Marty's Garden, October 2015


We had a list of things we wanted in our preferred corner of PA; public sewer, public water, gas and electric. We were looking for a one story house, but a lot of the one story homes we found were built mid-century and would require a bag of money to update it and they had septic systems and/or oil for heating. We looked at a number of homes with a realtor. We saw one home on a wooded lot with at least 10 dead trees surrounding the house and no room for a pond. Another one had a steep slope to the house and a death defying steep path to the front door. It was not the kind of path I would like to climb in winter or a decade from now as we age. A third one was on a small level plot with the remainder of the plot falling away from the property. Great if you want to put a stream in your garden, but again it didn’t leave much room for a pond. Other homes left us equally unimpressed. Then we started looking at new developments within our preferred areas. One builder came close, but left zero room for negotiations. Cross that one of our list. Another builder offered flexibility; different sites to choose from, our preferred one story home and if you signed the contract before September 1, significant financial incentives. And while I didn’t find that 1 to ½ acre lot I kind of had my heart set on to start my new garden, I decided I could live with .42 acres. So, with the plot picked out and with most of the decisions made for the outside, inside and basement, I find myself slowly getting excited about the whole process. Meanwhile The Spouse is getting used to the idea as well.


And then there is the stuff that keeps me up some nights… I will have to clean out the closets and finally make decisions on all those items I put in the closets when we moved here 18+ years ago. Sentimental stuff brought back from Holland a long time ago (and just sitting there) might now be up for donation. Letters from Holland ideally should be digitized, so I can toss the eight (!) binders, but where do I find the time? Our current home will be put on the market sometime around May next year, which will give the perennials time to come up and give me time to dig some of them up for our new garden. It will also simplify the garden, something the next homeowner might appreciate. But then the move will not just include our belongings, but also lots of potted plants, plus my collections of indoor plants (the orchids, the agaves, the begonias, the African violets). Where do I put them all? And then there are the fish; those eight koi, which will need to move into their, currently being planned, new pond. With an expected closing on the new home by June 15th, the new pond will have to be dug and installed as soon as we make the move. The fish will have to be put in a temporary shelter for a few weeks until their new pond is completed. Details, details, details; all of which make my head spin at two ‘o clock in the morning when I suddenly find myself awake.


But, before I get too far ahead of myself, there is my current garden which needs to be put to bed for winter. The hostas started to die back and leaves are falling everywhere. The lawn has been reseeded for fall and looks better than ever. Already I am eying neighbors’ piles of leaves for shredding and putting in my own garden. One good frost last week killed off all of the annuals, which have been pulled out and put on my compost piles. One more winter and spring to contend with in this garden, before I tackle a larger new blank slate to turn into our garden. And just like the last time, the possibilities are again endless.