Replanting and Replenishing

5

When Rhonda’s husband nixed her idea of painting the house pink (like Monet’s), she painted the wrought-iron  garden furniture instead. The wisteria had been growing up a pine tree, and when the tree died, Rhonda had an arbor built to support the vine. Although the yard was overgrown when Rhonda and her husband moved in, it had once been its previous owner’s pride and joy. Old-fashioned plants such as sweet shrub, ginger lilies, Lenten roses, camellias, smilax, and a magnificent wisteria had survived years of neglect and were worked into the new design. The soil was also in good condition, and Rhonda continues to improve it. Every fall the beds are raked clean, and she applies a thin layer of composted cow manure over the soil. A week or two later, she has fresh pine straw put down to protect the plants over the winter.