Spring 2022 and we are SO enjoying our beautiful backyard with the dry creek working great, deer still coming around, and everything green and lush. My favorite room in our house is still the screened porch, which we've been able to use three long seasons and more and that provides great views of all the backyard activity, including the concerts the birds provide daily. Life is good.







Lord willing and the creek don't rise...

We are just loving the dry creek we had put in last summer. We've seen it through three seasons now and I can't wait to see it in the spring. After a little snafu when we got four inches of rain in less than an hour just hours after the creek was finished (thankfully, the landscapers returned and quickly repaired the damage free of charge) the creek has been doing its job perfectly! Here are a few images from late fall 2021. The grandkids think the dry creek makes a great playground. And we've loved having the older boys help with the raking!



A fun backyard project

We are still loving our Missouri home and have recently made some big changes to the backyard here. To add beauty and control the flow of rainwater that sometimes threatens to get too close to the house, we had some major landscaping done in August of this year (2021). We're so pleased with how this dry creek and stairway turned out! Here's a little photo tour from start to finish. (Well, gardens are never truly finished, and we do hope to eventually add some plantings tucked in among the rocks.) 

The view from the dining room is so pretty!


Deer in the snow

The deer have been a constant delight (and an occasional annoyance when they eat the things we plant) but they are never more stunning than when it's snowing in our Missouri backyard. These shots are from late February 2021.






It's Snowing!


 
So happy to get a little snow on this January day. Not much of it stuck, but it sure was pretty coming down.

Living in the woods and loving it!

The woods to the west of us are just lush on this last day of July 2020. We've had lots of rain and the creek is full, which is just how I like it. (You can just see it if you peek beneath the trees.) I've surprised myself realizing that I'm more of a woods girl even than I was a prairie girl. 

The Wonders of a Screened Porch

We've never had a screened porch before, but I can tell you now that I don't ever want to be without one again! Our wish-list for a house in Missouri had a covered porch on it, but we got so much more in this glorious space high above the back yard.Not only is there a ceiling fan and screens all around, but since we're protected in a "valley" at the bottom of a hill, we have very little wind, and with our wide eaves, we can sit out here, even when it's pouring rain, and barely get damp.

My houseplants made the trip from Kansas in the back of our van and seem no worse for the wear. In fact, they love Missouri's humidity. It's been hot, hot, hot, and yet here on the screened porch, it's been wonderfully comfortable morning and evening for us to sit out here and dream.
And of course, these two sweet girls (and their three boy cousins) are who we dream about...and the REAL reason we are loving everything about living in Missouri!

Our "Gardens" in Missouri

Gardening in Missouri is going to be very different! Our back and side yards are woods, which we love, and there are slopes and hills and ridges and creeks that we never had to deal with in our Kansas gardens. We've decided we'd rather look at the dozens of deer and other wildlife who roam through our yard than worry about the critters eating hundreds of dollars worth of plants, so any pots we have will have to hang high or be close to the house and filled with deer-resistant selections. 

We'll show you more of that wonderful screened porch you get a glimpse of at right in another post, but these are the two spaces we have to work with: a patio with a long view up the sloping backyard (most of which is owned—and thankfully mowed—by the neighbor at the top of the hill.
For these "kids" raised on the Kansas prairie, having woods and lush vegetation is a whole new experience! We're delighted to be learning how to garden in the shade of Missouri woods! It'll be an adventure!


Leaving our garden to a new family

I let it "slip" in my last post that we'll soon be moving from our beloved Kansas in July 2019! We have loved living here in Kansas whether country or city, in small towns and large. But our hearts are torn because all our kids and grandkids live far away.

As hard as it will be to leave our native state, we want to be part of our grandkids' lives, and most of them live in Missouri, so we are packing up and moving to the southeast corner of that beautiful state. Our house has sold to a wonderful family—friends of ours from our church—which makes it so much easier to leave the Kansas house and yard we've enjoyed so much.

We're buying a house in a new town (smaller than Wichita) and we're excited to explore a new kind of gardening. I got to check off the #1 item on my wishlist with this lovely wooded backyard that will soon be ours.

Between the shade and the deer who frequent the neighborhood, I may not be able to get anything to grow, but what a lovely tradeoff. And who knows? I may discover some shade-loving, deer-resistant, mosquito-repelling flowers to fill our pots in this new place. If you garden in Missouri, I'd love to know what you grow in the shade that the deer will leave alone.
Missouri will likely inspire a new garden blog, and of course, I'll post a link here when that happens. We've loved our Kansas prairie gardens and they'll be part of our memories forever, but we're happily moving to the next chapter, which we trust will be every bit as full of love, laughter, and pretty growing things.

Clematis in June are bustin' out all over!


The clematis in the backyard is in full bloom and so pretty this year. We once had a red clematis mixed in with that white, but it seems to have died off. Still, the dark purple Clematis Jackmanii and the white Clematis Huldine are so pretty and give the yard a great summery vibe. We didn't plant nearly as many pots this year since we'll be moving next month (to Missouri!) but these flowering perennials do wonders to brighten up the landscape!
I'm especially pleased that FINALLY, the hellebores seem to be established and are full of blooms!

Full-on Spring in our Yard

We returned from a two-week trip at the end of April to find it's full-on spring in our yard! Especially the side yard to the east of our house where the lilac bush and snowball bush are in full bloom and the Rose of Sharon is greening up. In the distance, you can see the apple tree almost finished blooming!



 This little redbud tree we transplanted from a little sapling volunteer in the front entryway garden has come into its own in the backyard. I think now that it doesn't stand in the shadow of the pear tree we had to cut down, it will really thrive!


Finally, a little snow!

It hasn't snowed more than three inches in Wichita since March of 2016! We didn't get three inches, but it snowed enough on February 19, 2019 to make everything look sparkly and white. I always say, if it's going to be cold, it might as well be pretty with snow! But we're both eager for spring flowers!

Fall 2018

We had an early freeze on October 14th and that was the beginning of the end for many of our plants. But the frost on the last roses of summer was gorgeous!