Breaking Silence

Yes, it’s been a year away from this site. Not really a vacation though. One of my three sisters and BFF is no longer. Losing her, settling her affairs, and accepting the void has been a year’s adjustment. Garrison Keillor said it best when he expressed his loss of a sibling: “When your brother dies, your childhood fades, there being one less person to remember it with, and you are left disinherited, unarmed, semiliterate, an exile.”  Life goes on for the siblings left behind. Six of us now. All adjusting. Accepting. Closing ranks. Closer than ever. Carpe diem.

Life in our small landscape (following condominium removal of beautiful white pines, large lilacs and the recent severe pruning of odd-shaped rhododendrons) is in constant motion. Dig, dig, dig, plant, weed, mulch, pass-along, transplant, and repeat. We’ve gained a little more property with tree removal (good) and now have 100% sun (bad). We’ve awakened the inner-gardener in residents (good) and we wave to each other as we toil in the soil and perhaps share a glass of wine at day’s end (good).

In down time, we hover beneath an umbrella from the sun on our deck and move our chairs with the shade. We’ve planted three understory-sized trees… 2 Amelanchier trees and 1 Styrax japonicus.  Benefiting from their shade is not in our near future. However, they look fabulous in the barren ‘living wall’ of this condominium complex.

In a short time we went from a small shady landscape with no arranged borders….


… to a bit larger, all sun landscape where I developed more formal gardens:


Flowering shrubs have always tugged at my heartstrings with blooms for the bees and fall berries for the birds. In the curved borders above went Little Lime hydrangeas in the foreground with viburnum varieties, highbush blueberry, a variety of hollies, enkianthus, a couple of pearl bushes, a juniper, and three mid-size trees along the beds. Liriope, calamint ‘Blue Cloud’, and lavender fill in along the edged borders. How blue! How bees! How birds!



Three different climbing clementis plants now fill this metal trellis will color against a bare wall of the home. The birdbath has been replaced by an urn.


In another area, we nursed a tiny potager garden with herbs, lettuce and other edibles. A small boxwood garden was added this spring with a bubbling fountain. Condo life is a ‘mother may I?’ existence, so with fingers crossed we hope to be granted permission soon to remove our aged deck and replace it with a smart terrace protected from the sun by a pergola. Fabulous. Just have to convince the powers that be.



16 thoughts on “Breaking Silence

  1. Please accept my condolences on your loss. I am an only child and would have given anything to have a sibling. You have been a lucky woman although with the good times come the bad times as well. But, it is good that you have others to lean on and continue to love and laugh with and remember together. It looks like you have been gardening big time, and it looks great. I feel your issues going from shade to sun because a neighbor took several trees out and I had to take out an entire garden bed and replant. I’ve also lived in two condos and understand the ‘powers that be.’ Glad to see you back. 🙂


  2. We miss your sense of humor and love for plants at the nursery. I personally miss your wisdom, your stories and your company. Hope you stop in to say hi sometime.


    • Oh my gosh, do I miss this girl, my former co-worker (really… my boss) at the best nursery in New Hampshire… Rolling Green Nursery. I will be in to see you soon. I miss work! 😊


      • Heidi has you pegged…spot on. You should help her with with her blog! Oooops….sorry….I forget your plate is full! Your new garden looks great. We are having to water daily in Virginia.

        Liked by 1 person

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