Since 1995

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The History of My Gardens

In 1987, I worked for Builders' Square while going to school full time. It wasn't my first job, but it was my first non-cashier job! That's when my love for plants developed. I was in the lawn and garden department and my first week there, the manager decided to go to lunch....and he never came back. I was left in the department all alone. So, I took it upon myself to read the entire Ortho Encyclopedia. By the end of the week, I knew a lot about killing bugs and fungi and we finally had a new manager.

From there, I moved on to a local nursery in 1990. My knowledge and love grew even more. I brought many plants home--mostly indoor plants since we lived in a an apartment. I nurtured and cared for the plants. I also tried experimenting with very delicate and exotic plants. Those experiments failed due to my lack of facilities and expertise. I would have done much better if I had my own greenhouse. But, the plants that I did have took off and became in abundance in our house.

Over time, we moved into three new apartments and gave most of my plants away. In 1995, we finally moved into a townhouse and we actually had a yard!! We decided we wanted a nice yard and we spent a lot of money to get it looking the way we wanted. We attempted to plant Bermuda Grass in our yard, but unfortunately it did not take off. We tried seeding in the late spring the first time. But the weather took an unexpected turn on us. It became extremely hot very early in 1996. We bought automatic timers so we could keep track of how much water our yard was getting and it still wasn't enough. It was just too hot! The next time we tried to seed was mid fall. And, again, the weather did not cooperate. We had bad ice and snow storms that totally ruined the seeds. They were unsalvageable. Early 1997, however, we did have a few blades sticking up through the massive amount of Kentucky 31 grass and crab grass. It was so hard to keep crab grass out despite all our attempts to get rid of it.

As far as the other half goes, my roses have done amazingly well. In 1996, I bought 12 rose plants and only lost half due to the rough winter we had. It was disappointing to watch only half your garden bloom and blossom while the other half remains brown and cracked. I did replace the 6 that died, though; and they did quite nicely that year.

As far as 1997 went, I really did not have the energy to put into my garden as we found out we were moving to Germany in November. I knew I could not take my roses with me and was very disappointed loosing my garden after all that hard work. My roses remained in the yard as we cleared in mid November. I hope the next occupants will take good care of them. As we were leaving our house for the last time, it was still quite nice outside, we took one last glance over our yard. My husband looked down at the yard and noticed something was out of place. There were no dandelions, no clovers, no weeds, and no crab grass. At closer examination, the blades of grass were quite green and soft. We had Bermuda grass!!! Finally after all the hard work and money we invested! We finally got our grass...on the day we leave. Kind of ironic, don't you think?!

From November 1997 to November 2000 we were in Germany. We lived in an apartment again--on the third floor! Ick! I did have a balcony but the pollution spewing from the local factory killed most everything that I tried to grow. My kitchen turned into a small garden, mostly for the kitties. My office also had a small garden as well. But growing potted plants that kept getting eaten by the cats did not compare to the garden I used to have. So, my garden consists of miniature roses, dianthus, catnip, and jasmine. This had to do for the three years we were there.

In December 2000, we moved back to the states. This time, Texas. The temperatures are comparative to Virginia. But, after being in Germany for the last 3 years, we will have to get used to it all over again. We found a wonderful neighborhood and are renting a house. It is our first single family house and we love it so far. We are on a corner lot with lots of land. I have mapped out a few areas already for my roses. And Anthony has purchased a few bags of Bermuda Grass.

My first rose in Texas was a welcome back gift from my cousin. She sent it as a surprise and now it has gotten me in the mood for roses. I have since purchased 4 more, but still need to plant them.

In 2003 we moved from Texas to Florida. My husband's enlistment was over and there were troubled times with my job. We just had a baby and I really did not want to get shipped off to Iraq. So, I made a little trip to "see my parents' in hopes I could find a job. Luckily, I was offered something with a contractor at the Navy base. So I went back home and made preparations to move. Unfortunately, we rented again. The hot, humid climate with the sandy soil I was told did not make for good rose gardens. The house we rented had 4 pine trees in the front yard, 4 in the back along with a sycamore tree. The pine was too destructive to the soil and I was not about to plant there. Finally, in 2009 we bought our own house, albeit with a very small yard. But Spring 2010, after speaking with one of their horticulturalists, I was informed they specifically designed a root stock for the hot and humid climates of the Southern Coastal states. It's called the Fortuniana. I bought 5 roses from Jackson & Perkins. These will be my first attempt at roses in Florida!