Words on the Sill
Blog Anniversary Quiz Bowl #4: The Final Edition

Throwback Thursday: Talkin' Dirt(y)

(Yeah.  That got your attention!)

(I want to apologize to all of you who have commented over the last few days.  Because of the ongoing Typepad "issues," I am not receiving comments by email, which makes it difficult to respond to you.  Please know that I appreciate every comment and would love to send you a personal response.  Right now, though, Typepad is not making this easy.  Please hang in there with me -- and all of us with Typepad blogs.)


Five years ago, when I first started this blog, I had a few very nice garden beds . . . and a whole lotta plans and dreams!  During that long winter of chemo, I surrounded myself with garden books and landscaping magazines and plant palettes.  

I dreamed.

I schemed.

I drew.

I made lists.

In May 2009, my back yard looked like this . . .

Back fence design project 002

A whole swath of nothing!

And my front yard looked like this . . .

Front of house 002

as Tom and Brian and Dominik dug up all the foundation plantings along the front of the house.

I started planting. . .

Putting in the Garden May 2009 014

but things were a bit sparse!

The tiny little "puddle pond" was brand new. . .

Putting in the Garden May 2009 009

and I was still holding on to the misguided notion that I could have an "English cottage garden" in my way-too-sunny-and-windy side lot.

Garden Jun 4 2009 016

My garden has gone through amazing changes in the last five years!  More change than my growing-up-kids.  More change than my knitting.  More change than my hair style or attitude or reading habits!

My garden has been. . . 

dug up





torn out


The "whole swath" out in back?  (Note:  These photos are from last season.)




That ripped-out front foundation bed?


The "puddle-pond"?


It's there . . . bottom right. . . and has been joined by a second, larger pond, up the hill!


My failed cottage garden . . . has turned into a garden full of Michigan natives to attract bees and butterflies.


(Totally out of control, but much happier!)

Whole new corners have popped up. . . 


and new beds are in the works!


When it comes to talkin' dirt(y) . . . you could say. . . that I've had a whole lot to say in 5 years!





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Your gardens are beautiful! I must remember that gardens evolve and that's part of the fun!


your gardening posts are some of my favorites... I love seeing the colors and textures and seasons from a place so different from where I live. you can talk dirt(y) to me anytime!

Barbara S

Your gardens look fabulous. So abundant and alive! Looks like you really enjoy your connection with Nature.


Wow. I forgot how much of a transformation the garden has gone through. Since I'm not there every day anymore, it's easy to forget that the changes to your garden are not just me forgetting what the yard looked like (or not paying attention to it when I was a self-absorbed teen) and actually a huge evolution. It looks great. Someday (when I have a yard) I want to learn to do things just like this (though I think we'll have to deal with the whole "Erin kills plants just by looking at them" issue first).


It's been fun to hear you talk dirt(y) over the last few years and to watch you and your garden evolve. You've created a magnificent environment for plant life, bees & butterflies, and you!


Your yard is stunning. What an inspiration to all of us to get out and 'play in the dirt'!


Isn't it fun to plan and do and then decide to redo or undo? There are so many options with gardening...whole new things to try.


WOW! is all I have to say and that you are amazing too:)

Cheryl S.

Huge changes! And such a lot of work. Looks gorgeous!


Every view is amazing! Wisteria, clematis, and a gazebo swing - be still my heart!


Fantastic! I love all of it but I can't imagine how much work it is.

kathy b

wow just doesn't say it! Im so proud of those who do their own gardens. So many here just hire landscapers. Yours is amazing, and charming


FAB-U-LOUS! Wow. What beautiful gardens, and what an inspiration.



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