Grape hyacinth (Muscari)

Years ago, I tore out a gardenscape in Better Homes & Garden and my hubby built the fencing concept for me for mother’s day. What I love most about the fencing is that I can see my flowers and edibles from my kitchen and dining area. Running the wood horizontally and the chicken wire between gives me a wide view of the bounty. This isn’t my first rodeo, after all.

Oh, the lessons I’ve learned! Until I claimed the backyard as my domain, I initially felt obligated to tuck the garden waaaay out back, about three connected hoses of distance. Before long, ‘I’m just going to rely on Mother Nature’ was my mantra and the jury-rigged fencing surrounded a new tree (huh?) and oh-so-many meadowy weeds. Much knowledge has been gained since then.

Here are some well-earned tips, challenges overcome, battles lost and stories. Dig in!


  • journal to track plantings
  • shovel with sharper edging to dig out transplants and pesky weeds
  • good dirt: all-natural for edibles
  • easy water access
  • gloves: softer pair for sowing seeds / tougher pair for trimming big bushes and prickly plantings (e.g., roses, Bells of Ireland)
  • garden tubs for weeding, carrying new plants, harvesting
  • wagon for pulling tools, dirt, landscape cloth, seeds, etc.

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