Our new garden


We’re here! We made it! Aaahhh!!!

Let me tell you, driving through six states, towing a trailer and transporting a dog, a fish and two very cranky cats was no picnic. It didn’t help that our layover hotel in VA didn’t have water. Good times.

Calycanthus-2Those of you on IG also saw that our first night in our new home was less than ideal when one of our kitties, Pepper, went missing and of course we feared the worst. (She was found behind the walls of the bathtub.) She evidently had had quite enough of our nonsense but has been feeling better since then and has been venturing out more every day. I can’t even begin to describe how relieved we are that all the pets are here, safe and accounted for.

DogwoodNorth Carolina and the surrounding areas is as beautiful as they all tell you. And guess what, it’s spring here! Like, actual spring. With flowering trees and shrubs galore. Since spring doesn’t officially get going until mid-May where we came from this was a real treat.

AzaleaThe beauty of the area is taking the sting out of some very expensive problems with our home that need to be addressed immediately. That, and the little to-dos that come with moving have been oh-so-overwhelming with an ever pervasive feeling of being in over our heads. Silly me, I had this fantasy of getting a new batch of roses in the ground within the first few weeks of our arrival, but it would seem the house has other plans. A few days ago, after we finished dragging huge piles of brush that Jesse had removed from the side of the house, I was so exhausted and demoralized from weeks of stress and anxiety that I broke down and sobbed because I couldn’t get my one boot off. I’m feeling much less like a crazed person now but I am still looking around the yard thinking, “Where do I start?!”

EvaIn spite of all the bewilderment and stress, I am grateful. So very grateful. This is a peaceful neighborhood we have found ourselves in: no wee hour frat parties, no stadium lights and the noise of 100,000 people at a game, no rumbling of the highways. Just birds and the wind in the trees (and maybe a wood chipper from time to time. 😉 ) Eva loves that she has a big porch from which to vigilantly keep tabs on the bunnies, and I love that I finally have a working fireplace!

KlausieEven our goldfish, Klause von Goldfishensteinenberger, got some new digs moving up from his 10 gallon tank in my old basement studio to being outdoors in his own pond. What a lucky little gentleman! Look at all those pots rarin’ to go….

back viewThere are only a few cultivated beds here, although we are certainly not lacking for trees and shrubs! One is filled with Pachysandra and Vinca which I’ll probably leave be, one is crammed to the gills with daylilies which makes me tired just thinking about how much effort it will be to remove them, and the other is fairly empty but sadly will not be ready to plant as workers need access to that area.

Striped AzaleasI’m thinking this blog will be taking a turn from featuring roses in our garden (how I already miss my roses!) to more or less “before-and-afters” as I remove certain things and create new beds.

Striped Azaleas-2…I hope you’ll bear with me!

Columbine -2Although I really shouldn’t be purchasing plants right now since I don’t have anywhere to put them I couldn’t resist this Columbine I picked up a local nursery. I can’t wait to get out and start exploring all this area has to offer including a visit to the NC Arboretum (and of course the Biltmore) but first let’s have a close-up of that gorgeous bloom!

double columbineHow could I resist this?

So, tell me, what have you all been up to this spring? Has anyone tried growing the sweet pea seeds from the giveaway? Mine got started late and are only a few inches high. Today, I’ll be starting some roses from the cuttings I brought with me. Can’t think of a better way to celebrate Earth Day in this garden!


44 thoughts on “Our new garden

  1. No water! Oh, my! It’s always something isn’t it? I’m glad you and all the pets are safe and sound. It looks like a beautiful new home for you all!

    1. Thank you Jessica! Yes, it’s always something…I know you know! 😉 It really is a lovely area and I can’t wait to make it feel more like home.

  2. Yay!, so happy for you that the animals are all safe and settling in. They are basically our children after all and so very important!
    The photos are beautiful and it looks lush there! Best wishes on your home improvement projects and getting all squared away and hoping you do have time for your gardening and roses.
    I did not get the sweet pea giveaway seeds, but bought some and the carnation seeds from Renee’s…must have done something wrong, because no carnations sprouted and only one sweet pea has sprouted, so am trying again this week. But my roses are blooming great, even after being attacked by the bristly rose slug! Ugh and Grrrr!!!

    1. Darn those rose slugs!
      Thinking about your seeds, I’m wondering if the soil temps were warm enough? Without having a seed warming mat (yet!) I used the top of my fridge to germinate my sweet peas this year. 😉
      Thank you for the well wishes!

      1. I think you’re absolutely right, the seeds were not warm enough! I will try the top of the fridge trick, thanks for that!

  3. The yard looks amazing, those trees take my breath away! I know you will be very happy there once the crazy decrazifies. I can’t wait to visit!

  4. Your new yard looks lovely! If you plan on taking out your daylilys, then maybe check out a local Gardening group via facebook. Perhaps someone there might want them and help with their thinning/removal. Best of luck!

    1. I was thinking the same thing! Great minds! 😉
      Probably won’t get to it this year, after all. Too many other projects to do…. and who knows, I may actually like them!

  5. Baby steps Laurie, that way you don’t overwhelm yourself… and it’s good to have a good cry that way is out of the way…. it will be a glorious garden for sure!!!

    1. Thank you Maria! I’m sure that won’t be the last time I have a total meltdown, hahaha….but yes, must remember to just take it one day at a time.

  6. I had to break my rule about not reading blogs during the week when you mentioned this post on Instagram!

    Oh, I feel your pain! Why does moving always have to be such an ordeal? Why can’t it be easy. It should be easy. At least you’re on this side of things and even with all the hard work ahead of you, you are all together and getting settled. The glimpses of your new garden look lovely and I certainly am jealous of your real spring (we have had snow these past two days).

    I’m looking forward to before and after posts and I know you’ll never be without roses.

    I hope you’re taking time to enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

    1. Thank you Anne! You always have such a way with words that makes me feel so much more relaxed about the whole thing. I will remember to enjoy each day as it comes!

  7. Oh wow, what a columbine!! I’ve never seen one like that before.

    I moved cross-country with my cat and she spent the first week hiding under my boyfriend’s hot water heater. I promise it gets better after the moving crazies subside. Looking forward to the before/afters and seeing how the roses grow from the cuttings.

    1. Haha, oh no! Poor kitty! It’s funny, I’ve been hearing stories like that from so many people who had to move with their pets. I guess it’s not too uncommon!

      And isn’t that Columbine pretty? I’m hoping it will spread throughout the garden and then I can share some seeds….

  8. Yes! I have started growing the sweet pea seeds from your giveaway. I can’t believe you even had a giveaway in the midst of all you’re doing. I didn’t realize you were moving like, right away. Thank you again for your generosity! I hope things in your world winds down to a less hectic pace and thank goodness your fury friends are all present and accounted for. Good luck on your new adventures : )

    1. Thank you Ann! I’m so excited to hear you are growing your sweet peas. I hope you get lots and lots of flowers from them!

  9. It looks so beautiful!! Woods behind your yard – my dream! I can’t wait to see all the before and after pictures! Congrats, and I hope you love your new home!

    1. Thanks Erin! The woods are misleading…there are actually houses right behind that line of trees. But I am grateful for the sense of enclosure they give. Hope you are feeling better!

  10. Thanks for sharing pictures of your new garden, it looks like you have a number of beautiful, mature trees and shrubs. I think you’re going to enjoy the climate there. Looking forward to seeing your new garden unfold – best of luck to you guys with your transition, projects and new adventures!

    1. Thanks Cole! We are already appreciating this climate as I saw that they had snow flurries in State College yesterday and it was 63* here. Man, I was really counting my lucky stars, I’ll tell ya!

  11. Laurie! your new home garden is gorgeous! wow… woods. I hope they are not deer infested. Here some part of the city have deers and they will eat any new growth. They are cute though, it’s something!

    I spent earth day working away at my new beds. None of the seeds I planted 10 days ago have germinated which makes me sad. I hope it will come. I ended up shopping in my own garden, moving hostas, separating cone flowers etc…

    Can wait to see your before and after!

    1. It’s funny, because I asked the former resident the SAME thing when we were looking at the house: how many deer do you get? Fortunately, we were told that the deer are not that plentiful but there are other wildlife like bobcats and bears!! This should be interesting as the only real wildlife I saw where we came from were college kids. (Although I think bears and bobcats are a whole lot less scary.)

      Sounds like you made a good day in the garden. Doesn’t it feel wonderful to finally be outside again?

  12. I am glad you are getting settled in your new home. Love the pictures. I cracked up when I read the name of your goldfish..’Klause von Goldfishensteinenberger’.. You made my day.. 🙂

    1. Haha!! My husband named him and he does a Klause impersonation with a German accent and everything. It’s hilarious!

  13. It’s so wonderful to see your new home. I love how many plants are already sitting out on your deck. First things first right?

    And it looks like a beautiful Japanese maple to set it off.

    Been thinking lately how we think the END of something is what we are aiming for (like finished) when really it is enjoying the creative process and the time spent on making beauty. (I feel a blog coming on ..)

    Take your time to enjoy what you have done, it is the culmination of so much work, you deserve to just breathe it in for awhile.

    1. You noticed the plants! 😀
      Those were the rose babies I managed to shove in the car at the last minute…you know how every square inch counted!

      Yup, Japanese Maple, and kind of a doozy, too. I can’t wait to see it in Autumn.

      Yes, to your blog post! Please write one! Need the reminder to enjoy the process b/c I’m always looking ahead to the next thing.

      It really was a lot of work. Like, months, years…well, you know. Breathing….

  14. Wow, beautiful.

    Spring is moving past us quickly… I’ll have to wait till fall to sow my new sweet pea seeds 🙂 the packaging was too cute… Thanks again!

  15. Oh! You should totally do a post on what you chose to take with you from PA. Did you dig up any bushes or take only cuttings? I’d love to see how you got it all moved over. Also, how do you go about designing a new garden from scratch? The process would be fascinating to follow here. Hope you love your new state!

    1. Hi Eve! Been thinking a lot about your suggestions and how I can incorporate them into future posts, so thank you! As for the roses I took, I managed to sneak a few of the babies that I started from cuttings last summer and then I brought a bunch of cuttings with me, too. I’ll have more on that soon! 🙂

  16. Looks like Paradise to me! Overwhelming I know, having just gone through a move also. I am more anxious than ever now to move again though – further south! What a very lovely home, I’m so happy for you!

    1. Thank you Cindy! It’s been a huge learning curve but it’s starting to feel a little bit like home more and more each day.

  17. OMG! Welcome to the Tarheel State! I cannot believe you left PA and your beautiful home and garden. I have to email you! 😀

    1. Hi Ginger! I can’t believe we moved, either! I told my husband, when we were talking about moving to NC, “I know someone who lives there!” Maybe we can meet up someday! 🙂

  18. Welcome to the Carolinas! I’m new to the area too although I’m in the Aiken/Augusta Ga area, only been here for about 4 years. Paul Zimmerman (Was/is rose gardener at Biltmore) lives somewhere up on the NC/SC border, so I follow him pretty close. Now you’re in the “area”, I can’t wait to see your garden progress.

  19. Hi Laurie
    Congratulations on your new home!! Moving is incredibly stressful – however, I have no doubt you will create your own little bit of heaven in no time. Good luck! Can’t wait to see pics of your evolving garden.

  20. We also lived in Durham and North Raleigh NC for five years. It was fun in the garden coming from Chicagoland area. The nurseries are so fun! There was a neat one in Raleigh where we ate lunch and shopped for plants. At 60 my memory has lapses. Plus we have been back in IL for 8years. I do miss being in zone 7.

    1. Going up to a zone 7 felt like a huge victory! I’m sure you understand. 😉
      Can’t wait to check out all the nurseries and public gardens this area has to offer…they look like so much fun!

Comments are closed.