Some of you have been following our blog from the very beginning and others of you have joined us in the past few months. For our new arrivals, I would like to share an amazing garden story with you. It's how Our Eden came to be. On February 17, 2008 a horrible tornado hit our neighborhood. Today is the one year anniversary of the storm.
We were so fortunate compared to others in our neighborhood. The tornado picked up the right section of our roof about two feet and simply sat it back down within four inches of where it originally rested.
Our neighbors across the street were not so fortunate.
Jamie and I had just decided to go full force in the garden and had created numerous beds and planting areas. We had over 280 different species of plants, shrubs and trees planted in our new garden; all of which were buried under debris and five forty year old fallen trees. We knew the insurance would fix the house, but all the time, money and energy spent in the new garden was all gone. We both knew in our hearts that we would never have the money to do it all again and quite frankly, we just didn’t have the energy.
As the repairs were being done on the inside of the house, Jamie and I worked feverishly in the garden cleaning everything up.
Heavy equipment was brought in to remove all the trees and debris. In those two weeks, Jamie and I placed about four full-sized dump truck loads of material out beside the road. In the process, everything we had previously planted was scooped up in a bobcat and hauled away, with the exception of two shrubs, a camellia and a gardenia.
We were left with a mucky, soggy and miserable mess filled with spring weeds and crab grass. Jamie and I had made the difficult decision not to rebuild the garden. The money and the enthusiasm were just no longer there. We talked to our dear friends at Gardeners Gumbo and told them we would not continue. In a matter of days Jamie and I received an envelope in the mail containing a Plant Delights catalog and a very generous gift certificate from the members and owner of the site. We were so very excited to look through the catalog! If the members of our garden club could chip in to buy us plants, we could certainly make a bed to put them in and so to work we went. We decided the best way to cover up the mess in the back yard was to put it under a huge bed. We spent the next two weeks digging up the roots and stumps of three forty year old trees by hand. The work was back breaking, but we didn’t care.
During the time we were working on the new bed, the most amazing thing happened. News had spread to other gardeners we had traded with and a massive effort had been put into action. Jamie and I started receiving plants, gift certificates and seeds from all over the world, even as far away as Australia! Gifts from strangers we had never even talked to or heard of before. It was absolutely amazing; gardeners have such kind and generous hearts. Tina, I just realized the other day we received seeds from you before you ever even became a reader of Creating Our Eden. You sign your seed packs, don’t you? They were a gift from a lady in Arizona that had extras to spare. You are part of our garden and you didn’t even realize it. The eastern redbud below is the first thing we planted when we decided to start over.
Friends, in less than six months a new garden was created from a completely blank, earthen canvas. It was born from the love and kindness of gardeners all over the world; from the generosity of old friends, new friends we never had a chance to meet and a little hard work on the part of Jamie and I. We literally spent every free second and penny we had into creating our little garden, but it could never have happened were it not for the kindness of strangers. We send a heartfelt thank you to Jan, Donna, Sharon, Richard, Jeanne, Peg, Martha and numerous others for what you did for us. We will enjoy our garden for years to come. This blog has brought Jamie and I new friends and new opportunities we never dreamed of and we want to thank all of you for visiting us and giving us the encouragement we needed to keep going.
10 months ago