Minnneapolis, Minnesota, USA
December 06
I am a stay-at-home mom who also happens to be an avid writer and traveler. I studied French and International Relations at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, lived in France, and have wandered to over 30 countries. I reside in Minneapolis, MN with my husband and two young children. I currently write three blogs:, and and am a frequent contributor to


Thirdeyemom's Links
MAY 12, 2012 8:25AM

Sophia’s garden

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I have always truly believed in the importance of planting a seed, tending a garden and watching it grow. ¬†My grandmother had a large three-tiered garden at her Minnesota home during my childhood. ¬†I remember her love of flowers, especially the gorgeous lavender lilacs of springtime that would delight her home with fragrance. ¬†We ended up buying their home when they decided to move to Texas. ¬†I can’t remember if we kept the garden for long or not. ¬†I was very young at the time. ¬†However, eventually it turned into a rock garden with shrubs, rocks and weeds which resulted in my most detested Saturday chore: ¬†Weeding the garden.

My mother also loves flowers. ¬†She grew them mostly inside our house in what we called “the plant room“. ¬†The plant room was like a greenhouse that was attached to our home with glass windows surrounding all three corners, and a big long glass door that she would shut and lock on us so we couldn’t come in. ¬†Now that I’m a mother I completely understand the need of a special place to go for some peace and quiet. ¬†But back then, we hated the plant room except for the gorgeous flowers that my mom grew inside: Deep red hibiscus, birds of paradise and other tropical flowers. ¬†It was the perfect retreat away from three loud kids and a cold Minnesota winter. ¬†It was a place of beauty and peace.

Fast forward many years later and I have a yard and garden of my own.  I have always loved flowers and desperately wanted a garden but never quite had the time, especially with young children.  When we moved into our house six years ago, there was a large three-level garden in the front of the house, in various states of decay and weeds.  It was so terrible that I ripped everything out even though I was three months pregnant with my daughter Sophia, suffered severe morning sickness and had an unruly toddler on my hands.  But it was so ugly that it had to go.  I would give it an easy fix by planting annuals and receive the joy and pleasure of having flowers surround my home for three or four months straight.

For the last six years, I’ve done the same thing each May. ¬†Planted rows and rows of annuals: ¬†Multi-colored petunias, double begonias in hues of reds, pinks, and purples, coleus, and anything else with flowers all summer long. ¬†I had a gorgeous, flowery, colorful garden that never stopped to brighten my day for months. ¬†But then our large tree started dying and my shade garden began turning into a sun garden. ¬†Slugs invaded my garden as well due to my introduction of mini hostas along the front bed. ¬†I was frustrated because my flowery garden could no longer last through the summer. ¬†It was time for a change.

I wanted to experience this year by introducing perennials.  For a novice gardener, it sounded a little scary.  How would I know what to plant, where would I put them and how far apart?  What if it all turned into a huge weed garden again? 

Yet I made my decision that it was time to give it a whirl and this year I involved my daughter Sophia in the process.  I allotted her a small piece of garden for her to plant her own flowers.  It will be her responsibility this summer to water them, care for them and watch them grow.   Max has informed me that he would like to try a vegetable garden.  As soon as he is out of school, we will start planting.

Here are some photos of the beginnings of Sophia’s garden. ¬†Of course I forgot the name to half the plants already. ¬†Yet I’m hoping my friendly readers will chime in and let me know!

I can’t not mention my lovely hot pink bleeding hearts! ¬†

Blue or purple?  Forget-me-nots. 

A brand new rose bush.  I adore roses!

My newest addition…a rose plant! ¬†I had to have it when I saw her at the store. ¬†I’ve been tending her carefully and watching her bloom!¬†

Sophia’s fairy.¬†

Sophia and I also bought a mini bird bath and decided to be creative by filling it with cement and adding in glass beads. ¬†We will paint it with the words “Sophia’s garden” and place it alongside her fairy.

Making her garden’s art.¬†

It is only early May and we have a long way to go with her garden as well as mine. ¬†I haven’t yet decided on what I’ll plant in the front. ¬†But I can hardly wait! ¬†It is supposed to hit 80 degrees and summery hot tomorrow and Monday. ¬†I am ready to make our garden.

Stay tuned…

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