~A photo session from our first Adventures at Home series. Written & photographed by our bud Hannah. (Flower close-ups from our bud Oliver.)~
Since Covid-19 came to town there are two places I go to escape: one is my car and the other is my Aunt Laura’s garden. While my car may be filled with gas and music, it lacks the beauty and care that a 30 year old garden has. So today I’ll take you though a visual of what I see when I step inside her pride and joy.
I’ve been working on my garden sanctuary for over 30 years. What was once mostly lawn and pine trees has turned into many different garden habitats designed to attract bees, butterflies, birds, and other wildlife. It’s a place of peace, beauty, and perpetual change. Every day in the garden is a precious gift with new flowers opening up their hearts.” – Laura
I’m not sure when Laura bought her house in Minnesota, but I do know it was before I was born as there are pictures of me in her garden as a baby. Social distancing & lockdown has been hard for me since I’m a midwest girl with a close family, so as soon as the lockdown orders were lifted I put on my Mauve Mandala mask (check out our great blog post for how to turn our headbands into masks) and drove to my Aunt’s house to have a glass of wine 6ft apart on her back deck.
My Aunt is very proud of her garden, as she should be, and it hadn’t been warm enough to start weeding and planting and trimming so the first tour of the season was looking at buds and greenery from the deck while she listed off the many things on her to-do list before the new planting could even begin.
One of the things I learned was that while you’d assume most of her plants are perennials, she actually has quite a lot of annuals that she replants every year because she enjoys them so much. I laughed and said that was a lot of work as she added plant by plant to that list as we sat dipping our homemade bread into olive oil.
On our next visit I counted new plants added and many plants in bloom. She had plants in her ‘seeding area’ which is where they sit until they are big enough or strong enough to survive in the garden on their own. New vegetable plants had gone in, and my favorite (a pot of lavender) was sitting in front of the garage waiting to find a home.
Our next visit took us to the second wave of summer blooms, a lot of the earlier flowers had come and gone and now the roses, marigolds, lilies and raspberries could be seen taking over. Her rose bushes came with an amazing story: two giant 10ft wide bushes had started out as just 2 tiny little seedlings, no bigger than the size of a strawberry. I guess they love living in the garden, I would too.
We walked though the fern path that weaves around the back and side of her home and she talked about needing to trim them back before they took over the path….again. Ferns are one of my favorite plants. They grow like weeds so if you have an area you need covered they will cover it in just a few seasons. They also are very strong and don’t usually have any issues growing around other plants so they won’t suffocate your flowers, they just might tower over them!
I asked the simple question of how many hours a season do you put into your garden and Laura looked up at me and said there was no way to calculate that. She’s in her garden any day that is good weather, and that she is home, some days from sunrise to sunset, and other days just when it’s cool enough or warm enough to work.
I realize as I am sitting here writing this I did not take any pictures of the whole garden. I had brought our drone with the intention of doing an arial shot for you all to see how beautiful the curves of the landscape are but there was a heat wave warning and it was 100 degrees so we didn’t want the drone to get too hot and crash. Laura was a good sport to go out and take a few shots with me, I’m sure there would have been more photos of flowers if the bugs hadn’t come out in full swing so we escaped back up to the deck where a nice solid breeze kept the bugs at bay.
I am a collector in that I like to try new plants and see what does well in my garden. But it’s always the reliable stables that I depend on, like the the iris, daylilies, peony, monarda, shrub roses, coneflowers, and black-eyed susans. Every season has their show-stoppers. To me. cultivating a garden is a true act of love.” – Laura
Can you name all the plants that are pictured here? I know my Aunt Laura can! Thank you all for taking the time to step into one of my favorite places and meet my lovely gardening goddess of an Aunt.
P.S. If you’re interested in what my Aunt was wearing she was wearing our Striped Hippie Tank Tunic Dress (as a skirt, with the straps just tucked in) in Pineapple Express! And our Recycled Slouch Top in Eco Natural. Both sized Large for a more roomy, breathable fit.
For some more fun garden themed activities check out these blog posts!