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 The birdbath has been replaced by an urn.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.