Monday, July 6, 2015

#Microblog Mondays: Helping Things Grow

I love summer, for so many reasons, but mostly because summer means gardening. And I love, love, love to garden. 

So many resources suggest gardening as a therapeutic tool, especially for infertility and loss. I have to say that it is something that I did before experiencing infertility, but there is a different kind of satisfaction in growing beautiful living things in the garden when your womb is completely incapable of growing anything living, as if someone has planted a big old walnut tree in there, acidifying the soil until absolutely nothing can grow. 

Looking at my garden, I know that I can create life. Or, not so much create it, since I didn't make the seeds and pollinate them myself... but I can nurture life. I can take a plant that might not flourish elsewhere, and give it a good, healthy, happy life in the soil that I amend and feed and tend with loving care. 


I put pictures up of my garden this year on Facebook, in an album, and I update it every time the growing season reveals new treasures. I post as obsessively as I might if we had actual children. This comment from a friend made me simultaneously smile and cry: 

You have a beautiful way of helping things grow. You will be an amazing Mom. What a lucky child!!!

And so I share with you photos, as of July, of my lovely flower children that I've helped to grow so far: 

The right side of what is now mostly echinacea garden.
I leave the seedheads for the goldfinches in the fall,
Which means that they pretty much take over in the spring.
Also in there: dwarf hollyhock, zinnias, balloonflower
that's not quite blooming yet, and an urn of
pretty purple annuals.
A close up of the echinacea so you can see the three different colors.
Funny, these weren't the original colors in this section (just orange),
but the goldfinches had other ideas and spread the love from
other areas of the garden.
The bed from the side opposite the echinacea explosion.
Astilbe, blue butterfly delphinium, evil weedy violets
Close up of the blue butterfly delphinium.
I love this little piece of sky in my garden.
Completely indulgent further side view of this bed,
this time with the fluffy pink astilbe in the foreground.
My beautiful butterfly garden, from the side.
More of that pretty purple annual,
Milkweed, Senorita Rosalita cleome,
two types of sedum that apparently feed
the deer, stella d'oro daylilies that just fed
something, balloon flowers, bee balm,
blueberries, black-eyed susans getting ready
to bloom, and more echinacea.
Butterfly garden from the front. My little slice of picket fence.
Giant Joe Pye weed, all the plants from above, and
you can see the heliotrope, my favorite annual. 
Our cute (if I do say so myself) home. Bryce made those
shutters and stained them last year, his grandfather made
the bench but we painted it orange, and Bryce
made those window boxes that I filled with floral happiness.
A little shade in the back by the woods. Lots of hosta,
heuchera, Japanese painted ferns, Rose of Sharon, and astilbe.
I'm going to paint that chair a bright lilac this week.
Shade garden from the side. Might be blurry because the voracious
mosquitoes were attacking me. They are awful this year.

Want to read more #Microblog Mondays? Go here and enjoy!


  1. These are so lovely! We're redoing the landscaping at the house we just bought and I now have flower beds and need to figure out what to do with them! I kill all my indoor plants but I have high hopes for the outdoor ones :)

    1. Ha! I have a green thumb outdoors, but indoor plants I kill dead so quickly. Bryce is in charge of those... You can't go wrong with native plants. Coneflowers are near indestructible, and black eyed Susans are super drought tolerant. I tried a lot of plants before finding ones that survived, and we lost a lot of trees so the light kept changing. The nice thing about flower beds is you can always dig stuff up and move them. Have fun planting up your beds!

  2. I am so jealous of anyone who has a green thumb. Mine are very clearly as black as can be.

    1. There's got to be a plant for you... I can't do indoor plants at all. I have killed CACTUS. I'm good with the outdoor ones though, and I even like weeding. It brings out the compulsive in me. So satisfying...

  3. Wow - gorgeous flower children! You definitely have a nurturing soul.

    1. Thank you! I do love them. It's always fun to add to my collection and move stuff around. I think my goal is as little grass as possible!

  4. Beautiful! As someone with no time and little skill for gardening, I am truly envious.

    1. Thank you! It's a love of mine. Although, if it's not low-maintenance, it doesn't stay in my garden. ;-)

  5. Oh, Jess, what a beautiful home and garden! Clearly, you are a natural at nurturing and growing things.

    I remember it being so hard for me to thin the carrots when I was in the trenches. I just could not make myself pull up something I'd planted that was growing, even though I know it would be for the greater good.

    1. I think I killed carrots a few years ago... I have gotten used to pulling the Echinacea. I give it away to friends and my mom, but sometimes it just needs to be pulled so other flowers can flourish. Thanks, we love our cozy little home!

  6. I love your garden. I am so jealous that you can grow such beautiful plants. I stare mesmerized at your flowers and imagine sitting in your yard enjoying the beauty around me. I dream of having a beautiful garden, but even my small attempts rarely turn out very well. One day I'll get there, but in the meantime, I'll live vicariously through you.

    1. Thank you! Sadly, the mosquitoes are fairly unbearable this year and it's hard to spend time out in the garden just enjoying it, not maintaining it. I look like I have meals from weeding. Yesterday I weeded and watered in my raincoat, because it was so bad. It was very sweaty. It was windy today though, and the little jerks hate wind, so I did sit in the chaise lounge and read in the backyard, which was nice. Thanks for your thoughts and compliments! I think my biggest advice is to amend the soil and choose hearty native plants. You don't have to suffer the soil you're given... You can add compost and vermiculite to enrich and lighten soil. I actually have awful dirt as is. I'm glad my photos are mesmerizing! :-)

  7. I love gardening as well. I often thought of myself as a conductor of an orchestra. Watching plants rise and bloom just as other plants finish their bloom and die back until the following year. You have a lovely garden.

    1. Oh, I love that! What a beautiful way to think of gardening. Thank you!

  8. You have a beautiful, beautiful garden..I won't say I understand your pain...But I like that you are investing time in things to keep you occupied...I don't say it's easy but I like that you are being mindful to be positive..

    Change & Life : Companions Forever

    1. Thank you so much! Having positive outlets for energy is a good thing. I surely have my sad and mostly angry days, but I do try to see the good in situations, even sucky ones. :)

  9. It is a beautiful garden, and I am in awe as someone who has never been able to keep a plant alive longer than two days. It is hard work, and your care shows.

    1. Thank you! I do love my flowerbabies. I need a beekeeper's suit though to keep the mosquitoes off me this year. It's making fighting the weeds really hard. But thank you so much!