Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Salute To Steve

Here is Steve potting up the very last petunias that I had started indoors. I had become so tired of planting that he graciously offered to finish up. This year he's found out that there is no "big secret" to planting small annuals and that it is "a lot of fun". You see, Steve has created a new garden - literally - from the ground up and planted all of it himself.

Last fall he decided that one of the paths leading from the lawn to the woods needed to be set off with planting areas on each side. He loves to work with rocks and found a handsome selection on the back of our property. We are very lucky that years ago our land bordered a farmer's field and said farmer would throw any of the rocks he plowed up along the lot line. We have 300 feet of various and beautiful rocks to use in our landscaping. Well, he found some very pretty rocks and set them in wide semi-circles on either side of the path. The he dug up the area and put in loads of compost from the city recycling yard. He bought me shrubs for my birthday in September and placed two on the left side and one on the right side in the back. I had a few hostas, a spider wort, and a couple of silvery pulmonaria that were in pots during the summer so he put them in and left it for spring. Here it is in early spring.

In the left side garden he made a fantastic rustic bench from part of a tree trunk that had been sawed down the center. It is held up on either side by rocks and is completely stable. We have another facing the vegetable garden and they are both large enough for Steve, me and the pugs.

I had bought two flats of mixed impatiens for the new gardens but was just too busy to put them in so Steve said he'd try. For all of the years of gardening he has done, he had never really put in small, flat-size plants. He carefully dug each hole, mixed the dirt with potting soil, made sure the little roots were separated, then planted and watered each impatien. As he got to the second flat he realized that it was becoming a case of overkill and dropped some of the planting steps. In the right side garden the two "Black Lace" elderberries were also planted. Then he mulched it all with the hemlock chips.

During that week the rabbits or deer ate the flowers off of some of the impatiens and I sprayed a repellent on to slow down the damage. The next weekend he asked me to go with him to the garden center and show him which perennials would be good for shade. He liked how the existing perennials looked - especially the hostas- and wanted more of those but wasn't sure about the rest. We found some excellent variegated chartreuse hostas - 6 of those and another with white spots called "Speckles". Nice large plants. A variety of red stemmed astible really caught his eye so we picked up 2, one gallon pots of those. And I liked a very chartreuse tradescantia that went well with the hostas that we also purchased. A marked down hanging basket of New Guinea impatiens that could be separated was the last thing we bought. Steve laid out the plants and put them all in. Here is how it looks and close ups of some of the plants:

The left side .... and the right side.

The pictures don't really do it justice. The lighting on the camera was set too low but I'm sure you can see how beautiful it looks. It's quite restful. How talented he is to have done this from scratch by himself!

I call this Steve's Garden now - I name most of the gardens. He also calls it "My Garden" which I think is so very sweet. He said he's surprised at what a sense of accomplishment he feels after putting all the plants in himself. He said he knows now how I feel.

And for that reason this garden is very special to me, because it has brought us even closer together. Tonight, as we sat outside in the gorgeous evening enjoying a fire and taking about the work we had done today, I thought how very lucky I was. I have such a fine person and companion to spend the rest of my life with.

Experience shows us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but looking together in the same direction. Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900 - 44: Wind, Sand, and Stars)

Bye for now,



Mary said...

This is very touching. He's working so hard to create something special and eye-pleasing for not only himself, but for you. How sweet. You are lucky to have found each other!

Alyssa, your gardens are plentiful, right? You obviously know what you're doing when picking out suitable flowers and plants.

Nice Salute! Salute yourself, too, don't forget...

Kate said...

I loved hearing about Steve's garden and how he built it up. It is great to have things that you both love and share - that feeling of accomplishment is a wondrous one and better shared.

Your gardens are really beautiful.

Alyssa said...

Mary, Thank you, Steve is not one to blow his own horn so I thought I'd blow it for him. And he seemed really pleased that I was writing this blog about him.

Kate, I'm glad you liked my tribute. Steve and I are opposites in most respects, gardening is one of the few things we totally agree upon. It was fun to write this one.

Ziggywigs said...

It looks fantastic, you both have an eye for detail and compliment each other. I look forward to seeing more of your garden.

Alyssa said...

Ziggy, Thank you so much. I'll be highlighting some more of our "working together projects" over the next few months.

Kylee said...

Alyssa, this is such a wonderful, heartwarming post and just what marriage is all about. I know exactly how you feel, too. :-)

Please tell Steve, "Well done!" He does know that he's one of 'us' now, doesn't he? LOL

Pam said...

A wonderful man, indeed, and I would say patient, also. Your gardens are just incredible and I'm envious of your rustic benches, I would be out there sitting and soaking up the beauty for hours.

Alyssa said...

Kylee - Steve and I both say "Thank you". And I think he has a small suspision that he's crossed over to a new dimension in gardening.

Pam - Yes Steve is extremely patient and makes everything look just right. Wish I had some of that patience! The benches are very easy to make - log and rocks. Maybe your husband could fashion one for you...

Lizzie A said...

Hey Alyssa,
This is my last day here (I am leaving at 6:30 am tomarrow!), and I just wanted to clarify one thing for you. You said that you couldn't wait to hear from me in 2 weeks, but that will not exactly be possible. I will not be able to get back to you in less than 6 weeks, since that is when I will be returning home. I will get back on the 29th of July, and then I will probably not be awake enough to blog until the 30th or the 31st. Hope you have an awesome summer!