Wednesday, June 1, 2016


This year seems to be flying by and by the end of each day, I wonder where the time has gone. Things have been super busy with the oldest graduating last week, getting his Eagle Scout rank this week and finishing up on the financial paperwork for college. All things both stressful and exciting. The youngest is wrapping up her last few weeks of school, which means I get to play chaperone on a school trip to Chicago this weekend, along with an orchestra concert and honors ceremony also this week. I guess that sort of explains where time is going lately.

It certainly hasn't been going toward writing.

One of my giant flower pots.

Stepping stones my daughter and
I made years ago and moved to
our new house to create a path
down the hill
After signing the contract on The Narvan last month and diving in to edits on a couple short stories, I was brimming with energy. Then, overnight, I crashed hard. And so, sitting at the bottom of the enthusiasm well, I decided to step away from the laptop and get outside and enjoy what good weather Michigan has to offer.

We get about six awesome days a year. No, seriously. We went from dead of winter to summer, then back to a couple days of spring, back to winter, and back to summer. Bodies should not have to go from winter coats to shorts in a matter of two days, and back and forth. In between all that was a lot of rain, which turned everything into a swampy mess. It's currently summer but the mosquitos haven't yet gotten the memo, so it's enjoyable to be outside.

The front of the house walkway flower garden.
We found this old plow on the property when we purchased it.
Though it's broken, it makes a good garden decoration.
The garden I started last summer needed a lot of weeding and five yards of mulch to cover all the thin spots from last year's application. And all of that was up hill. It was a good workout and I managed to get my first sunburn of the year in May.

I'm amazed how well everything is coming in already. 98% of what I bought and planted last year was on clearance. Meaning it was either half-dead, mostly dead, root-bound to or the extreme. Yet, all but five plants have come up and gone crazy. The pansies from the one pot I had on the porch last year seem to have seeded themselves all over my garden. Which is awesome.  Free plants! I prefer not to buy annuals other than to fill my pots. Everything in the garden is perennial. In fact, most of what I put in the pots is too. I just pull it out in the fall and put it in open places in the garden.

These were all rocks we either found on the property, that
we transported over from our previous house, or hauled out
of a backyard for a guy we found on Craigslist in the middle
of the hottest part of  last summer. Let's just say there's a lot
of sweat involved with these rocks.
The plants are coming in so well that I will have to split several of them already after only one year. They really love this soil! Plants in the garden at my previous home didn't look this good after ten years. It's pretty neat to see plants actually grow like they do in the pictures in flower catalogs.

The ground cover I planted last year was honestly just a few little sprigs and now those pathetic little bits are lush mounds that have spread all through the rocks. As rain washed over the rocks and broke tiny pieces off, depositing them down the hill, they've spread all over. At this rate, I won't need much mulch in a few years.

Next year's project is putting in a pond with a couple waterfalls, but for now, the rocks are in place to fill that area. Now that the hard gardening work is done for the year, I can sit back and enjoy watching things grow. And, of course, get back to writing...right after I stain the deck.



  1. Hi Jean - lots going on .. and enjoy the weekend away with your daughter and her friends on their school trips. The garden looks amazing - good for you ... and will be such fun to see it develop ... cheers Hilary

    1. I hope to enjoy the weekend. We'll see how that goes with a bus load of excited kids surrounding me. :)

  2. Howdy neighbor, I'm here from Alex's blog. Well, I'm in WV which is sort of a neighbor to Michigan. Reading your blog exhausted me. I don't know where you get the energy. Not only are you juggling kid stuff, but fitting in writing and planting is pretty ambitious.

    I can barely find time to juggle my youngest's schedule and my writing. I love plants, but have never had a green thumb. My yard, which is over an acre, really needs work and most of the time, I just feel overwhelmed. Please, share how you do it. Did you take the areas in sections? I'd love to know. Now following you.

    1. Welcome! Thanks for dropping by. Kids sure do take up time, especially writing time. Gardening tips sounds like a good idea for my next blog post.


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