The one of the many things I like about
our neighborhood is that most of the
homes are at least 50 years old and
approximately 20 are 100. Charming
old houses nestled on tree lined streets
is my idea of “home”.
Though our house was charming from
the beginning, it didn’t take long for my
imagination to start dreaming of affordable
improvements. Being that most of the
front yard was covered in Mondo
grass, my first priority was to repurpose
the area, making use of what was there
and figure out a way to use some of the
grass in an artful way. Even though I
more important things to do, I could
never get this off my mind. So one day,
I sat down and made a little drawing
of my ideas. Then I tucked it away in a
drawer for safe keeping.
Then, in March 2014, back home from
an awesome week in Paris (thank you
again, Clint and Jenny!) and before the
fire, I began phase I. With a garden hose
and spray paint, I established the edge
of the flower bed I was going to create.
There were several small youpon holly
shrubs in the space which I was deter-
mined to incorporate. I began by digging
up all of the mondo grass, careful to get
the roots. Then I planted several, 3-4, flats
of white impatients.
The impatients grew tall and dense,
creating a nice white contrast under
all the shade trees. They were beautiful
until the first freeze. Right about the
time we were moving back in to our
house. With so much going on, I hired
a gardener to pull the impatients and
plant white pansies. I was so pleased
with the way he worked I decided to
show him the sketch/dream I tucked
away. To my surprise, he said he could
do it…. and at a price I could afford.
So, I hired him!
And though the new design, called a
southern trillium, is not visable from
the street, I love the way it looks.
Again, using a garden hose to help me
visualize the design and spray paint to
provide guidelines, the gardeners
started digging. They removed a ton
of Mondo grass, planted dozens of
daffodils and packed down crushed
granite to form a swirl of paths.
They also created a new shallow bed
near the house and loaded it with
Paperwhite Narcisscus….one of my
favorites! Another favorite, a Gardenia
Topiary, is planted near the front porch
steps, in a large yellow pot. Which
bloomed profusely during the month of
May. Much to my delight! I love fragrant
flowers. They truly lift my spirit and
make my smile…and stop and breathe
deeply. Sending a whispered, ‘Thank
I love our little house…and I say so
often when I pull into the driveway.
We are quite contented living here
at Camp Contentment. That is until
I walk out on the back deck. Which
I’m convinced needs to be a screened