Everyone is multidimensional, and my hobby passion is my garden. Its my escape from life, and I share it here to hopefully inspire you to try to plant some flowers and brighten your soul!
We moved from our farm of 25 years in late 2018 with a trailer full of daylilies dug from our old garden and a big dream.
The city had slowly crept up on us, until one day we woke up to find a large developer had purchased the property behind our old farm, and we were about to be dealing with a very large neighborhood.
We immediately began looking for a new place we could land and grow. God always has a plan and when we crested the hill to see our new farm for the first time, our hearts skipped a beat. We knew immediately we were home.
The 30 acre property had been for sale for 10 months and was extremely overgrown, Johnson grass and weeds taller than our heads everywhere. Despite the overgrown condition, and black water in the pool, we saw amazing potential for our horses, dogs and flowers. We couldn’t wait to spread out and breathe again.
We spent days digging up as many of my favorite plants as possible to bring with us. My day lily collection was a top priority. Every pot and bucket we had was filled with as many plants as it could hold and loaded into our large 6 horse trailer to make the move. My excitement to develop the blank slate of a backyard was palpable.
The old owners were not gardeners, really they didn’t seem to be outdoors people, and the only remaining flowers left from their predecessors were a few large camellias and a slew of overgrown knockout roses.
I was excited to get out and make some new beds. At the old farm I had made manure piles from cleaning stalls, waited a season for them to rot and cool, then planted with great success. The old farm was full of lush plants and flowers, and I was confident I could do it again.
What I didn’t take into consideration was the brick hard red clay soil. I had no experience planting in red clay, how hard could it be?
Almost immediately I found myself beating my head against a brick wall. Even Tommy’s father’s big tiller just bounced across the ground. With the garage area and sidewalks filled with buckets and pots brimming with plants needing a new home, I became very concerned, had I made a huge mistake thinking this new place could be the dream I had hoped? So far the outdoor garden area was just a nightmare.
Time was ticking for my plants I had ripped out of their happy home. I needed to figure out a plan fast before they withered and died in their cans.
When I realized the garden beds were going to be more difficult to create than expected, I decided I needed to find as many temporary homes for my plants as possible. This way they could hopefully survive until we could get new flower beds built.
Next to our garage were a couple empty spots that proved to be a good home for many of my daylilies, hostas and elephant ears while they waited for a new permanent home.
We didn’t ever expect that to last over a year, but we were incredibly grateful that most of them survived.
Cresting the hill seeing our new farm for the first time. We just knew it was the perfect place.
We were thrilled to see big fields for our horses.
We loved the large yard around the house for the dogs and their puppies to run.
We loved the porch that wrapped around three sides of the house.
The farm layout when we arrived. We couldn’t wait to add fencing for horses and yards for the dogs.
The pool looking out toward the barn from the ad.
Our old farm was a pure labor of love. Nearly all the beds were filled with plants that had come from friends and family. We had cared for propagated them into quite a lush colorful landscape.
These were the visions from which I pulled my new dream when we moved. Little did I know how challenging the reality would be to create.
When we arrived with a trailer full of daylilies and plants we had brought with us to our new farm, I expected creating new beds and homes for everything would be easy. Boy was I wrong.
The red clay was rock hard, and even Tommy’s father and his tiller couldn’t crack it. Only a few plants were here, and they had been left to survive the brutal soil with no assistance at all.
I expected to create flower beds out of manure piles, like we had at our old farm. Tommy and I started pushing it up from the barn each day. I was determined to get some beds cooking, so that we could plant them in the Spring 2019.
But when we had a landscaper come to look at what we had, we learned the devastating news about our precious manure pile beds, they were now poison to nearly all garden plants.
Hay farmers now had access to a new weed spay called Graze On for their fields. The chemical that killed broadleaf plants doesnt break down with time or when animals consume the grass or hay. It comes out through the manure full force. Only monocot plants (grasses, corn, daylilies) can live through it. We had no idea it existed.
We had already dumped quite a bit of manure in our backyard, and just hoped this wasn’t true. Unfortunately we found out it was real as plant after plant failed to grow. We knew we needed some serious hel
By Spring 2019 we knew we were in trouble and needed some help getting our flower beds into the backyard. The weeds in the grass were taking over every attempt to plant anything, and my precious babies were struggling in their temporary homes.
I drew a sketch of what I hoped to achieve in the backyard and went hunting for a landscape company that could help us set the vision in motion. We were blessed to find Paradise Gardens, who came in and put my dreams into a buildable plan.
We loved their ideas so much, we asked them if they could install the beds and a few key large plants. They agreed, but were so busy that they couldn’t get here until mid August.
After there initial removal of the old, and installation of the beds, edging, new grass and key plants, the garden looked really barren. I started the process of planting my daylilies and other plants, but I saw we had a long way to go before it looked like a real garden.