovation, thinking we would sell the house and move to a larger space afterwards. The first thing to be done was the clearing of the wilderness of the slope. A backhoe was brought on site to dig the foundation for the addition and a price was negotiated for the clearing and terracing of the steep incline. Jim, the backhoe operator did a very fine job and even lifted the shrubs and trees that were planted along the back of the house to be used on the hill.

2000 moving the shed (2)
A small wooden shed that was built to house the lawnmower, bicycles and some items that defy reason or explanation was in the way of the renovations. I mentioned that I sure wished it could be at the top of the hill and Jim made it so. The fork attachment was put on the backhoe, the shed was lifted up and placed on the trailer bed used to bring the backhoe in. Around the corner it went, the truck in reverse, past our neighbors house while they watched in amazement. I must remark about the pitiful paint job applied by Semi and her soccer friends to the shed. D minus on that. It has since been repainted. Several times.

2000 (2)
A section of the chain link fence was removed to allow the backhoe access. A sort of road was built with the trees, shrubs and vines of the previous wilderness as a base and the shed was placed at the eastern edge of the property. Several truckloads of mulch were brought in this way, as well before the fence was repositioned.

2000 digging  (2)
Finally the digging for the addition was begun. In the meantime, a garden was planted on the slope, using plants brought in the Noah’s Ark gas guzzler from Texas along with those dug up from the back of house.

2000 addition (2)
Progress was made, the structure was framed and roofed. We put in a hot tub on a concrete slab to the side of the master bedroom. The covered vestibule can be seen in the middle, and the greenhouse/sunroom with its two skylights is at the southeast corner of the house. The sheffie mums can be seen blooming.

2001 (2)
By spring of 2001, the house is done and the garden has been planted. The Tulipa ‘Spring Green’ tulips can be seen blooming in the Knot Garden. Look how small the maples are on either side of the pond. The pond has been built and rebuilt a couple of times. For more about the pond, click here. But there is a gaping omission for completion of phase one of this project. There is a wall of solid, red clay peeking out from under the mulch and landscape cloth at the bottom of the photo. Something is needed to hold back the hill. Stacked native stone would have been oh, so lovely, but it was out of the budget, which by that time had been hit hard by extras and overruns. Large cement blocks with a rough face were chosen as the material for the wall. A group of masons came to the house, lead by a fellow nicknamed Dead-Eye. He was so called because he could tell level dead on everytime. They did use spirit levels, of course, but he was always right on the money. A large piece of drainage pipe was placed behind the block to escort the water to the side and on down the slope to the street. Strong arms lifted the blocks two at a time, one in each hand as the wall was laid. These blocks weigh eighty pounds each, in case you are wondering. They completed the wall in two days. Sadly, no photos were taken.

oct 9 (2) 2002 (4)
The filling in of the space behind the wall was left to my husband and me. This was the fly in the ointment. We used leftover scrap lumber, rocks, bits of broken cement blocks, whatever we had laying around to fill in. We used red clay from the excavation pile to fill in the rest, my husband using the Bobcat that the workmen had left here. We should have used drainage gravel up to about a foot and then topsoil with gravel up against the blocks. Voles have colonized the area behind the wall as a result of our ignorance.

nov 11 6 (2) 2002 (3)
The vision was to have English ivy, yes, I know, cascading over the edge of the wall to reduce the stark prison wall look of it in the beginning. A line of lavender was planted along the mulched pathway to provide scent and evergreen sweetness. My husband and I made concrete steps going up to the top of the slope. A split rail fence was erected to hold back the drooping Miscanthus and help hide the silver chain link fence.

sept 8 53 (2) 2002 (3)
In the meantime, the house next door that we had bought to enlarge the property, thus changing the plan to this being our forever house, happening midway through the construction, are you with me?, was torn down and a garage was built. The garden behind the garage was begun, without the help of heavy machinery. The end of the block wall can be seen above in this shot from September of 2002. The daylily hill has come into existence, protected at the corner by the cement casted keystone of Athena. The hose and patio furniture were not cropped out, to show the real view.

apr 23 (2) 2003 (3)
The ivy grew surprisingly fast. Most of the lavender eventually died. There needed to be a rethink of the vision. The above shot is from April of 2003. As life has a way of happening during renovations and gardening, daughter Semi was married in 2003. The ivy was cut and used extensively in the church decorations for the wedding. Folks even remarked how lovely the long tendrils were. Where did we find so much ivy, they asked? Waste not, want not!

apr 3 6 (2) 2004 (3)
Right after the wedding, the ivy was painstakingly dug out. It went easier than anticipated and only a couple of sprigs returned, quickly removed. The thinking cap was put on about the planting of this forty plus foot narrow bed. Daffodils that came with the property were used for spring cheer. Concrete stepping stones were made in place to help keep footsies dry and clean whilst traversing the lower terrace. Later, step stones were made for all of the pathways that were not already laid with gravel.

apr 24 (2) 2004 (3)
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ volunteers were one of the first replacements for the ivy and lavender. They proved to be too tall, at the time, blocking the view of the hillside and were later removed. The plantings up the steps were gorgeous that year. Pink Dianthus ssp., blue Ajuga reptans and white Cerastium tomentosum created a groundcover tapestry. Yellow deciduous Azaleas are beacons of beauty. This scene has never been duplicated.

mar 19 6 (2) 2005 (2)
By March of 2005, only the daffodils remain. Voles and/or the tough conditions of poor soil have proven to be problematic for the plantings. On a brighter note, moss is beginning to grow on the concrete blocks.

sep 9 (2) 2005 (3)
Experiments with plantings are not showing much promise, but the yellow creeping jenny, Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’ has spread from the hillside around the pond to the area behind the wall. This is the way the successful plantings have evolved, without help from the gardener. The above photo is from September of 2005.

March 4, 2007 044 (3)
By March of 2007, with the daffodils being stalwart soldiers, there is still a lack of easy care successful perennials growing behind the wall. I built stone walls with leftovers from the stone purchase to help shore up the ever sliding soil.

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This brings us to the here and now. The planting behind the wall is finally pleasing. A couple of years ago I gave up trying to have colorful annuals or even flowers there. Japanese blood grass, Imperata cylindrica rubra is the matrix, impervious to voles and drought. One lone lavender remains alive and well from the original planting vision.

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There is more moss on the wall. A finely bladed Euphorbia is spreading, happily cascading over the concrete edge, giving the softening effect that I was hoping for.

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An escaped variegated ivy has attached itself to the blocks, coming from a container planting sited next to the wall long ago.

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Dianthus has joined the hard to get started party. Sedum acre moved itself over from the Daylily Hill where it had been living since before we bought this property. Native violets are now welcome. It was not always so.


In spring, Fritillaria uva-vulpis has survived the vole attacks to return each year, as have the grape hyacinths that came with the land.

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A thug to some, star of Bethlehem, Ornithogalum umbellatum is a welcome sight at the western end of the wall. It too was grandfathered in. I love how it blends with the yellow foliage of evergreen Acorus gramineus ‘Ogon’.


2011 saw the final attempt at annual summer color plantings. These red salvias never grew at all and slowly died over the weeks. That is when I threw in the towel, or it should be trowel.

December 3, 3012 013 (2)
The ever changing foliage of Euphorbia dulcis ‘Chameleon’ adds shades of reds, purples and others all along the wall. These self seeded plants are progeny of the two purchased parents planted early on either side of the pond.

April 12, 2012 051 (2)
More self seeders include these pink columbines, Aquilegia ssp..

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Lambs ear, Stachy byzantinus was added last year, giving in to foliage as the stars. Black mondo grass, Ophiopogon planescapus ‘Nigrescens’, an original planting from 1996 has spread itself from the pond to the wall. A smattering of small heathers, Calluna ssp. have been survivors.

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Other Euphorbias have been tried in this space, including E. ‘Ascot Rainbow’ and E. ‘Blackbird’. While totally stunning, perfect and immune to voles due to the poisonous milky sap, these plants are short lived. We need long lived here. When these few die out, they will not be replaced.

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What we really appreciate are plants that replace, or reproduce themselves. These grown from seed Rosa chinensis ‘Angel Wings’ have done some self sowing, making for a nice stand of them in the middle of the long wall. The flowers are nice, but the winter interest offered by the tiny red hips are the greatest gift of this rose, dropping to the ground to sometimes germinate and share nature’s miracle of reproduction.

* * * * *

Thank you for reading this self indulgent garden history lesson, dear friends. As with all of the 956 blog posts, beginning on December 7, 2007, these stories were and are for my friends and family to enjoy. That anyone else would even bother reading them still is astonishing to me. They are to help me remember what was blooming when and where. I so enjoy sharing the photos, as you can see from above, I have been taking pictures of my garden well before the blogging began, even before owning a digital camera. That digital gift from my husband in 2002 was met with disdain. Why do I need that electronic device, I already have a good camera, was my ungrateful reaction. To take pictures of your garden, and put them on the computer to look at, for free, was his sweet response. And so a door was opened to a whole new world.

Frances

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25 Responses to Along the Long Wall

  1. Carol says:

    Wow, what a transformation. I enjoyed seeing it from its beginning and now have a much better “feel” for what your garden is like. Yes, you do have a slope! Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Hi Carol, thanks for following the tale of the long wall from the beginning to present day. The story of this garden is quite involved, with many failures and mistakes made to get to this point. Yes, the slope dominates the landscape. It has not been tamed, merely managed. The wall is a crucial element.
    Frances

  2. gail says:

    What a wonderful story! I really appreciate seeing the pictorial history. The love you’ve poured into Fairegarden is evident in your beautiful garden. It’s rewarded your readers beyond measure. One thing you said especially resonates with me “The plantings up the steps were gorgeous that year…This scene has never been duplicated.” I remember a spring when everything in my garden bloomed together beautifully and it has never happened like that again. Not to say it’s not been lovely, but, I am glad to have that image to spur me on. Thank you Frances for this lovely post. xoxoxogail

    Thanks, Gail, for those kind and supportive words. Because you have seen my garden in person, several times, it may be easier for you to follow what I am trying to explain. The steepness, the challenging soil and weather conditions, the constant striving to make it better are what gardening in this location are all about. So true that the garden is ever changing and how those special moments of beauty cannot be duplicated, we just have to enjoy them at the time and look forward.
    xoxoxo
    Frances

  3. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I love seeing the before and afters of a garden Frances. It is especially fun when you know the gardener and have seen the garden in all it’s glory.

    Hi Lisa, thanks for being such a loyal reader and making the journey to come and see my garden in person. I appreciate your friendship and support!
    Frances

  4. Alice says:

    Frances, thank you for sharing your garden and your gardening skills with the rest of us, even though you don’t know us personally. I am so glad to see a well developed, gracious, exuberant garden growing in south east Tennessee. I too live in Tennessee, probably a little north of you, in the Knoxville area. I am plagued by clay beneath my feet and the heat and humidity of the summer. It sometimes seems as if most of the lush, lovely gardens featured in garden books, television, and garden blogs are in the mid Atlantic or northeast. I’m just so happy to see an inspirational garden in “our” area. I love seeing your lush plantings and use of a wide variety of plants, reminding me not to despair and to keep trying. Plus, I would never have thought to try Muhly grass if I hadn’t stumbled onto your blog!

    Hi Alice, thank you so much for your gracious and supportive comment. Our terrain and weather are not as bad as in some places, but they certainly do offer a challenge to a gardener. Many of the gardens seen in books and magazines are either in England, land of perfect climate, or as you say, the northeast and other spots without the extremes that we experience here. Please do not despair, remember that gardening is a journey, not a destination. It will never be done, thank goodness!
    Frances

  5. entwinedlife says:

    Frances – this history is so encouraging… You have made the most of opportunities… Made compost out of disaster, And continue to offered “WOW” moments of splendor.

    Will you send me some of your Faire dust?

    Joy Jayme

    Thank you, Jayme, for those kind words! The magic of gardening and nature never fails to motivate me, that is where the power lies. Keep trying, never give up and learn from the mistakes.
    Frances

  6. penny hommeyer says:

    Thank you, Frances. I loved the post. WI started following your blog last fall. It was wonderful to read through the cold New England winter and now I am hooked. We live in northern Massachusetts and have been transforming the garden(s) here for 12 years. We have slope, swamp, walls, meadow, etc. I love all the pots you have along your wall.. my collection has grown – I made four new tufa troughs in September .. can’t wait to plant them up n the spring. I take a lot of pictures and I would love to start a blog sometime to chronicle the garden in all its changing glory (and not so glory). (Gardening is easier than computing.. I will need guidance for starting the blog). Sounds like I have a new winter project…..yours, Penny

    Hi Penny, thank you so much for reading my posts. Your garden sounds wonderful and I know you will love planting, and replanting those hypertufa pots. I do so hope you start blogging. Jumping in with both feet in December of 2007, with nearly zero computer skill but a lot of photos of my garden has proven to be life changing for me. Meeting fellow bloggers in person was scary and resulted in many new and cherished friends who share the love of gardening. I began with Blogger and switched to WordPress in the first year. Do check it out and let me know whenever you start your blog. Good luck in the garden and in the blogdom!
    Frances

  7. SharonMc says:

    Thank you so much for sharing the evolution and process of your ever gorgeous Fairegarden. I especially appreciate the beautiful photography. Reading about and seeing the changes – failures and all – gives me hope for the piece of land I am in the process of transforming, in Upstate SC.

    Thanks to you, Sharon, for your readership and support. Gardening is such a rewarding pursuit, including the failures from which we learn the most about nature and coping with it. Good luck with your transformation!
    Frances

  8. Laurrie says:

    My entire morning has been spent pouring over the history and development of your wonderful garden. I love studying how gardens are designed and then how they change and yours had more than its share of unique issues! In the end the space told you what it wanted to be. The plants informed you how it should all look, and you had to come along gradually to that vision. That gives this space such character. Knowing the full history adds so much — the garden is much more than what is in front of you at any one time.

    (I chuckled at that one perfect photo of plantings that never replicated themselves again — I’ve had that frustration too.) Thanks for giving us so much to look over, ponder, and appreciate.

    Hi Laurrie, thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. I love that phrase, the space telling the gardener what it wanted to be, it is so very true. My vision of an English cottage garden was so off base for this slope, but I kept trying to make it happen. Now it is beautiful to me in every way, even the weeds seem appropriate, but it took more than ten years for me to understand the concept of allowing it to be what it wanted to be. That one spring of perfection was amazing, thank goodness for the digital camera to capture it for posterity.
    Frances

  9. Barbara H. says:

    This is a wonderful journey through the history of your garden, Frances. Thank you for sharing it! I, too, was struck by the beautiful picture of the step plantings that has never been duplicated. Gardens make us humble, as well as proud, don’t they? That has happened to me many times and I guess it’s part of what keeps me going – trying to re-create that scene of special beauty that occurred, whether by chance or skill, that then evolved into something else of equal value but different beauty. Your garden is such a joy to so many of us. Your grace in writing your blog and responding to comments has been the icing on the cake for your virtual visitors.

    Your comments are always a delight to me, Barbara, thank you so much. I love how you explained what happens with those moments of perfect harmony in the garden, evlving into something else of equal value but different. That is the truth of it. The key is opening our minds to appreciate that *different* beauty from day to day, month to month, year to year without longing for the past. Onward!
    Frances

  10. Cindy, MCOK says:

    Frances, having wandered the slope of Fairegarden for myself just last year, I am in awe of all you’ve accomplished over the years. I gasped out loud at the picture of the plantings up the steps … I’m so glad you captured that magical moment. Long may you garden, my friend!

    Hi Cindy, thank you for your support and friendship. Knowing that you have seen the garden, the steep slope and step plantings in spring, I appreciate your gasp at the never to be duplicated seen. I cannot tell you how much pleasure I get from looking at old photos of the garden, especially during the cold months of winter. I made folders of photos by month to gaze upon, picking out the best shots from the beginning of my digital photography, well before blogging. That is where these photos have been stored. The blog makes it much easier to go back and take pleasure in seeing how the garden looked over time. I plan to garden right into the grave, trowel in hand!
    Frances

  11. Alison says:

    This history of your garden was a very entertaining and interesting read! Thanks for sharing it with us. I was actually very surprised to see that blank slate in your early photos, created by the backhoe. I don’t know why, but I’ve always assumed your garden was kind of like Christopher’s (in NC), mostly Nature aided and abetted by you. I think we’ve probably all experienced the never-to-be-duplicated scene like yours on the steps.

    Hi Alison, thanks for visiting. The slope was the true blank slate, no trees or shrubs other than what we had planted around the perimeter to hide the chain link fence, Pyracanthas and hemlocks, tiny one gallons. Nature has definitely added some plants, or more accurately, those wildling white asters, violets and others have defeated my efforts to eradicate them, to the betterment of the garden. It would have saved me a lot of time and treasure to allow them to be here from the very beginning. I was not as smart as Christopher.
    Frances

  12. Becky says:

    May God bless our husbands and their unexpected gifts.

    HA Becky, thanks for adding in here. Those husbands, sometimes they get it right!
    Frances

  13. Gaye says:

    Love exploring your garden and enjoy your stories so much. Wondering if you know that fritillaria and voles do not like each other. I have a giant orange one and have not had a problem. You may want to plant more. http://landscaping.about.com/cs/pests/a/mole_control_3.htm
    Keep the stories coming, My extending bed days are done as my helper is struggling to get through a day after 51 years of letting me play. We have lived here over 20 years and I do have garden help now. Thanks again for letting me enjoy the unfolding. I too started with a blank slate, two trees and now have a glorious hideaway.

    Hi Gaye, thanks so much for adding to the conversation here. My sympathies to your garden helper, it will happen to us all, eventually and we will scale back and just do what we can. The Fritts, all of them do seem not to be bothered by the critters, thank goodness.
    Frances

  14. My Kids Mom says:

    I very much enjoy seeing the larger picture. I hope I’ll have a good story to tell of my steep slope someday. Mine is taller, steeper and in almost full shade, so the game players can’t be copied from your successes unfortunately. But it’s coming along, bit by bit, year by year. At least I can declare a win on our war of English Ivy which previously covered the whole slope and areas beyond. There are still occasional skirmishes but the main battles are over.

    Hi Jill, thanks for being such a loyal reader. Hooray for your victory over the dreaded English ivy. It takes real determination but is possible to eradicate. Vigilence is needed, however. A steep slope in shade sounds challenging. The slope here was shady with an assortment of fruit and other trees. The backhoe made short work of it all. We had hired men with chainsaws a couple of times to clear the hill, but the stuff all grew back rapidly. The big machine took it down, roots and all.
    Frances

  15. You’ve done a great service to beginning gardeners by showing the evolution of yours. It’s too easy to see an established garden and think “mine will never look like that.” True, it will never look like someone else’s, but it will acquire its own unique look in time, if the gardener perseveres. I don’t know if gardening teaches patience or merely requires it, and the impatient gardeners just quit. Gardening is not for quitters! I really enjoyed seeing the before pictures, since I’ve been privileged to see the after.

    Hi Kathy, thanks so much for the support! I can remember thinking as a beginning gardener, how can I make my garden look like the ones in books and magazines. It takes time and constant tweaking, learning by trial and error. Words cannot describe how this garden looked in the beginning, photos tell the story so much better. Gardening is not for quitters, I like that!
    Frances

  16. cheryl says:

    Hi Frances!
    This is a wonderful post! I enjoyed your beginning to end journey of your garden. Gardens are never truly finished, they keep evolving and that keeps us evolving as well. I know mine began as an English perennial garden, full of colour. Now it’s a shade, woodland garden because I allowed trees to grow, and I wouldn’t cut them down for the world.
    I have a hint for you and the chain link fence. I have one along the back of the property. Wanting to make it disappear I bought privacy lattice panels, stained to match the side fences and wired the panels to the chain link fence. Looks wonderful! and casts the most amazing shadows especially in the winter.
    Bravo to you Frances for digging in there :)

    Thanks for the tip and kind words, Cheryl! Gardens are never done, as you say, and we continue to evolve along with the garden, too. I wouldn’t have it any other way. As for the chain link fence, the approach for the last couple of years has been the bamboo screen rolls that are wired to the metal fence. I know they don’t last forever, but it certainly looks so much better. I might try the lattice when these screens fall apart.
    Frances

  17. Lola says:

    I’ve been with you for some time & i do not tire of the pics that you share. I truly enjoy reading your blog.

    You have been a loyal reader, Lola. Thank you!!!
    Frances

  18. I remember reading bits and pieces of your story, it was nice to read it all over again. Your hillside is so lovely, it is nice to remember it is a process…it didn’t happen over night.
    I love your new look!! Love the header and I like reading on white background a lot better.
    Glad to hear that E. ‘Ascot Rainbow’ is short lived for you too, I have one that has kicked the bucket already.

    Hi Janet, thanks for being a long time reader and keeping up with the story of this garden. It has been a long and ongoing process and will neverbe done, but it is at a point now where the planting by human hands is over. Nature is in charge now except for the cutting down once a year.
    Frances

  19. bittster says:

    Thanks for telling the story, it’s so interesting to hear and see all the transformations and try-agains. This might be the first time I ever realized the difference between a plant it once garden and one that’s really a part of the locale and one that evolves to fit exactly what you want and what does best for you. It really is a work of art!
    Frank

    Hi Frank, thanks for reading and the kind words. This garden continues to evolve on its own and I love it!
    Frances

  20. Rose says:

    Having admired your garden from the early days of your blogging, Frances, I always enjoy seeing how it has evolved over the years. I know you have shown “before” and “afters” of other areas before, but I always marvel at the changes to the whole garden. What a beautiful transformation in such a short time! It’s interesting to see what has worked and what hasn’t in this area behind the wall, a great example of persevering until you find what really works. And how nice that you had such a handy source of ivy for Semi’s wedding:) What a treasure having all these early photos is–your husband picked the perfect gift for you.

    Hi Rose, thank you for your loyal readership, I do appreciate you and your thoughtful comments. You always get the little inside jokes embedded in the posts, too. The garden has been a learning process I hope to use when and if we ever move again. The wedding was beautiful, sometimes things just work out well. That digital camera changed my life!
    Frances

  21. My goodness, you really have made your mark on your property! Such a lovely transformation, giving you much to be proud of.

    Hi Robin, thanks for stopping by. I am very proud of the garden, but cannot take all the credit. Nature led the way.
    Frances

  22. Michele says:

    This ‘documentary’ has been fabulous. Thanks once again for sharing your very personal experiences. You make it very ‘real’. By that, I mean seeing both the successes and the failures encourages me in my neophyte efforts. And teaches me patience. Thank you and I so look forward to continuing to be invited into your garden via your blog.

    Hi Michele, thanks for visiting and the kind words. My style of gardening, and everything else in life seems to be trial and error. There are plenty of mistakes, but we do try to learn from them. Good luck in your gardening endeavors and never give up!
    Frances

  23. spurge says:

    I cannot believe the metamorphosis – you have a created a paradise where before there was only mud. Just amazing to see the journey. The pink grass in the first photo looks stunning – an ethereal fairy haze. I’m so grateful to you and to blogging, the internet, etc. for allowing us this peek into your garden!

    Hi Spurge, thanks so much for visiting and your sweet words. It is shocking even to me how the garden has changed over more than a decade. I work in it nearly every day of the year, a labor of love, but it seems to have finally settled in to its destiny.
    Frances

  24. deb says:

    You have not posted in a while, are you OK?

    Dear Deb, you are very kind, thank you for checking up on me. I am fine, just very busy at the moment and there is not much going on in the garden. I appreciate your concern.
    Frances

  25. Linda says:

    Yippee, a local garden and quite an adept one. I garden in a southeastern Tennessee college town as well and am thrilled to find your lovely blog. The giveaway was about the nursery in Riceville that has closed. I had to drive 15 miles north to get there. Greetings to you.

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