just another day in paradise…..
One of my gardening heroes (and friends), Gene Bush had sent me a note to check in and say hello. He said in part:
I was hoping that I could convince you to write the story of your surgery and how it affected your gardening.
Well I hadn’t thought about it, but it has most definitely affected my gardening. I will note it is not necessarily bad, however it makes the game different now.
My travails with my right knee started in the winter. At the bitter end of February and first couple of days in March, one day, something went pop. It was so loud a sound, literally a “pop”.
That pop was my meniscus. The day it happened I was in the house alone and the pop sent me to the floor, where I stayed for a while, in considerable pain not able to get up and afraid to move.
Eventually I pulled myself up by using the low, heavy bureau I crumpled in front of and hobbled to the bed. This was how I spent the next couple of months – hobbling in pain within my home . It was my right leg, so that also meant no driving….and no walking….and worst of all, no gardening.
I pretty much spent weeks and weeks with my leg elevated and supported in bed as I went through the process of our healthcare system. Getting a surgeon, let alone getting approved for a surgeon by health insurance companies is NOT a speedy process any longer.
As I the days stretched into weeks, I realized that I would not be doing my late winter/early spring clean-up in my garden myself. That meant I also wasn’t going to be putting down all of the mulch I put down every spring.
I am a hands on gardener. I am used to doing for myself. So now I had to find some qualified gardening help.
For a while I had toyed around with using someone I had used in the past, but decided against that person. They were not inexpensive and when I had used them last, quite a few actual plants were removed with weeds. And the plants weren’t, say little clumps of mint or something, one of the plants was my white currant bush and I have been looking for about three years for another one.
I received a referral from a friend for a local landscaper. He spread most of the mulch and God bless him, dug out a 40 year old patch of forsythia so I could have another flower bed. Forsythia is miserable to remove as I removed a lot last summer. Forsythia is why I invested in a spearheaded spade, truthfully.
I paid the landscaper for the work I had initially contracted with him about, and scheduled some more, including driveway edging. The problem is he never returned. He kept making and breaking appointments so eventually I gave up. I will note that I have since done my own driveway edging, I just had to do it standing with more movement of my arms and shoulders then my knees.
By this point we are into May and I had finally had my surgery. Yes, it took that long. Between dealing with insurance company nonsense and the busy schedules of competent surgeons and all the pre-procedure minutia, it was May before I had my surgery.
If you are a gardener you know that a surgery like knee surgery can put you tremendously behind the eight ball. I did my best to find other garden help, but to no avail.
The irony is, I would never hire anyone to do something I was not willing to do myself or generally speaking usually did do myself. But I had people show up, look at my garden which is the rather good shape truthfully, tell me what they might charge… and then they just disappeared.
I can’t tell you how frustrating this has been. So it has made me rethink how I garden. Here I am, offering to pay someone to assist me, and basically they don’t want to do the work.
I am also frustrated by those I interviewed who wanted to tell me how my garden should be. That wasn’t why I was trying to contract with them for garden help. I have my vision, I just need a little help now and again executing it. It’s hardly impossible, it just requires thought and effort. But the difference is, I have an actual garden and in today’s society a lot of people do not. They live in developments where associations within that development make the gardening decisions and often contract out for all of the residents. Everything is the samey- same from house to house.
I will admit I found recovering from breast cancer surgery and other surgeries I have had over the past few years easier than knee surgery. A lot of that had to do with the length of time I was basically forced to sit still and rest prior to my surgery. My muscles went kerplunk along with endurance.
When I first started physical therapy I never thought I was going to be able to do it. I was as weak as a kitten quite literally, except a kitten could move much faster than I could.
But I was lucky to get an amazing therapist through my surgeon. His background before physical therapy was in sports training so he has been and an enormous help, and I discovered his physical therapy practice has a lot of gardeners in it! (Yes I am still doing physical therapy. I actually only started driving by myself a couple of weeks ago, and I’m still not driving long distances. )
I am back in the garden but it’s different than it used to be. One thing that is different is I broke down and bought myself a good garden seat on wheels with a little rack on the back of it. That way I can sit and weed and not bend over or have to kneel. It takes longer, but it saves the strain on my knee. The seat pivots, and there is a little basket on the back for my hand tools. At the bottom of this post is a picture that is close to what mine looks like as I can find.
I bought my wheelie garden seat from a member of my gardening group actually. People don’t realize the good gardening tools do not have to be brand spanking new to be good. As a matter of fact (and it’s somewhat a topic for another post), I search out gently used gardening tools at times.
From pruners that can be sharpened and are built in a more sturdy fashion in the vintage variety, to having back ups for the things I occasionally kill like gardening spades large and small, I am not adverse to garage sale hunting of garden tools.
But back to post surgical gardening. I have learned I have to accept that at least for the near term, there are things I can’t do unless of course I want to end up with an entire knee replacement next time. It’s hard for me to ask for help, but like it or not I know I have to at times now.
Post surgical gardening also means I can’t just do giant guerrilla sessions of gardening any longer. I have to pace myself. I tend now to go out in spurts of an hour to 90 minutes tops. I have to ice my knee every time I have gardened. I also have discovered I can’t garden multiple days in a row, or at least not yet.
Thanks to my physical therapist and tips he has given me I am also learning better posture for gardening for lack of a better description.
Having to adjust my mindset also means my garden has some adjustment. It is not as perfectly weeded as it once was. And I have to be more accepting of that, which I am the first one to admit is incredibly hard. Some people who have come to look at my garden this summer I think are surprised by that in particular, because I’m a little obsessive about my gardening beds. But I have to pace myself or I will literally become a cripple. And if I become a cripple I won’t enjoy my garden or anyone else’s garden.
I have learned this summer that knee injuries in particular are a very common complaint for rabid gardeners. When I had to let the hosta society know I would not be coming to their summer function because my knee wasn’t up to it yet post surgery, one of the event organizers laughed and said there was a lot of that going around this summer with gardeners that they know.
Is it frustrating to have to reset the pace of my gardening? Yes it is and incredibly so. The garden I have now established is a layered garden, so the work is pretty much on going in it.
But now post knee surgery, I have to slow the pace. It has also made me start to seek out some plants that may have lower maintenance – it’s a garden I will let you know ha ha ha when I’ve discovered that for sure.
However, all that being said, my garden is my truly happy place and I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I still love it and love to take care of it… only now I have to be a grown-up and do it at a slower pace.
Thanks for stopping by!
Enjoy these photos of what we today know as a Goddard School at 95 Crestline Road in Wayne (Strafford). This was Cramond. My friend Michael Morrison at The Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society gave me special permission to share. I had asked if they had any photos of when this was an active estate.
Cramond is a historic home located in Tredyffrin Township, Chester County. It was a project of the architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White in the “Classical Revival” style.
It was built in 1886, and is a 2 1⁄2-story, six-bay half-timbered dwelling sided in clapboard. It has a hipped roof with a pair of hipped dormers and two large brick chimneys. It has been used as a daycare/educational facility for years at this point.
Click here to check out the application submitted in the 1980s by the Chester County Historical Society in order for the house to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Cramond- Newhall house is also on the 2003 historic resource survey of Tredyffrin Township. However should it be said that even when municipalities perform historic resource surveys it does not mean there are historic preservation ordinances in effect?
Cramond was built for Pennsylvania Railroad magnate Daniel Newhall. A segue to Mr. Newhall would be one of his daughters. Marian Newhall Horowitz O’Brien.
That is the fun thing about history. You start on one path, and sometimes it ends up taking you some place unexpected!
Ms. Magazine Blog 100 Years Ago, The South Elected Its First Woman Mayor
July 17, 2017 by Erika Waters
In 1916, 33-year-old widow Marian Newhall Horwitz made the difficult decision to leave her affluent Philadelphia life behind and move to frontier Florida. Her husband had planned an agricultural venture there and although he had died suddenly, she intended to continue in his place.
She soon found herself and her young son on a 2000-acre farm in the northern Everglades, near Lake Okeechobee, far from Florida’s burgeoning coastal cities with fashionable tourist hotels and six-story “skyscrapers.” She grew corn, beans, cabbages and especially potatoes, which particularly thrived in the muck there. Only recently had farming started in the region, for this was primarily the land of cattle ranches and Florida cowboys. Barbed wire fences stretched for miles along unpaved, dusty roads, and cattle drives ran right through Okeechobee, the largest city.
The Memorials of Acadia National Park J. J. O’Brien and His Jesuit Settlement Memorial
In 1952 a summer resident of Seal Harbor, ME named John Joseph O’Brien (1882-1971) mounted a bronze plaque on a granite cliff in his “Sea Bench” estate garden and invited garden tours to visit and enjoy it. The memorial commemorated the first settlement of Europeans on Mount Desert Island, ME and the introduction of Christianity to the island in 1613….O’Brien, a Philadelphian and a University of Pennsylvania Law School graduate (1908), was a journalist, industrialist, entrepreneur and politician from Grosse Pointe Farms, MI. Upon graduation he entered newspaper work, but he resigned as city editor of the Philadelphia Ledger in 1914 to go to Florida and develop agricultural land. In 1917 in Hillsborough County (Tampa), FL he married Philadelphian Marian Newhall Horwitz (1882-1932), the widow of Philadelphia attorney George Horwitz, and daughter of Daniel Newhall, vice president of the Pennsylvania Railroad. He and Marian lived in Moore Haven on the southwest side of Lake Okeechobee. There they formed the Southern Sugar Corp., later reorganized as the U.S. Sugar Corp., the country’s largest producer of cane sugar, and established the town of Clewiston, “America’s Sweetest Town.”
Marian was elected mayor of Moore Haven, a.k.a. “Little Chicago” from its location on Lake Okeechobee, and became the first woman mayor in the South. She also was president of the Moore Haven bank. By 1924 he and Marian had sold their land holdings and left the area. In 1925, while a Palm Beach resident, O’Brien purchased “Guy’s Cliff,” a 6-acre waterfront estate in Bar Harbor that today is the site of the College of the Atlantic’s Kaelber Hall. Marian died in their Grosse Pointe Farms home and is buried with her son and sister in St. David’s Episcopal Church cemetery, Wayne, PA…..
Brickhouse319 Cramond: Where John Grew Up- A McKim, Mead & White Design in Strafford, PA DECEMBER 21, 2015 ~ SUE
This is the house where John grew up. It’s located about 2 miles from Brick House 319. It was designed by the prominent architect Charles Follen McKim of the influential architectural firm McKim, Mead & White in NYC.
The three architects defined the look of the gilded age in the late 19th century and at the turn of the 20th century; they designed some of the country’s greatest buildings, most were concentrated in New York and New England. They were the most famous and successful American architectural firm of its time. Until 1887, the firm excelled in designing large homes built of shingles in Newport, Rhode Island, Long Island and the Jersey Shore….John’s father who was an attorney, bought the house in 1954 and sold it in 1983. John grew up in the house until the age of 23; he had fun living in such a great, big house.
Ahh yes…free delivery on the first order – that gets me to try something at least once every time!
It’s stinking hot out, and as much as I love Wegmans, every location has insane parking lots. We have house guests coming, so I thought I would splurge.
Their app and online website for Instacart are easy to use. I went through my order, and when I got to the payment section I learned about something I did NOT know entering into this – they tack on a service fee for someone to do the shopping (which to my knowledge Giant PeaPod and Fresh Direct do not have this separate fee – just tax and delivery.) That service fee for me was about $18.00. (Yes, ouch)
BUT then it gets confusing. Although they have this little disclaimer talking about this pays for the people who take care of your order, it does NOT filter down to a tip for your delivery person.
Also, there is a slight price mark-up on every item. My friend would call this “Missy Mark-Up”. See:
I will admit that this makes me categorize Instacart whether you use it for ACME or Wegmans as being more in the class of Fresh Direct. I am still thinking the best dollar value in home delivered groceries is Giant Peapod.
Now I will admit it is super nice to know when I want some extra special items for my kitchen, that Instacart is a viable alternative to Fresh Direct. Fresh Direct used to be awesome, now sometimes it is a bit hit or miss, and for the money you spend it should NOT be. I hope when and if we get a Whole Foods in Exton that perhaps Instacart will add on a Whole Foods too in more areas.
Instacart is zip code driven. Depending on where you are depends on where you can order from. Some areas apparently can get Weavers Way Food Co-op deliveries.
Pro-tip: you can fine Instacart coupons on sites like Retailmenot and Groupon and so on to bring your costs down a little more – I found a $10 coupon on Retailmenot today.
The food was for the most part bagged in item appropriate grocery bags. I will note that I ordered a couple of Brie family soft rind cheeses to serve my guests when they are here and the cheeses were not packed so well. Basically, the cheese was cut and wrapped in simple plastic wrap. I could smell the cheese as soon as I bought the bags inside from the delivery person – and as soon as I smelled my stinky cheese I felt bad for the delivery woman because I bet her car stank to high heaven from the cheese.
With Instacart you can get a better range of deliveries when compared to Fresh Direct and Giant PeaPod. With Instacart you can get a delivery within a couple of hours if the time slot is available. However, as opposed to Giant PeaPod and Fresh Direct which uses refrigerated trucks or at least insulated trucks, Instacart does not. Your delivery person uses their own vehicle.
Instacart however stays in touch with you as your order is being shopped. So if something is not available and you indicated a substitution was O.K. they will actually text you your options. Giant PeaPod and Fresh Direct DO NOT do that – with these two services you do not know you are NOT getting something until the order arrives.
Bottom line: Instacart was a great experience, albeit expensive like Fresh Direct. Will I use them again? Yes. But how often depends on their pricing structure. Right now they are in the category of occasional splurge.
DISCLAIMER: I was not paid or compensated in any way by Instacart, Giant PeaPod, or Fresh Direct. These are my own opinions as a customer/consumer.
Hello Dear Readers,
I am writing today to let you know that I am at present a victim of what is known as a SLAPP suit (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation.)
Earlier this year, I was hit with a Cease and Desist in the form of something known in legal circles as a Writ of Summons. It was issued on behalf of developer Brian O’Neill and Constitution Drive Partners over the Bishop Tube Site in Malvern/Frazer in East Whiteland Township. It was sent to me by the West Chester and Chester County law firm of Lamb McErlane.
This whole thing also involves Maya van Rossum, who is The Delaware Riverkeeper , her non-profit The Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and people thus far referrred to as “John Does 1 -10”
Yes I know Maya. I used to live not too far away from her before I moved to Chester County. She lives in Radnor Township and I once lived in Lower Merion Township. As I have previously stated, Maya van Rossum is one of the most ethical, dedicated, and smart women I have ever met. I am honored to know her.
I actually had not seen Maya van Rossum in a few years in person before I turned around at that February 27, 2017 East Whiteland Zoning Hearing Board Meeting because I heard a familiar voice – hers. Others (unknown as to precisely who) had contacted her about this site. And I also think the folks from Trout Unlimited were there, and have also been at meetings (I never even knew what that non-profit was until all of this.)
Within a couple of days of that February 27 meeting, I injured my knee seriously enough to require surgery. My injury was to my right knee which meant I did not drive or even truly walk again until quite recently and even now the distances are brief. As I sat on the sidelines (which included NOT attending public or other meetings), many more public meetings happened. The whole debate of the Bishop Tube site in East Whiteland raged on (and continues to do so seemingly.) The DEP has been weighing in, along with State Representative Duane Milne, State Senator Andy Dinniman, even East Whiteland Township Supervisors.
The residents of General Warren Village also banded together and began to advocate for themselves as they live adjacent to this site. People from neighboring areas seemed to have joined them based on replays of public meetings I have watched over the past few months. And the Delaware Riverkeeper has persisted. (See this section on their website.)
This is democracy in action. When people take an interest in where they live, it is a powerful force. It is not easy for the residents involved, and it does take great courage, I applaud them.
As I have sat on the sidelines watching, this whole SLAPP thing has persisted. At its most basic, things like this are an affront to our inalienable rights to protest and speak. Our very rights are at risk, including that thing called the First Amendment:
First Amendment (As reprinted by the ACLU)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I am not the only one experiencing this (even on this topic) but when you are faced with this it feels so very and truly personal. Because in a way, it is. It is a challenge to those aforementioned freedoms we as Americans (regardless of political and religious persuasion) hold dear and even at times…take for granted.
It is because of situations like this I believe municipalities need to do better by us as residents. It is because of this that those we elect to the most basic of municipal levels, including the State House, State Senate, U.S. House and U.S. Senate need to do better by us.
As a perennial student of history, I have faith that the truth will indeed out. And I do indeed have representation. Mr. Samuel Stretton. A gentleman whose career I have followed off and on for many years and now have the privilege of knowing. Any questions may be directed to him.
I just thought it fair to let you my readers, neighbors, friends, and family know what was going on.
Thanks for stopping by
I have been remiss. I haven’t blogged any recipes lately. This evening for dinner we were grilling marinated chicken thighs and my neighbor had given me a beautiful head of purple cabbage so I decided to make coleslaw.
Here is the recipe:
Purple Cabbage Coleslaw
4 cups grated purple cabbage
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 grated large vidalia onion
6 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoon prepared Dijon mustard
5 tablespoons organic cane sugar (Turbinado)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh minced dill
Freshly ground salt pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
I read somewhere once that purple cabbage is really good for you. A super food full of antibiotics, vitamins, fiber, and other good stuff. I think it also makes a tastier coleslaw. I also add vidalia onion to my coleslaw and fresh dill to the dressing, which I think keeps it fresh and different.
First finely grate cabbage, carrots, and onion. My “Pro Tip” here is I put these vegetables into a fine mesh strainer after grating and set them over a bowl and press gently for some of the extra liquid to drain out.
Mix the cider vinegar, sugar, cumin together. Unless you want a grainy dressing, make sure the sugar is fully dissolved before proceeding and adding the mayonnaise, dijon mustard, olive oil, and fresh dill. Whisk the dressing together briskly and refrigerate for a few minutes.
Next put your veggies in a clean bowl and pour the dressing on top of it. Mix well and then use a little spoon to taste and adjust for salt and pepper as needed. I like fresh ground pepper in coleslaw.
Refrigerate at least an hour before serving.
Every once in a while you need a staycation day. Today was mine. My friend Chris and I went to Marshallton today. We played tourist in our home county. We rambled in Chester County.
Everyone knows I have not been very mobile since my knee injury at the end of February/ first couple days of March and subsequent surgery in May. (Yes, it took that long. I couldn’t walk, and I certainly couldn’t drive and U.S. healthcare has a long and winding and irritating process if you do not practice Emergency Room medicine, as in push to the head of the line and bypass everything by going straight to the E.R.) So now, as I go through the process if physical therapy, I am thrilled to get out again.
My friend picked me up and we went to The Four Dogs Tavern. I had forgotten how amazing the food is and how wonderful the ambiance, and the terrific and friendly staff. We had the beet salad, which was amazing, and split the mushroom and goat cheese flatbread.
Then we did the senior stroll of the village of Marshallton – I am moving like a snail still. But oh, to take in the beauty of this village! This is so what Chester County is about.
My late father loved Marshallton and in particular, the Marshallton Inn. When some of my girlfriends and I were in our twenties we loved the then Oyster Bar and way back in the dark ages of the late 1980s some were dating guys who competed in the Marshallton Triathlon (and wow what a party afterwards!)
So flash forward to me as a quasi grown-up (some days are better than others!) and today. Marshallton is more beautiful than ever and the gardens are marvelous! Ran into another friend and met a nice man named Ernie and his wife. Ernie was restoring an antique buggy on his front porch.
Ernie encouraged us to go back further down the lane by his home to see the Bradford Friends Meeting, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. I am so glad he did! I had never seen it in person before.
Marshallton is just the village to remind you what Chester County is about. Marshallton is an unincorporated village in Chester County and a Federal Historic District. The Marshallton Historic District has 65 contributing structures and 3 contributing sites. Marshallton is like a living history site, living proof that historic districts and preservation can work.
Marshallton lies within West Bradford Township. In recent years it has faced encroachment of development from the surrounding area.
We did not wander up Strasburg Road to see where Marshallton Walk is, for example. Stargazers Village that thing that was contentious enough, that it doesn’t appear to be more than “coming soon” I guess? (Stargazers shows up on this “Envision” website.)
And then there was Embreeville, which started out life as the Chester County Almshouse in 1798. It is also where Indian Hannah is purportedly buried.
Embreeville has had no news since February 2017 when West Bradford said “Zoning Hearing #395 for Embreeville Redevelopment, LP scheduled for February 1, 2017 has been continued to a date uncertain. There was no hearing on February 1st. Any resumption of the hearing will be after public notice and will be posted on this website.” (Embreeville has been so crazy it has it’s own page on West Bradford’s website.)
Now the Marshallton Conservation Trust which was created in 2009 exists to help preserve the village and surrounding rural area:
“Motivated by the desire to see the Marshallton area return to a safe, walkable community and its rich history preserved, several residents formed this 501c3 non –profit in 2009. Marshallton Conservation Trust is committed to preserving the historic integrity and the quality of life in this very special area for future generations….The Marshallton Conservation Trust (MCT) promotes the preservation and improvement of the Marshallton community through initiatives focused on maintaining and improving its livability along with its distinctive character.”
Marshallton Conservation Trust also sponsors many events. As a matter of fact the 44th Marshallton Triathlon is October 1st.
But back to the history. Reference a website called Living Places:
The Marshallton Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.
Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document.  Adaptation copyright © 2008, The Gombach Group.
…The Marshallton Historic District is located along the Strasburg Road in central Chester County. It assumed its present configuration between the 1760s-1880s, with scattered infill and rebuilding occurring into the 1920s. Of the 71 principal buildings in the Marshallton Historic District, 67 contribute to its historical and architectural significance. The 4 non-contributing buildings include three from the 1930s-40s (a dwelling, store, and apartment building) and a c.1965 brick dwelling. Of similar size and scale to the district’s contributing buildings (by which they are far outnumbered), these non-contributing buildings do not detract from Marshallton’s overall architectural unity.
Marshallton lies only four miles west of the county seat of West Chester; its surroundings are still rural. Leaving West Chester by the Strasburg Road, one passes sprawling farms, open fields, and pasture land. There is a small group of historic buildings near the nationally registered Cope’s Bridge on the East Branch Brandywine River, and then more open country….
The Marshallton Historic District is primarily significant for its association with Strasburg Road, established in the late 18th century as a thoroughfare between Philadelphia and Strasburg in Lancaster County. Throughout 200 years of its history, Marshallton’s focus has been on Strasburg Road, and both literally and figuratively its growth has paralleled the road’s. With its integrity of setting and well preserved collection of buildings representing a variety of historic uses, Marshallton today conveys a clear, sense of the past — when the Strasburg Road was a primary transportation route and, capitalizing on its location, the village functioned as a rural service center for both travelers and nearby farmers.
Marshallton can trace its origins to the 1760s when a few houses, a Quaker Meeting, an inn, and a blacksmith shop were loosely grouped near the intersection of the roads to Strasburg and Downingtown. At that time the Strasburg Road was actually a fragmented series of local roads leading west.
More on Marshallton:
Unionville Times Living History: A tale of two names, Marshallton and the Marshalton Inn Aug 10th, 2012
Marshallton Conservation Trust: The Village of Marshallton, West Bradford, Chester County PA
Marshallton History Off of West Bradford Website
National Register of Historic Places Marshallton
I had one of the best afternoons I had in a while. Good company, a nice lunch, and photographing one of Chester County’s most beloved gems.
Go to Marshallton.
Soak it in, have a meal at Four Dogs, support the village’s ongoing preservation efforts and events.
Walk down the street like we did and wonder about all of the people who walked it before us. Be in the moment of some amazing history and just a lovely and charming spot.
It’s what Chester County is all about.
Gardening is a process with a definite learning curve. A lot of us are fairly experienced gardeners, and a lot of us are new to gardening. And others are somewhere in the middle.
As someone who is more experienced now as a gardener, I will tell you that I got more experienced because I did homework on my own. Sure I consult with people on occasion, but evolving as a gardener also comes from inside me based on the work I have done, research with gardening books, visiting gardens, even looking at annual plant catalogs to see how they are staging things. My evolution as a gardener was not instaneous, it took years….and many gardens, each with its own personality,
In order to garden you need to do a lot of trial and error on your own. In other words, what works in your space and what works for you and what doesn’t. I used to get really upset when I lost a plant, and now I have gotten more practical and slightly zen over the years and figure if it wasn’t meant to be it just wasn’t meant to be and I either try again or I look for another kind of plant.
It is totally cool to crowd source plants you don’t remember the names of – or things you think are weeds – for example I am going to reach out to friends to help me identify a perennial I planted a couple of years ago that didn’t do much of anything until this summer, and now I can’t remember what it is I planted.
It’s also totally cool to crowd source design ideas and planting ideas for your garden. But I have to caution the new gardeners to the fact that this is YOUR garden, so a lot of what we like isn’t necessarily going to be what YOU like. What is your personal vision for your garden space? If you can envision it, you can plant it.
My own garden as I have written before is a combination of things. It has pieces of every garden I have had growing up and as an adult. It also contains pieces of other gardens I have admired over the years. I like a cacophony of color, but the color has to be complementary so there is a method to my madness. Some of my favorite gardens in the world are English and Irish cottage gardens, so that inspires me as well. And layered gardens.
Yes my garden is a lot of work, but it brings me so much pleasure and is a happy place. Most gardeners actually feel that way – no matter how large or how small your garden is it is your happy place because you created it.
Part of what makes a good garden is your own personality – your own sense of individuality. As a rabid gardener I encourage all of you to remember that.
I also encourage all of you to go out and visit gardens -Chanticleer in Wayne, Winterthur, Morris Arboretum, Jenkins Arboretum, Tyler Arboretum, Natural Lands properties, and all of the fabulous gardens wherever you live if you are not from the greater Philadelphia area.
Supprt the nonprofits that create and sustain the beauty of nature. Also check out flower shows large and small and if you like certain kinds of plants over others, there are many societies that are plant specific.
Open your senses, your mind, and your heart, and your eyes to the beauty that is created around you and you will find your perfect garden for you.
Happy 4th of July. Let’s remember how and why we got here. So…..Getting back to basics, today’s post is the Declaration of Independence:
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton