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Monday, September 22, 2008

Memories of Green Hall

This fall, Pam/Digging is moving to a new garden, which is very exciting, but it means she is leaving her current garden, Green Hall, a garden that has a special place in the History of Garden Blogging.

It was at Green Hall that we gathered near the end of the first Garden Bloggers’ Spring Fling to rest, relax, socialize, and talk about gardening and garden blogging before our farewell dinner.

It was the perfect location, and Pam was the perfect hostess.

My first glimpse of Green Hall took place the day before that. Pulling up to the curb with MSS of Zanthan Gardens and Annie in Austin, I immediately recognized it.

The front yard garden with the fence, the agave, and the stone paving were all just like she had pictured them on her blog, imagine that! Near the front door were her pink and blue bluebonnets and one of her prized agaves, pictured above.

In the back, I saw Green Hall – the building, the lawnette, the blue bottle tree, the stock tank. It was wonderful to be there, finally!

Meeting Pam was like meeting an old friend
after reading one another’s blogs for so long and exchanging comments and emails. She’s the one who sent me the first invitation via email way back in December, and I quote, "...you've got to plan a visit! Why not come down for an early spring visit, let's say in March, before spring even comes to Indiana. That way you won't miss anything, and you'll get an early taste of springtime. I'm serious now...”

Yes, it turns out she was serious and she came up with the idea for the first of what is hopefully many Garden Bloggers’ Spring Flings.

It’s very exciting to move to a new garden. Pam will have new challenges, new plants, more space and apparently a different kind of soil.

I’ve moved to a new garden three times now, so I humbly offer this advice for Pam or anyone else moving to a new garden.

- Take along a few plants from your current garden, Pam, like those agaves, as if you would leave them behind. I saw some of the prices for those when I visited a few Austin garden centers. They are investments.

- Bring along all your fun garden ornaments, even the ones with faces.

- Start right away with a small gardening project, maybe around the entrance to the house, to make part of the garden "yours" from the beginning.

- Don't rush into any new major plantings or projects until you have had a chance to get a 'feel' for the garden. MSS said she spent almost a year observing her garden before she started making changes.

- Once you've gotten a feel for the garden, give it a name. Then, it is your garden, a specific place.

- Always remember that a new garden means new roots, new plants, new dirt, new spaces, new challenges, more fun!

I’m looking forward to seeing Pam's new garden, first through her blog and perhaps one day in person, and to following along as she makes this new garden her own. When she moves, I’m sure Pam will take along some plants and her garden decorations, along with many fond memories.

We'll take our memories with us, too.

Pam, best wishes for many blooms, bees, and birds in your new garden and thank you for sharing Green Hall with us and giving us such great memories there!

18 comments:

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

We'll all have to return to Austin in a few years to see her new garden. I so agree with your advice, that she should bring only a few plants along, including those Agaves. Of course if she does that, it'll be harder just to observe the new garden for year. I had to stuff the plants I brought somewhere, when I would have preferred to just observe. Containers are the moving gardeners friend.

dee/reddirtramblings said...

A sweet remembrance. Pam will love it, Carol. It's sad to see her leave it all behind although I know she'll love her new place too. Very good advice.~~Dee

Anna said...

Good Luck Pam!

I can relate to moving gardens. You've given great advice and for a gardener it's a must to get started right away.

Frances said...

Hi Carol, we all will follow along with Pam's move and remember her current garden with fondness. The hard part is waiting, I have never been able to do that myself even though I know it's the right thing to do.
Frances

Daphne said...

Interesting advice. I've never thought of naming a home garden. Maybe with my next garden I'll do that.

Good luck Pam. I know it will be fun and a lot of work.

John said...

I just love your blog...I need to take a mini vacation from work and do some reading...Love your pictures..Keep up the good work...

Lancashire rose said...

Lovely post Carol. We are all going to look forward to Pam's before and after photos.

bill/prairie point said...

There should be a Historical Marker placed there.

Robin Wedewer said...

Moving around is, I think, one of the reasons that more people don't garden. The investment in time, sweat and money is considerable. Heck, with all the moving we did with my husband's military career, that's the reason I didn't garden for so long.

Pam's move is well-timed and well-planned. It's a whole new exciting chapter in her gardening career. It'll be fun to watch.

Robin Wedewer
National Gardening Examiner
(and chicken lover)

Gail said...

Carol what a lovely post! Great suggestions! Pam was the first blogger I visited...I googled front yard gardens and somehow ended up at her blog. It's going to be a great adventure for Pam, and we get to go along for some of the ride.

Gail

Pam/Digging said...

Dear Carol, your post has made me a bit teary. You've written a fond farewell to my garden that I have not been able to bring myself to write, and I thank you for the gift of seeing my garden through another gardener's eyes.

At the risk of sounding maudlin, I'll just say that the friendships this garden helped me make are what I treasure most about it. And that's an intangible that I'm taking with me to the new place. Meantime, Bill's historical-marker comment is cracking me up. You guys are great!

Carol, thank you so much for this post, for coming to Austin last April, and for your friendship. I hope you and others will come to visit my new garden one day---or sooner, to see the "before" state!

P.S. I wrote a comment earlier, but it seems to have gotten lost in cyberspace. So if they both turn up, that's why!

Pam/Digging said...

Thanks too for the helpful advice, Carol. I am definitely taking along some agaves (yes, they are an investment) and some passalong bulbs and divisions (sentimental value). But so long as we still own Green Hall garden, it will be hard to restrain myself from raiding it for the new place, especially as we're moving soon. I expect to build a holding bed for the transplants and then---if I can make myself---wait for the garden to speak to me.

I'm not a very patient person sometimes. ;-)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Great advise Carol, but the waiting. UGH...the waiting.

TC said...

I bet leaving an established garden, especially one you've started from scratch, is probably very emotional. I know when I leave my gardens, I'll probably shed a few tears.

I wish your friend all the best.

Rose said...

What a wonderful tribute to Pam's garden, Carol! I haven't visited her blog very often--I don't know why--but I have seen so many references to it on your blog and others, and I remember seeing many photos of Green Hall from your Spring Fling. I'm going to have to go visit before she moves! Glad to see Pam's comment that she plans on taking more than just the agaves.

healingmagichands said...

As a former military wife who moved way too many times, I can attest that your advice is SPOT ON! It is especially true that you should start a small garden (you are right, by the entry is good) right away. I would also counsel establishing a kitchen door herb garden right away, and you can do this by moving pots of herbs and putting them outside your kitchen door. (Only do this if you are a cook, though)

The part about waiting for a while to do anything extensive is extremely important, especially if you are changing zones at all! If you are just moving across town, you still need to see where the water collects when it rains, how the light changes from day to day and season to season.

When Jim and I moved from San Francisco to Bremerton WA we actually moved my small compost pile as well as some favorite plants. You know you have a wonderful husband when he understands your need to move 33 gallons of compost because it contains all the flowers he sent you while he was overseas for a year!

Annie in Austin said...

You do write some sweet posts, Carol - this is a lovely tribute to a friend.

If there's a 'perfect hostess' gene, Pam has it. I'll bet it won't take long before she makes us feel as at home in her new garden as we do at Green Hall.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Cindy, MCOK said...

Carol, what a lovely tribute to Pam and her garden. I'm so glad the bloggers were able to enjoy Green Hall and its delightful environs. I know we all look forward to seeing what Pam creates in her new home!