Evan's Garden

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ahhhh...the Beach!

 My sister and her husband made the big move from the Northeastern US to the Cayman Islands late last year. When they invited us for a visit, it was hard to say no. So...we didn't!

Since they were nice enough to let us crash at their place, we decided to get the direct flight (cha-ching!)

Staying with family sometimes means awkward morning hours, and shared bathrooms. Not at this posh place! Look at the view from their balcony! Lovely!

Everyday they took us to the beach. Mostly to do some snorkeling. We checked out the Kittiwake wreck as part of a big group. I'm a confident swimmer, but the choppy water and the (gulp) 60 foot depth had me a bit freaked out. Next time I'll wear the life vest for a little added comfort level. I did wear it at the next site, a corral reef at only 10 feet deep. I really enjoyed seeing so many fish!

We sat on the balcony in the evenings and watched the moon rise. My sister, who has always loved astronomy, showed me Jupiter and Mars! I was very excited to share these with Duncan (he's taken an interest (to put it mildly) in space!) when we got home.

Crystal clear blue waters. The ocean was a bit rough when we were there, actually. My sister said it's usually fairly calm. A woman on the flight back (who lived in the Caymans for a few years) said some of the places she visited that weekend were feet higher than usual! It was beautiful to watch the waves crashing into the shore, but did make swimming a bit of a struggle.

This lizard kept his eye on us at the beach. 

I misplaced my camera for a few days, so I don't have a lot of photos, unfortunately. 

There have been several events where I was taking photos, and I wasn't in any of them! So, to prove that I actually was there, here's a selfie!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

RIP Daphne

I planted this Daphne odora 'Marginata' on the one year anniversary of Evan's death. I picked the Daphne specifically because it would bloom around the time of Evan's birthday on February 1st. I also chose the Daphne because we shared a special moment sniffing the lovely flowers sometime around Evan's second birthday. So, she's been pretty happy there at the end of our sloped driveway for more than 6 years. I was a bit concerned about the location, because Daphnes like sharp drainage, and I wasn't sure she'd get it there. But she seemed happy, so I let her be. This winter was pretty brutal even for us in the Deep South. We're not used to single digit temperatures, and unfortunately, some of our plants are not coming back this spring. My Daphne was hit hard by the 6 degree morning we had in January. The leaves died back at the time. I thought, "well, I'll wait and see if the leaves start coming back on when it warms up." I got around to doing my late winter clean-up routine in March, and snipped back some of the Daphne's branches to see if there was any green in there or just brown. I was stoked that there was green! All of the branches had green! So, I patiently waited for more signs of life. And, I waited. It's probably been a month now and nothing. So, I'm assuming that she's not coming back. My mom has already given me a replacement Daphne. I just have to find a good place for her. I am sad to have lost something I planted for Evan. Hopefully, I can make up for it with some nice, new plants for his garden this summer. RIP, Daphne! You will be missed!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Playing Catch Up. Again. Snow Day!

We're fortunate in The South not to get a whole lot of the white stuff. We may get a little snow one year and none the next. Six inches of snow is a big deal here. Of course, we're not used to driving in it! We never get any practice! Because we see so little snow, we're able to see its beauty and enjoy it like we did when we were kids. The picture above is Evan's tree (Crape Myrtle 'Acoma,' I believe.) We planted it in 2004 when Evan was born. It's 10 years old now and probably 8-10 feet tall!

One nice thing about living on a slope is that we don't really need to go anywhere for our sledding.

The driveway ended up being the favorite spot. A longer, scarier ride! (Miranda, sporting the Birthday Hat!

The cold weather and precipitation was pretty rough on the plants. Things are coming in now and leafing out. But not everything came back.

Miranda takes making Snow Angels very seriously.

Hitting The Slope with me!

After being out in the cold, the kids, sparkly eyed and rosy cheeked, were ready for some homemade hot chocolate!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Five, Six...Pick Up Sticks

The whole country has experienced a deep freeze this winter. It seemed that winter would just linger on, even for those of us who live in milder states. And it continues to linger for those unfortunate people to our north. But here in the South we are finally (finally!) experiencing some Spring like weather. (Did I say finally, yet?!)

Every few days I take a walk in the yard to see what plants made it through the winter. I have Trillium, Celandine Poppy, Daffodils, Grape Hyacinth, and Snowdrops gracing the gardens. March is late for Daffodils, so it's fun to see them blooming with some things that usually bloom slightly later. My Deutzia "Chardonnay Pearls" aka "Duncan" looked like it might not make it last Fall, but it's leafing out now! Woohoo! The Daphne marginata that I planted on the one year anniversary of Evan's death took a beating with January's single digit temperatures. The buds died. The leaves turned brown. I thought that all was lost. But the other day when I pruned it back, I found some green bits in the limbs. So, I'm hoping for a recovery. We'll see.

As I wandered around the garden, I weeded, I moved a few things around, I put some weed cloth down, and I found lots of sticks. They were in the beds and on the grass. Big branches and small sticks. I ignored them at first. But then I decided that picking them up and moving them out of the beds (and off potential returning perennials) is an essential part of late Winter/early Spring cleanup. I hope the mild weather (normal weather, even!) will continue, and I can get out there more often and get things planted before the heat of Summer hits in a few months.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Happy 10th Birthday...

to my sweet, charming prince. I love you and miss you, Evan.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Ten years ago...

Ten years ago right now I was in labor. I think I hadn't gotten the epidural in, yet. I was, um, rather uncomfortable. Any thoughts of a "natural" (that is, no pain meds) birth had left my mind. After 12 hours of labor I was ready to feel some relief. I wanted the little fella to come already. But I had a ways to go. Evan didn't make his appearance for several more hours. He was a very welcome, if cone-headed, sight!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pronunciation Really Does Matter

Duncan has become fascinated with the solar system. We've checked out books from the library, we've watched shows, and talked endlessly about the planets and space. It's been fun and educational. My favorite sciences have always been Earth sciences. Geology, meteorology (although, I suppose that could be used on other planets), oceanography. My sister was the one that knew the constellations and the interesting facts about the planets. I do know that the Earth is the 3rd planet from the sun. Mostly because of a certain show called "Third Rock from the Sun." Anyway, I'm enjoying this new interest almost as much as Duncan! We look at different photos from far, far away and ooh and ahh over everything. Duncan has always been a curious little guy. Once he figured out the talking thing, he started asking questions. And I'm flattered that he thinks I know everything, but sometimes I just don't. (And I'm thankful to have Google there to help me to answer his questions!) Some of the questions lately are: "Why is there a Great Red Spot on Jupiter?" My response, "Ummm...isn't it a huge storm or something?" There are questions about heat on Venus (as well as the heavy atmosphere), winds on Neptune, and pretty much everything you want to know about Uranus. He pronounces it "Your Anus." I don't think it's an unusual pronunciation or anything, but it certainly brings out the 12 year old joker in me. "Mommy, have you ever seen Uranus?" "I might if I got a mirror." heeheehee, I laugh gleefully behind my hand. "Mommy, is Uranus on its side?" I try to remember how Uranus got its tilt and try not to lose it. "Mommy, there are rings around Uranus!" Woohoo! I may have to see a doctor about that, I think, but say, "Cool, Duncan!"