Monday, April 29, 2024

Almost a month later...

 The garden is in. And it grew to include some of the front lawn. In my previous post I showed a spot that was previously low, and got filled with the upturned sod from the current flower bed. It sat for weeks as just dirt and I finally decided (back and forth really) to cover it with cardboard and mulch it and use it as a second flower bed next year when the grass underneath was really dead. I had a small pile of compost available so I filled my grow bags and planted some stuff in them. Then I had my lawn guys dig a hole (pick axe was necessary!) and they planted the small Japanese Maple. 
My friend Pasty brought me two banana tree starts, and not wanting another hole dug, I bought 5 flower pots and put them in one. The others have individual annuals per pot. Texas Bluebonnets, zinnias, short cosmos and tall cosmos. One tiny pot has a peony and then the flower boxes have coleus and unsprouted trailing nasturtiums.  
Containers make it so much easier to plant, and of course, no weeding. In the big round bags, starting from the left, I have five pepper plants, all different varieties, and then two phlox and one verbena bonariensis. I stuck in a few Asiatic lilies which had started growing in their commercial plastic bag. Poor things. We'll see if they take. In bag #2 are a rudbeckia and a Tres Amigos Sombrero coneflower. Lots of blue bedder salvia, marigolds and red Wave petunias, plus six corms of calla lilies. In bag #3 are three different varieties of daisies and one big red Spintop gaillardia, as well as Pink wave petunias, which were mismarked as red, oh well, and six red Empress of India nasturtiums started from seed. Then marigolds and the final plant is a big lavender from Patsy, making it some annuals and lots more perennials. 

The calla lilies in the main shade bed are blooming now and I am so thrilled that one is white. Behind them is one of two Empress Wu hosta which I found at Lowe's. They will grow into monsters and I will have to transplant a bunch of stuff as they encroach. Happy to do it.
The  Dutch Iris are all open and one is white, which is a surprise treat. One large stalk of lily is behind them and is one of a dozen or so that are waiting in the wings. 
On the other side of the driveway is my zinnia bed which I am now referring to as the Cell Block garden, because... it is. Our neighbor cat, Luna, digs in there occasionally, but soon it will be filled with bigger plants and she won't find it so enticing. I also sowed snapdragon seeds there and they have all come up, infinitesimally, but enthusiastic nonetheless. There will be massive thinning in my future. The cells surrounding the bed have lots of lettuces, cilantro, basil, nasturiums, plus one thriving sage. 

These two Japanese maples are doing well and I hope the banana trees take and quickly outgrow their pot. 
Each morning I go out to inspect the garden and observe as things sprout, open or need deadheading. This makes me so deeply satisfied. I am so glad I decided to have 'one more garden' instead of just leaving it as is. But this is my last garden, even if I do have plans to further expand the one on the front lawn. No more digging for me. My knee and back are just now recovering and I can't take the risk of permanently hurting myself. Raised beds are the thing, plus containers, and because I live in this neighborhood, I don't have any 'yard critics' to discourage me. 
Dave is not doing well and dementia is here in full. He is aware of it and 'quits' everyday. I guess that means  he quits trying to make sense of his reality. He gets lost in the house, small as it is, and is unable to dress, bathe or feed himself without my help. Now that I am done putting the garden in, I can and will devote more attention to his needs. Things run smoothly if I put in the time, so for now, I will care for him myself. Having help would be nice, and it may come to that, but I can't figure out how to squeeze in that other person. One day at a time, and lots of naps is how we cope.
Thankfully I have wonderful diversions, church, regular visits with my sister and Patsy, and peaceful times walking the old blind dog, very, very slowly.  


  1. Be kind to yourself. I know this is not easy.

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  2. Dear friend, Parkinson’s is a horrific disease. I have walked that walk but not as closely as you. I just wanted to say I am thinking of you and sending a hug.

  3. I am so so sorry that Dave continues to deteriorate, dementia is so hard on the cargivers. Am sending you strength, and wishing you lots of joy from your beautiful garden.

  4. The garden looks fabulous. It is coming along a lot faster than mine. Of course you started earlier and bought some starters. I went cheap and used seeds and mine are just starting to send up little green shoots. The mini roses are blooming and have new grown. My Callas are blooming, only the white ones that were large and established when I transplanted them. The smaller ones are sending up leaves and I may or may not have blooms this year. The hydrangeas have buds and will be blooming soon. I noticed some pelargoniums I had neglected blooming up a storm in the back yard and they may still get planted. I got nothing from my apricot tree and it's in full leaf now so not this year. My Red Baron peach is covered in beautiful dark pink blossoms so I am hoping for peaches this year.

    My Mom always wanted a Japanese Maple in the yard. If I had been allowed to stay I would have planted her one, and added fruit trees to replace the ones my nephew allowed to die through neglect.

    Both of my parents have dementia but are not as far along as Dave. When I was taking care of them I would wait until they were both napping and then do the yardwork, the dishes, cooking etc. I usually ended up doing laundry at night after they went to bed which was fine as they both slept in until 11am. I'd put it in the dryer and then go to bed and take it out the next morning before they got up. I had the household organized and running like clockwork.

    Perhaps your sister or Patsy can take over for a few hours to give you a break. You'll need some help or eventually you will burn out or worse, might get injured.

  5. Oh Melody, love you and pray for you! Your reward in heaven will be great! Ursula

  6. I’m so sorry to hear this.

  7. So glad to see you posting again! Now if I can figure out how to be not “anonymous” on an iPad . Susan in NC

  8. My heart is with you, Melody - you have a very tough row to hoe. I'm so glad that you have created that beautiful garden which gives you solace

  9. I love your garden and am looking forward to seeing it grow. I'm so sorry about Dave. Please keep up the posts.

  10. Makes me so sad to read that Dave is now in full blown dementia. I have seen dementia wrap itself around my Dad, can't imagine how it would be if it was my husband. Thank goodness you have your garden and can perhaps find times of peace sitting out there quietly when you have a little time. Take care of yourself in all this and know that lots of quilter, especially long time followers like myself, are think of you, wishing you times of peace and love.

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  12. Thinking and praying for you.

  13. Dear Melody! I sympathize with your husband's illness. Life with dementia patients is very difficult. It's great that you moved close to your sister so she can help you. Can't even sew anymore? I really liked your work, you made amazing things. Your works are icons for me. I think of you with love: Klara (Hungary)