Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Garden Gang: Mid-May 2021


Long time no see! 
May is traditionally a busy month for our family: Mother's Day, yours-truly's birthday, wedding anniversary - you know the gist. This year it got even busier since we started gardening. It isn't the absolute first experience for either of us, but first in a sense that we garden together living in the first ever house we owned together. 




Both Justin and I grew up with parents who were armature gardeners, and my folks still keep up with their vegetable garden which they successfully grow in the heart of Siberia. I remember my grandma's vegetable garden in Siberia and her fruit orchard in Ukraine where she lived for a few years during the early 1980s. I have to admit I wasn't much of a help, but I did some work and was around a garden and overheard my parents' conversations enough to pick up on basics. Justin had his own garden chores as a kid and teen growing up in Southern Ohio and remembers surprisingly much about it. It also helps that I was a container plant enthusiast for years, and had a variety of plants both indoor and outdoor, including things like herbs and veggies. Besides that, I had a dream of my own little garden, and I visited many public and private gardens, collected books about gardening, watched endless videos and programs. When we were finally ready to buy our own place, we zeroed in on this lovely condominium with a distinct English village feel to it (to us, seasoned Anglophiles, it's an unbelievable find!) surrounded by forest and beautiful mature garden, thinking that it's just perfect for us to start gardening. 



The amazing thing about our little cottage is that it already has an established garden with great bones, and we can just add to it, learning more and more as we go. If you have followed my blog for a while, you will remember that we lived in an old rented seaside cottage with gorgeously overgrown rhododendrons and wonderful underplanting all around. When we were looking for our own place, there were two things I was afraid I'd miss too much about our old cottage: the view of Puget Sound from every window and the gorgeous rhodies which bloom in all shades of pink and purple during the months of May and June. After a year and a half of living here (and what a year it was, us being totally homebound), I can honestly say that there is nothing I miss about the old cottage. Puget Sound is still there, just around the corner, and I can visit literally any minute. As for the rhodies, we have over ten around our little home! Ten beautifully blossoming rhododendrons, each in their time, from pale pink and coral, to bold pinks, lilac and deep purple, right at my doorstep. They were especially beautiful this year, after a long cool early Spring followed by a long dry and warm period. It worked like a charm - huge ka-boom! 



We even have this gorgeous royal iris in our yard - the same kind we had at the old cottage! Bonus: we felt ready to let our indoor cats go and explore the wilderness. (See Bagirka doing just that!) Long story short, they feel confident to play in our neighborhood, but always keep close to home.



Here I am, all dressed up in amazing tie-dye print, reminiscent of a May garden in full bloom. I chose this outfit for my birthday adventures going thrift-shopping with my daughter. (That's a subject for another blogpost I think since we've done a lot of thrifting and home decorating in May as well.) I turned 48 and am loving it! I don't know what's wrong with me guys, but I genuinely love getting older, it's exciting to me. It doesn't mean that there aren't any things that bother me, of course there are. It would be nice not to gain so much extra weight, for one, but I still hope that I'll get rid of some in the future. I'm not thrilled with the shape of my face and everything else going south, as you know. At the same time, I love my face and my body. After all, they are the only ones I have, and they serve me pretty well for the past 48 years, and I'm going to return the favor.





Justin came up with the name Garden Gang inspired by his favorite archeology British show Time Team (apparently, there is a children's book series by this title as well), and I'm adopting it to my writing about our little gardening adventures. I aim to write more or less regularly on this subject or as regular as I have something to share and time to do it, so in my first Garden Gang post I share our tiny but delightful garden in mid-May. There are many updates since that, but I'll share more some other time. Gardening with Justin is the best thing. It's so fun, joyful and therapeutic at the same time. There are times when I feel too tired, achy and oh did you know that my middle name is Double Impatients? That's confirmed by gardening as well. But at the end of a day, I feel happy. If I was a doctor, I would prescribe gardening as healing medicine.




Top, skirt, earrings, bag - Eloquii (different years)
Sunnies - Lane Bryant (old)
Sandals - Bionica (old)




12 comments:

  1. I'm so glad to hear you not only found the perfect cottage, but the perfect garden as well. And by the sound of it, you are both totally bitten by the gardening bug. I recognize the signs so well, as I've been there too! While my parents weren't gardeners, my paternal grandfather was. Apart from his garden, he also kept an allotment, and was very knowledgeable about plants. Fast forward many years later when it turned out I had inherited his gardening genes! Your garden looks heavenly, Natalia. Those Rhododendrons are amazing - how wonderful to have such a variety - and I can't get over the beauty of that bearded Iris! Sending loads of love xxx

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    1. Thank you so much, dear Ann! I am not surprised we both are bitten by the same bug, hehe, as we have so much in common! You have a gorgeous garden, my dear, and I have a lot to learn from you! Lots of love!!

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  2. Your garden is utterly magical, Natalia! It does look like an English planting scheme with the packed borders and riotious colour. I can't wait to see how it grows through the seasons. xxx

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    1. Thank you so much, Vix! Magical is exactly the atmosphere I'm going for both indoor and outdoor. Much love, my dear!

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  3. What a beautiful cottage and garden. I love the English vibes! Your tie-dye shirt is gorgeous and I love the skirt you wore it with. You look phenomenal!!!! Wonderful photographs. Seeing flowers always makes me happy....and that cat is just adorable.

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    1. Thank you so much, Ivana, so kind! Garden is a place where the whole family loves gathering, including cats! So many bees, butterflies and other bugs as well as birds to watch (or trying to catch :))... And recently we get a racoon visiting the surrounding area - it's fun seeing our cats watching her! Lots of love!

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    2. I can imagine that it must be exciting seeing a raccoon. Yes, gardens can be wonderful.

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  4. its just wonderful that you went from one rhodi garden into another! and what beautiful flowers they have!!
    and i love that your cats can go outdoors now - guess they love it too :-D
    gardening has brought me through the hardest times of my life - as you know already. but even the smallest discomfort is blown away after some hours of work in the garden......
    how did my blouse - which i wore for the interview for the design school in 1991 - came to you?? ;-D wore it with a white red label levis i bought in san francisco...... love this!
    xxxxx

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    1. Thank you, Beate! What can I say? Soul sisters, hence the blouse! ;))
      It's like a part of the old garden moved in with us! Cats are funny. One absolutely loves being outdoors in any weather, doesn't mind rain too much. Another one stays in when the weather is cool and gets out when it's warm and sunny. <3 <3 <3

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  5. Your new garden is simply beautiful and how wonderful that you all garden together. The rhododendroms are simply spectacular , they really must suit your climate. The cats must love being able to explore the outdoors. Enjoy that new home and garden my friend .
    Your outfit reflects the garden beautifully . So delighted you are back blogging my dear friend . xxx

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  6. Oh, what a beauty in that garden!The Rhodies are such a joy. We have a botanical garden near by, where they planted 85 different onces. It`s always a great moment when the open and spread all the magic colours round. Congrats to your birthday! Stay healthy and fine through the next year. I loved!!!!! the description of your body and feelings (everything going south, you know...!!!!) So what? As long as we are there its okay.Gardening helps much, more than other things do. Long walks are the same medicine, miss it so much, but can t do it anymore cause my husband is getting worse. Send love, Sunni

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  7. First-time commenter here.

    Your garden is beautiful! It must've been great to find somewhere with so many plants and shrubs already established.

    I know what you mean about the extra weight and everything going south. But I always tell myself I don't hate being older, it's society's attitude towards ageing that's the problem. Keep enjoying many more birthdays.

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