I’m participating in Fun Monday, which today poses the question “What part of your body – or your life – do you take care of the best?”

The answer changes from time to time, but at this very moment, I’d have to say (warning, this is boring) our garden is in the best shape of its life.  And since we hosted a graduation party for Ian and two of his friends last night, it was in extra nice condition.  Because you know, nobody critiques gardens and sloppy weeding work more closely than a bunch of teenagers.

I’m loving this section of our yard more than any other right now.  For years, this was nothing but blah grass that went right up to the porch, where two blah yew bushes held court.  Then we had a one-hour consultation with a landscape gardener who said the following magic words:  “You know, if you removed those yew bushes, this is where you could have a big flower garden.  This is the sunniest part of your property.”

So the hated yews were removed (not an easy job, thank you, Chris!) and my talented husband also built the beautiful curving stone wall, and we’ve been planting things piecemeal ever since.  A neighbor gave us lamb’s ear which is thriving, and peony cuttings from Chris’s childhood home have taken off.  We put in paving stones last year, picturing charming bits of grass or moss in between, but instead weeds and mud rushed in and covered up the stones.  So this year we decided to put down river rock with the big stones on top and that’s been a success.  All five of us worked on it, and that was nice too.  Thanks, guys!

I remember when we had our first house and the only flowers I could identify were tulips.  I remember reading a little essay by a woman who had been locked out of her house by accident, and she had to wait outside all afternoon for someone to come home.  She wrote “There was nothing to do but lament the landscaping.”  I could relate, but I didn’t want lamentable landscaping to always be the case.  I remember saying to Chris on our honeymoon, “What are those bushes with blue flowers?” and learning that they were hydrangeas, which now make up a huge part of our garden. 

It’s amazing how much knowledge you gain just by living, and paying attention. 

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