Friday, July 8, 2011


Loren and I have both become consumed by landscaping behind our house. I finally finished digging out the lilies and chaos along the side fence. Loren moved the pile of soil that was left from last summer’s foundation and drainage work. He hauled some of it away and some of it we’re using in terracing. We’re making a raised, flat area at the back and calling it our “mesa.”

It’s a lot of fun developing the area. One new feature in the garden along the side fence is a small mound of soil about four feet across where I am hoping to plant sempervivums, commonly called “hens and chicks.” I have discovered how much I like these little plants that seem to suit growing alongside of rocks. Sometimes they pile themselves on top of each other in a delightful way as they develop their succulent - what shall I call them - petals. Some grow in rounds with little “babies” sprouting out to the sides of the parent, hence the name hens and chicks. That’s exactly that they are like - a big fat hen sitting with little ones like herself circling round her, attached until they root and become a big ones like their “mother.”

Around the little hill of hens and chicks I am planting sweet woodruff. Working my way on farther along the fence will be ferns and astilbe to join up to where the hostas and Solomon’s seal are already thriving.

I sometimes ask myself what it is about all this gardening that I love so much. I’m not sure what the answer is and does that question even need an answer? I do know that one reason I love what we're doing is that it's a way of experiencing the joy of creating my own world, creating spaces like rooms that are alive.