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2011 - So it has been a while since I have participated here. After a terrible divorce 3 years ago I thought I had lost all my passion for everything green and growing. Alas a new man in my life has restored my love and joy of gardening! We had a small veggie garden last year, his first, and things have blossomed from there. I have 13 ws containers started and more to come. We are renting right now so I can't go too overboard just yet. I will probably never garden like I did years ago, but I think it will be so much more meaningful this time around! I doubt that I will have a tallgrass prairie again (sigh) but that's ok. What is so wonderful is that I still have the great friends I have made on this forum. So, for now I say 'Hello' again to all my ws friends and, hopefully, will be doing my own 'happy dance' very soon!

2005 - Gardening has been in my life for 31+ years. Even as a child, I would beg my mother to plant seeds in our dry, dusty soil in Philadelphia where I was raised. My careers have been varied, most recently I spent 16 years as a Systems Architect in computer software. Had to early retire or the job would have killed me! Today I am a student-at-large at The Graduate School at Northern Illinois University hoping to be admitted to the PhD program in Biology/Plant Sciences. Having moved recently to a home with 3/4+ acre, I am finally able to realize my dream gardens, NO GRASS! Picket fences here we come!!

2006 - This was a major year for the gardens here in the suburbs of Chicago. I put in 7,000 sq. ft. of gardens! No kidding!! 1,600 sq. feet of native tallgrass prairie went into the backyard. That grass is going quick! Then came more than 4,000 sq. ft. of "color" gardens linked with wonderful paths, a large butterfly garden with a moon garden at one end in front of our new portico and a 4-section 8��� fence to separate it all from the pool area. All planted with wsed plants! The prairie was beautiful with many things blooming the 1st year. What a surprise. Now I only need about 10,000 more wsed plants to get it filled properly. It was a tremdendous amount of work but worth every second of it!

2007 - Another year of hard work went into the gardens here in the Chicago suburbs. We finally added the woodland���s edge gardens (Oak savanna), a native shade bed under a very old crab apple tree and a peony bed. Started tearing out the green and white hostas and adding ferns and other woodland plants along the edge of the dry stream bed. Worked on getting the picket fence painted, still not done! Finally got last year�s beds mulched. The prairie is stunning in its 2nd year. I keep telling people that the sad looking woodland���s edge beds will look like the prarie next year! I had many re-seeders this past year (amaranthus, cleome, shrimp plant, calendula, moss roses, nicotiana) and many surprise returners that were supposed to be annuals. Yea!! Not bad for a winter that got to -16F. All in all it has been a great summer for the gardens. I can see the structure coming out and dream of 5 years from now when everything is mature. What in the world will I do then?!!

I live in: United States

My zone is: z5 Il

My favorite forum 1 is Winter Sowing.

First registered on January 16, 2005 .