We’re coming up to the one-year anniversary of the storm which damaged our house and yard and lives. (News Flash: The last dumpster just left our neighborhood only a week ago! Hallelujah!)
After the 2011 Memorial Weekend Storm, a SCBWI friend (waves to Ruth) suggested on our listserv that we Carlsons could use money. I didn’t know that was coming. I was humbled by the response of three writing strangers from SCBWI-MI (waves to Valerie, Ginny, and ABC — forgive me, ABC; I can’t remember the name of generous person #3). Also, another MI writer (waves to Ann) sent me a box of irises, one which has already bloomed!
With our house broken for nearly six months, and our yard still needy, it was difficult to decide what to do with these special monetary gifts from my writer friends. Instead of using the money to replace food or for cleaning supplies, I decided to start a SCBWI-MI Children’s Garden around my yard. I worked at the Battle Creek Children’s Garden for a while, so I didn’t lack inspiration. Here is what I have done and planned so far:
That I can now grow sun-craving veggies in my yard goes without saying — only, I just said it. I’ll have a salsa garden and maybe a pizza garden. How about a sunflower house, anyone? (These are still in the works as the soil warms up enough for those summer crops.)
I bought seven stepping-stones to make a rainbow walk among my hostas and irises on the north side of the house, where there is actually shade. We went from 90% shade to 90% sun in just about ten seconds. Each time I pass, I go out of my way to walk the rainbow . It lightens my heart.
I made a smiley face accent with a grass walkway separating the “mouth” from the rest of the garden area (mostly irises at the moment) on the east side of the house. Inside the smile are roses, peonies, more irises, and a tall purple perennial I can’t remember the name of right now, either. I’ll call it LMN, since I know it starts with an L. I think it starts with an L.
At the top of our little western hill, next to what used to be a wooded lot, I’ve started Daffodil Hill. The twenty bulbs I planted there last fall looked stunning this spring, and reminded me of SCBWI-MI whenever I saw them.
Of course, there is the start of The Animal Garden, with tiger lilies and lamb’s ear beneath the dogwood tree. I have an elephant’s ear planted off to the side since it’s supposed to grow rather bushy.
Finally, is my chocolate garden. I already have chocolate mint, which, as a writer, I must say is a rather verbose plant. I plan on getting brown and black flowers to bloom at different times through the season, with maybe some white chocolate blooms sprinkled in there, too. I will mulch that section with cocoa bean shells. Yummy.
Thank you, SCBWI-MI. You have my heart.