I had the pleasure of visiting the Matthaei Botanical Gardens this week. It wasn’t my first time enjoying the space, but I hadn’t been in some time and every time I visit I am reminded of how much I love it there – I can’t help but leave with a wonderful sense of calm about me. As it was raining out, we stuck to the indoor, conservatory portion only; the conservatory is divided into three different zones – tropical, temperate, and arid. They are all lovely, but I am drawn to the Arid House as it reminds me of Texas and I have always loved succulents. They have a pretty impressive, variegated century plant which is over 70 years old too.
When we closed on our house last May, the backyard looked like the picture on the left & needed quite a bit of weeding & some clean up. Yes, that weed is about as tall as me! After a lot of hard work last weekend, it now looks like the picture on the right.
We were so busy sprucing up the inside that we didn’t have much time to focus on the outside last year; although we did plant some things in beds around the house, which I am so happy to see are all coming back & looking good (japanese painted fern, hosta, little lime hydrangea, euonymus), we are focusing more on our outdoor space this spring.
We’ve done some weeding (which never ends, of course), mowing, laying down mulch, etc. And Ryan built 3 more garden boxes, bringing our total to 4 large garden boxes now. Several trips to various hardware/garden supply stores, 22 bags of pea gravel, 18 pavers, deck screws, cedar lumber, penofin green, 16 large casters, mesh to line bottom of boxes, garden soil, plants…and we’ve now come to this…a big improvement, I think! We’ve still got more to plant, but it’s a great start to a fantastic summer garden.
It hasn’t been warm enough for our Forsythia in the yard to actually bloom yet so I treated myself to some locally-grown stems for the house; nice to have it look like spring is in full-bloom inside at least. I have been excited to see things changing outside too…slowly it feels, but changing to spring nonetheless. Our lilac bushes, among others, are forming sweet little buds which I can’t wait to see bloom!
It’s still snowing out…it is only early March, after all, so that’s not surprising. As it is now officially March, although it isn’t officially spring, we have reached the time on the calendar that we can call a spring month. I particularly love bringing spring flowers into our home this time of year when it still looks nothing like spring outside – take that, winter! For your viewing enjoyment, take a look at these lovely, pale pink tulips, Iron Cross Oxalis, & Easter candy (I can’t resist M&Ms in pastel colors & those little Cadbury mini eggs).
Our garden is coming along nicely; most of our lettuce is over & done with, but we’re thinking of possibly planting more as there’s still enough time to get another crop in we think. Our tomatoes & peppers are really starting to come in & we’re hoping they get big & ripe & ready to eat soon!
We had our first good harvest from our patio garden on Memorial Day & made an impressive salad with the lettuce, nasturtium, parsley, & green onions we pulled. We also picked several strawberries & a big handful of fresh garden mint & orange mint. It’s so rewarding to say “we grew that in our garden”!
When it’s spring here, people notice! Seeing the weather change & everything turning green again, after a long, cold winter, really makes me want to spin in circles singing aloud in a field of flowers – just like Julie Andrews character in The Sound of Music!
And you can hear the birds chirping & the frogs croaking & watch the ducks floating by on the pond; how glorious spring is in A2!