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At the bottom of a small hill in our back yard, there was an area that had been used to burn trash some years ago. I envisioned a flower garden there since a small stream trickled through it. Ralph helped me put some steps down the hill. We made a bench for sitting and stepping stones leading to the bench. I began planting in the spring of 1996. My granddaughter, Sara, named it a "Secret Garden" because it is partially hidden from view. My niece, Jannie, who is named after me painted this sign for my garden.

Needed steps

Needed a waterfall

Needed seating

Recycled bird bath

I planted some hostas, ferns, vinca on the hillsides, marsh marigold by the stream, and a few other plants. The lily-of-the-valley plants that Dave, when 17 years old, gave Ralph for Father's Day were transplanted from our old house. The garden is mostly shaded in the summer so I've had some failures. However, I've learned that impatiens love it down there and really brighten the area. They come in almost any color. Last year I planted purple impatiens in an area with other purple plants. Things bloom at different times but it was striking when just the purple plants were blooming. I started with a birdbath but found that the mosquitos liked it too well so changed it into a pot of ivy. My Secret Garden is a work in progress.


Ferns and Hostas

Marsh Marigolds

I use to have a neighbor who loved rocks and would have us pick up a rock for her on some of our travels. This made me aware of pretty rocks so in memory of Mae, I've added a few rocks to my garden from places we have been. I took these photos in the fall just for this web page.

Friends and family have participated in helping with my garden. Betty and Bob gave me two rocks, laced with turquise, that they had for several years. It must have been hard to part with them but they visit their rocks a couple times each summer. Another friend who has a rock polishing hobby donated some beautiful leftover small pieces. A flagstone area in front of the bench was made with them. My sister, Fran, bought a casting of Secret Garden and Jan painted it so pretty. My sister, Dottie, gave me a cute "Secret Garden" sign and granddaughter, Sara, gave me the "Grandma's Garden" rock. One day a cute little big eyed turtle turned up on a rock, a gift that our neighbors brought back from their vacation. Not only do I love going down there for the peacefulness, I'm also surrounded by memories of friends and family and also the vacations we have had.

Dottie's gift

Sara's gift

Daniel family's gift

From my childhood home

It has been a few years since I started my flower garden. Vinca on the hillside has filled in beautifully. Some plants have done so well that I've had to thin them once and some need it again, especially the hostas. This spring there was an abundance of rain that was a worry because of some flooding in the garden but most plants not only survived but flourished. My only loss was a beautiful yellow continual blooming corydallis that died of root-rot.

Here are a few pictures of my "Secret Garden".

Middle April 2002
July 6
July 6, 2002
Spring 2003
bleeding heart
Bleeding Heart

Red Astilbe

New Guinea Impatiens
The blue is spiderwort
,Black Eyed Susans
New path

Purple Garden
Pink Garden

Me, April 2005

Crawdad Hole
This area is conducive to slugs and snails and I had always dealt with them by using chemicals. When I saw some of these ugly crawdad holes I thought I would try something different this year and see if the crawdads would take care of the slugs. It has worked. I have used no insecticides of any kind and I don't have any hosta leaves destroyed by slugs.
August 2005
naked lady
A Surprise
Sara, 13 yrs
Most prized
This surprise lily was truly a surprise because I didn't knowingly plant it. I had brought some plants from my parents home before it was sold and am hoping that is where it came from since my mother did have some surprise lilys. It is such a joy to have this lily in memory of my adorable mother.