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.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Hello everyone! Here is part three of the trip to the botanical garden. I apologize for my absence and inability to respond to your comments on the last post. It would seem that I have caught the crud that has been going around with everyone. In addition to that, Jamie was involved in a very bad car wreck Tuesday night. He’s okay, just very sore from the impact. Soooooooooo, unfortunately the next few days will be spent getting well, dealing with the insurance company investigators and searching for a new car. Hopefully things will be back to normal by next week, until then I’ll be a little scarce around here. I do intend to make a new post on the seventeenth of this month. So we’ll see you all again soon. Once again please except my apologies for not responding to the comments on the posts, I’m sure you all completely understand. I hope you enjoy the photos.
Posted by Randy at 9:10 AM
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Here are some more photos from the conservatory. This will be the second of three posts. I’ll finish up with the third one being primarily bloom photos. Regrettably, I don’t know the names of hardly any of these plants. I was so busy looking at everything and taking pictures there was just no way for me to commit the names to memory or write them down. So I hope you enjoy the pictures.
I do remember this one… Do you know what it is? It’s a desert rose, I’ve seen the china pattern all my life and never knew what the flower actually looked like in real life. Now I can say I’ve seen one.
This statue in the pond was the most precious thing I’ve seen in a long time. The child has a frog in each hand holding them by a front and back leg. How could anyone not love the facial expression as she laughs at the sun?
No the camera isn't out of focus. These are the furriest flowers you have ever seen. And, they were such a wonderful shade of red!
I really liked this vine with the yellow flowers. I searched everywhere for a name and couldn’t find one.
I thought this was a very unusual plant… at least it is to me. It looks almost like a bamboo that blooms. It’s called Pandanaceae Freycinetia Multiflora. Ain’t that a mouth full?
Monday, February 9, 2009
Saturday February 7th was my 42nd birthday and my morning started off perfectly. I walked into the kitchen to fix my coffee and right there in front of the coffee pot were these beautiful roses, a bottle of my favorite wine and a wonderfully mushy card from my sweetheart.
Have you ever seen such beautifully colored roses before? They were so perfect I had to touch them to see if they were real.
My dear friend Carol came up the night before and we were planning to leave for the Atlanta Botanical Garden. I had just re-injured my back a week ago and I was nervous about such a long ride, but I really wanted to make the trip. I collect art glass and Jamie has developed a new love for orchids and this weekend there was an orchid and art glass show at the conservatory. What a perfect combination! Everything we love in one place. I took a ton of picture so I’m going to break this up into more than one post.
The glass was done by several different artists and I loved every single piece of it. The glass in combination with the orchids was just fabulous. I’m not going to comment a lot on the photos, except to say that my photography does not do the art pieces justice. These pieces are huge and I don’t even want to guess how much they would cost. I would positively love to fill our garden with them.
This one was sparkling in the sun like crazy. It must weigh a ton; I don’t know how they hung it.
Isn’t this beautiful? This is the type I collect, but on a much smaller scale of course. It looks like a splash that was frozen in time.
This is also another one of my favorite pieces, it was humongous. It sits inside a fountain. Something like this looks too fragile to be exposed to the elements. It would never last at our house I can see it now, some stray chunk of debris is picked up by the lawn mower or weed whacker and it would be all over with but the crying.