We bought our house twelve years ago from an elderly lady who was a big gardener. It’s got a big back yard that totally sold us on the house, even though the house itself needed lots of work. Like it hadn’t been painted in about 20 years and needed a new roof right away. That didn’t scare us though.
I love that our yard is filled with blooms most of the year. Fortunately, most of them are bushes and trees. I’ve found I’m not so good at keeping up with annuals or perennials. Our yard used to have a bunch of irises, gladiolas and daylilies, but I had to take them out, because the weeds around them got too hard to manage.
Blooms start in the winter with camellias – I’ve got a few really tall dark pink ones in the back and a couple of smaller lighter pink ones in the front. After the camellias bloom, the quince and forsythia bloom. Then we get the azaleas in the spring – you get the idea! I have a huge gardenia that is usually covered in blooms in the summer, but it was kind of sad this year – only a handful of blooms. It got hit pretty hard from the ice storm last year – it dropped all of its leaves last year and I thought it was dead.
The big ice storm last February was called Snopocalypse down here. In the south, it doesn’t snow all that often – usually about every 10 years, so we don’t have any equipment to clear the roads. Northerners laugh at us, how we can’t handle two inches of snow. What really happens here, though, is that it will snow, melt, then freeze overnight. When you wake up, the roads are covered with sheets of ice two inches thick. You can’t go anywhere!
When it started snowing, I was on jury duty for an aggravated assault case. I think it should’ve been attempted murder – it was awful to listen to the testimony of the victim. She was a sweet lady who sold candy to the kids in her neighborhood. Thankfully the guy was found guilty. The judge told us afterwards that the guy had all sorts of cases against him. Anyway, it started snowing mid-day, so when we came back from lunch, we were dismissed. At the same time as the rest of the 4 million people in the metro area. Normally a trip from the courthouse to get my oldest from school and get home would take about 30 minutes or so. It took three hours. When I left the courthouse, my phone gps was telling me to get on the highway, so I called my husband. Thankfully, I was able to get ahold of him -everyone was trying to call at the same time, so calls were dropping and it was difficult to make a connection. He said don’t get on the highway! Thank God I listened to him – people were stranded on the highways all night! It took my youngest son’s teacher 16 hours to get home that day!
We did end up having a big ice storm – and it got super cold. Normally, I can get through the winter without wearing a wool coat down here. It was so cold, I had to wear a ski jacket that my cousin gave me. The boys had fun in the snow, but I’m not a big fan, so I was happy when it melted.
We were not prepared for the ice, so the plants got hit pretty hard. The hydrangeas also dropped their leaves right after the storm. I was afraid that they had all died. I’ve got a big bank of hydrangeas, so it would’ve been pretty awful to lose them. Thankfully they came back last summer, but didn’t bloom. I was really bummed because I am used to being able to cut hydrangeas all summer long.
This summer, the hydrangeas came back, but they are green! The petals are an apple green tinged with purple. It’s the weirdest thing – they are normally bright blue. I googled to see why this happened. There is no explanation other than sometimes it happens for a couple of years. Maybe the frost traumatized them?