Over wintered petunias

April 15th… a big day!

Tax day, my cousin Caryn’s birthday, Leonardo da Vinci’s  birthday (Just found out about that one today) but most memorably for me, my sister Jeannie’s birthday. Jeanie lives  in Virginia and I don’t get to see her very often, but she is a plant lover from way back, so I thought as a gift to her, I’d tell her about my day.

Got up early and had lengthy discussion with AT&T about my non existant WiFi. Tech was good, tho. He called me right back when I accidentally hung up on him.  The fact I can post this is testament to his work.

With bagel and coffee in hand, I headed toward Rock Castle, an antique estate on the lake that has been given to the city. It is one of the Master Gardener project sites where I’ve been accruing my requisite volunteer hours.  Today was mulch day, but I ended up in the herb garden under the supervision of an elegant woman, Sally. She gave me a wonderful tour, let me help her plant her gorgeous variegated leaf Elephant Ear and guided me as to what weeds to pull out and which could stay until they were in the way of something better.

As mulchers worked in the visitor center garden and the azalea garden and we worked in the herb garden, the Rock Castle staff aided by volunteers from who knows where preparing for the arrival of 800 children and parents who would be scrambling for Easter Eggs that were EVERYWHERE you looked! (Some were even in one of our gardens, which we removed prior to the starters pistol.) It was a very colorful and heart warming event. I should have taken a couple pictures. Next year.

After three hours of chatting and weeding, my back screamed enough! I headed home with some escaped garlic chives and a volunteer Rose of Sharon.  After lunch and a haircut,  I started out on my rounds. Home Depot… a bust… Lowes, SCORE!!! and Hendersonville High School that has an annual plant sale of plants they grow in their horticultural classes. I came home with two six packs of ivy and a six pack on mounding mossy ground cover from Lowes, as well as a small trellis for my Clematis that matches the screening trellises I’d bought earlier. At the high school, I bought a couple wave petunias for  a buck a piece and an angel leaf begonia.

The big story I’ve been leading up to is the garden I finally built this afternoon with my treasures.

april15th garden

Look at this!!! I am so proud of myself! I’ve never done anything like this before. An actual garden with a purpose, a plan and a little serendipity!

The windows in this picture are in my sun-room… where I sit and drink my coffee in the morning; where I sit and watch TV in the evening; where I spend most of my off duty time. I can’t bear the idea of curtains or shades here. But my next door neighbor’s (no one yet) home is ten feet away, so some sort of a privacy barrier was needed.

I found the trellises on clearance at my beloved Lowes. I’d dug out the area and planted the bird feeder earlier.  Today, I weeded. I poured bags of top soil and compost and fed it all. I planted all my treasures from Lowes and HHS and then I mulched!! I mulched! I’m new to mulching. People in Maine mulched mainly for decorative reasons, not for survival. In Tennessee, mulch is not for looks. It is for survival.

So Jeannie, on your birthday, I wish we could have shared my day because I think you’d have enjoyed it as much as I did. Happy Birthday kid!