Ode to my Yard, and Growing Where Planted.


Hello everyone. This is a peach tree from my backyard. I also have a pear tree and an apple tree. I have three cottonwood trees in the back that heaven forbid a huge windstorm kicks up and they fall on the house. The closest tree to the house has a tree house in it. The other two cottonwood trees are half dead. I have delayed removing them until I absolutely have to because I am SO going to miss their shade and the tree house.


There used to be five cottonwoods out back but two of them were too far gone. They were removed last year by a Polynesian family who came knocking at my door. One of the ladies on the crew, had just had a baby the day before. I was wishing that I could be as hardy and joyful as she was. Seriously, I was so in awe of this woman.

Near my cottonwood trees, there are some stone steps, and a slightly elevated rock wall. I have some hens and chicks growing there. I tried planting many other plants in this patch of earth but none of them ever seem to thrive. I have three planter boxes behind the rock wall,  and some raspberry bushes and rhubarb growing along the back fence. The back fence has a vine growing over it that is taking over my backyard and my raspberry bushes. We’ve always considered this to be our neighbor’s vine but come to find out, they consider this to be our vine. Either way, it is a very aggressive vine.

My neighbors dogs bark mercilessly at me whenever I try to cultivate any part of the yard along the fence. Dogs don’t understand fences. Why should they? I’ve also run into a few snakes back there.  They seem to like to hang out along the fence, or near the rock garden. I don’t mind them as long as they don’t surprise me. Snails are abundant.

I have a yellow rose bush in the front of my house and two lilac trees in the back. My husband wants to trim them down, but I like them wild. They are getting so tall I can hardly see outside my kitchen window. For some reason, I like it this way.


I had a sister in law who died many years ago. She loved yellow roses. I was six months pregnant with my daughter when she left this life. I named my daughter after her. The yellow rose bush was half dead when we came here. It suddenly began to thrive outside my daughter’s window until she switched rooms. It has required a little more nurturing after that.

I have four knock out rose bushes along the far end of my fence that I thought would bloom red, but they are a bright fuchsia. They are struggling. My  fear is once they do start to thrive, the vine will take them over. It’s creeping that way. The hot pokers on the side of my house are doing splendid. I believe I would give them the most hardy plant award.

I planted two burning bushes in the front of the house, and surprisingly, they are coming around. My husband pours his old coffee from his thermos on them whenever he comes home from work. He swears they like the coffee. I also had one peony bloom this year and considered that to be a major feat. At my old residence, I had peonies and rose bushes that were absolutely gorgeous. I mourn for them all the time.

Roses From My Old Home


So far I am doing well with Day Lillies and tulips. That does not say much for my gardening skills. I planted an excessive amount of white tulips. I planted some tulips that I thought were peachy pink, but they turned out to be fire engine red.  My Sweet Williams, Verbena, and Lobelia are doing okay. The bee balm is doing okay, My snap dragons are struggling.

I have chickens who are great egg producers.  I have a rather large plot of land for living in the suburbs, and we have animal rights for two large stock animals if we would like. I don’t have any other animals beside the chickens, my two cats, and one dog. My husband and I have toyed with the idea of raising alpacas. My husband is fascinated with old cattle gates so we have a stack of them in the backyard by the wood pile. I love them too, I just don’t know what we are going to do with them.

I enjoy the yard because I feel more comfortable outside. More so  than I do in the house. I am convinced my house has bad mojo and I am trying to alleviate that. I’m not sure if this requires some decluttering, repainting, Fengshui, or some serious smudging, but that sense of home and “place”  has not really been there for me.


I have struggled with the dynamics of my new community. Mostly the schools. My children and I have lived here for four years and we still feel that same about the community as we did when we first arrived here. I feel like the energy dynamic of my home has changed some since my husband took the taxidermy out to his shop. My husband feels my mojo talk about the house is ridiculous, and the community dynamics are due to a stubbornness that I may carry. I say, we are equally stubborn.

These are some of  the things I am trying to do to alleviate some of the bad mojo in my house regardless of whether it is perceived to be reality or not:

  • I’ve experimented with scents, essential oils, and salt lamps.
  • Music helps.
  • My husband moved the taxidermy to his shop after four years of coaxing.
  • I plan on painting everything white, (symbolic of a clean slate) and pulling in some yellow to brighten the energy. Yellow has not been a color choice I have ever gone with in the past but for some reason, I am now craving it.
  • I am in the process of having a mimosa tree painted in my daughter’s room.
  • Having real flowers, and houseplants helps. I was able to revive a former plant that was on it’s last limb after I moved here, and I’ve repotted it three times. My first house plant I purchased for this place died on one side immediately, the other side is lush and green. I feel it represents division. I have named this plant “two-faced.”
  • Then of course, I  decluttered the house, and believe me there was A LOT of clutter. Decluttering is always a no-brainer when trying to tackle an energy dynamic.
  • I am also trying to come up with a “creative space.” A space for projects to unfold. A place where I can do my writing or sew, and not feel like I am in a dark hole.


My mother is a scene painter and my daughter is fascinated with mimosa trees. They remind her of summers spent in Missouri with her father. He’s had some struggles, so there has been a lot of back and forth and inconsistencies. She sees mimosa trees as a grounding force.  I will be posting pictures of her mimosa tree when we are done. I don’t even dare to attempt to grow one in the backyard. You don’t see many mimosa trees around here.

I’ve painted the interior of my house many colors, many times. I decided that there will never be a gray that can be captured just right by the lighting here. It always wants to become another color no matter how hard I try. I used to blame it on the paint, and then I blamed it on the house. I am counting on white to come through for me. I have fantasized about having a yellow couch. I am installing what I call “Pumpkin lights.” They are elliptical orbs. I am fascinated with them and star bursts at the moment.

I have fought this house and yard tooth and nail. I’m determined to make my yard a Xeriscaped paradise. I just keep throwing stuff into the dirt to see what happens. It has taken an element of hardiness to live here, and in this sense, my plants and I are one and the same. We are soul conspirators in trying to grow where we are planted while encouraging the other to hang on. This is the relationship dynamic I have with my yard at the moment. Some people may say having a relationship with your yard is ludicrous. I am a believer. What is your relationship with your yard?

2 thoughts on “Ode to my Yard, and Growing Where Planted.

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  1. Hi, I loved this tour of your yard and would enjoy some more rock wall and those succulent pictures, also chickens, love chickens! I’d say your plot sound huge for a suburb and good for you for making it abundant. I was touched by the story of the yellow rose bush and I’m sorry for your loss.
    As far as mojo, I don’t know, but my brother-in-law was taught how to cleanse a home with sage, and can remove the malocchio (evil eye) curse with some sort of ceremony. (He is about as straight-laced conservative as they come, yet, adheres to this part of his Italian upbringing which amuses me). Perhaps you can learn it, it couldn’t hurt?
    My relationship with my yard is mostly neglect but we do love our veggie garden. I’ve just never been able to keep flowers alive other than hardy black-eyed susans and daises. I’m envious of your lovely tulips and lilac bushes, we recently cut ours back hoping for regrowth. You can’t beat the scent in the springtime, hope you win the battle for the soul of the house.


    1. I will check into your Italian sage cleanse. Black eyed Susans and daisies are still lovely. I will have to post a picture of the rock wall in a future post. Thank you for the comment. I’m always creeping on other people’s yards to see what they have going on so I thought maybe someone would like to see mine.


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