It started with the new roof last summer together with some renovations in the kitchen, a new water heater, plus a new garage door opener. All this happening while building a new apartment worthy of Madame Mere which, as you know, was a nightmare.. Then we had the two frozen pipes in the winter resulting in extensive repairs to the newly finished apartment. The death of our beloved Sous Chef, Lucy, took a big toll on the family. It was the worst experience I have ever gone through, but getting a new puppy right away was the best cure for our broken hearts. She arrived two months to the day that Lucy passed away.
Spring surprised us with the need to replace two of the three air conditioning units. As if that weren't enough, when we turned on the sprinkler system in the garden, guess what?! No dice. Probably as a result of having to move the pipes on the side of the house due to the rock path we had to build to backstop the water from the heavy rains we got this Spring. The maintenance and upkeep of an older house is never ending.
The garden suffered quite a bit this past winter due to the cold weather. Some of our most beautiful southern plants don't do frost very well, That includes the Confederate jasmine, gardenias and the hydrangeas macrophylla which bloom on last year's growth. The poor gardenias which made such a great show a couple of summers ago and were toast last year are now toast crumbs. They will need to be replaced. My pride and joy, the Moonlight hydrangea came back and then got hit by the late frost as well. I am holding my breath and hoping for the best but I seriously don't think it will bloom this year. I was really looking forward to showing it off to MM.
Every year I swear I will not buy another plant. Every year I break that promise and buy more than I can chew For me, plants are the new shoes.
I could not resist the hydrangeas Mathilda Gutges when I saw them at the garden center. This compact shrub bears attractive deep green leaves and large, rounded flower heads of deep pink in neutral soil, and intense violet-blue in acidic soil. Our soil is acidic so in order to keep the beautiful lavender color, we decided to plant the pink in the whiskey barrel out back and the deep blues under the trees.
The first of the David Austin roses, Winchester Cathedral.
The first of the David Austin Heritage rose.
I can't remember the name of this peony. I planted it last Fall and it only gave us one bloom...but what a bloom!
The rest of the peonies are ready to burst out, right in Madame Mere's little garden. Her apartment is to the right with a spectacular view of the garden.
And here they are the next day!
The tried and true, Sarah Bernhard. She never fails me.
Bowl Of Beauty.
This little fellow was in the rose garden of my home in Connecticut. When I moved to New York City. I gave it to MM and it sat for years in the courtyard of her townhouse in Florida. Who would have thought the three of us would reunite in a small town in Georgia!
The dahlia garden (work in process!)
Geraniums for the deck.
Pots of fresh herbs on the deck.
The obligatory ferns by the front door of a true Southern home!
Winchester Cathedral bushes in the front garden
My feeble attempt at container gardening
Now that the garden is back in shape and I am a few pounds lighter, I will have more time to concentrate on cooking. That is, unless something else falls apart...AGAIN.