Gardening = Heartbreak

Five years ago a majestic Maple tree in my front yard was torn apart by wind and had to be removed leaving a tragic scar.  I have never done any serious landscape work and found myself pretty overwhelmed. IMG_0405 I wanted to hire people, my husband did not.  He wanted to level it and plant grass and I wanted a garden with flowers.  So, it sat untouched for years; which allowed the tree roots to decompose.  Last year my husband and I (mostly my husband) moved the Vinca and turned the soil to kill the crabgrass and outlined the bed.  Finally, this summer I threw myself into planting my garden.  Lots of credit should go to the Better Homes and Gardens “Garden Plan Finder”  https://www.bhg.com/gardening/garden-plan-finder/?psrc=MN_R804BRM1455GF  I used the “Property Line Garden” https://www.bhg.com/gardening/plans/special-spots/property-line-garden/ as my primary inspiration however selection of the individual plants was inspired by plants that worked for my neighbors or my neighbors gave me, one’s I loved, and nuisance plants I could dig up for free.

Things went pretty well and while it was hot, sweaty, dirty work I started to enjoy myself.  When I had other stuff to do I would ignore it and spend time in the garden.  I lovingly watered and fertilized and the plants thrived. What I didn’t see coming was the heartbreak.

IMG_4031
First Year planting of Property Line Garden West Michigan.

It started with the Deer; whatever the internet or plant care tags say, Deer will eat whatever they decide to eat.  Bee’s, there are a lot of bees and much to my dismay cute little bumble bees sting (they are not flying pandas); and so do yellow jackets. Cicada killers are just scary, but didn’t sting me.  Sadly, I fall into the category of people who have “moderately severe allergic reaction to bee stings.” And, spider bites, so throw in spiders too.  And plants die, or threaten to die and because you love them you will buy potions and do research, trying to keep them alive but you may not know until spring if you succeed.

I am not sure I would begin calling myself a gardener anytime soon, however my garden continues to try to charm me with its finer points including the frogs and toads and caterpillars and squirrels munching mushrooms (which is seriously too cute) and even the spooky stuff is kinda cool (check out the stinkhorn mushrooms and benevolent garden orb weaver.)

I’ll let you know if we break up in the spring, but like with most love affairs, I am accepting the good with the bad.  The garden is beginning to get compliments (through the four feet of bird netting I had to put up to keep the deer out.)

Plants the deer ate: Day Lily, Red Twig Dogwood, Pink Lemonade Sedum, Purple Cone Flower, Phlox, Artemisia.

Plants the deer have not (yet) eaten: Sprinter Boxwood, Russian Sage, Zagreb Coreopsis, Artemisia, Korean Spice Viburnum (not pictured).

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