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Last year was a busy one! When I look back at what we did, I’m thrilled. The highlights of my year last year were the trips my husband and I took to see family in Georgia, but we also had the opportunity to help our church out by creating a garden out of a small area that was only grass. If you know me and have followed my blog, you know I love flowers.

Trinity Lutheran Garden Before

A few days before we left, the maintenance man at our church killed all the grass for us and tilled the garden to break up the soil. Since we were taking a trip to Georgia, we planned and dreamed on the trip down in May. The purpose of the trip and the highlight of it was to see my mom for Mother’s Day.The tragedy of living in the Midwest is that I see my family so seldom, especially my mom.

My family

While we’re in Georgia, I always go to Elm Hill, our family’s home place. Nothing much is left of it, only one old barn, two scuppernong arbors, and an old brown turkey fig tree. The original house has been gone for many years, but when I was growing up, there two houses that stood on either side of the road. One was my Uncle Barney’s house and one was my Uncle Dean’s house. They each burned down long after those wonderful men had passed away. All that is left are some wild roses and old white bearded irises that grow on the property.

Barn at Elm Hill

When we got back to Wisconsin, our church garden committee set to work. The men laid the walkway, I arranged the for the bench and started choosing plants, but June was the hottest, driest June that I remember. We didn’t start planting until nearly August because of the weather. Once we did, the work went well, except for the areas where the builders had put a layer of crushed limestone for a driveway when they built the office wing. Thank goodness there were two men to dig those holes! Over the month, we added a variety of flowering plants and shrubs, including some stalwart performers like Stella d’Oro day-lilies, hydrangeas, and my favorite, purple cone flowers.

Trinity’s garden in August

One family donated the black granite bench in the picture above in memory of their parents, a pastor and his wife. Another family donated the oval, granite monument, which was hand-carved with a raised cross on one side and an inlaid cross on the other. At the far end of the picture we will build a trellis with a seating area. We plan to plant a variety of wisteria that will survive in the Midwest to trail over it and provide shade, color, and aroma in addition to a focal point for the garden.

While we were busy with the garden at church, My husband and I dealt with having a new roof put on our house (lots of hail damage from a tornado two years prior) and new siding. That’s a long story for another time! We also maintained our own gardens at our house.

Some of our gardens

In November, we returned to Georgia for our last road trip of the year! This time the entire family converged at my sister’s house to surprise my mom for her birthday and Thanksgiving. My boys came from far away and brought their girlfriends, my nephew and his family came from Ohio, and the rest of the clan came with their babies and children too. This is only one branch of our family tree, but it’s a prolific one!

My mama and me.

I’ve left out lots of things about 2021, but probably like many of you, I’m glad that trying year is in the rear view mirror. Let’s hope 2022 will be a stellar year because we have nowhere to go but up!