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Very Special Garden Tended by Very Special Gardeners

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Gardening is a very relaxing hobby.  It requires planning, physical labor, continuous upkeep, and endless enjoyment.

Today I will share with you the accomplishments of two senior citizens, who shared this wonderful hobby of garden tending.

These two folks worked tirelessly to maintain their yard and garden in a top shape throughout the growing season from early spring to late fall.

They were my husband’s uncle and aunt.

They bought this property in a very nice neighborhood, while both already in their sixties.  The back yard was very steep, filled with overgrown trees and shrubs, and there were hardly any flower beds.

So, they formed a plan to get this property looking the way they envisioned it.  They kept working on it into their early nineties, making it more beautiful than ever.

Our uncle passed away few years ago, but our aunt kept it up all by-herself.  She would have been 92 this Fall (she just passed away last month), but during the spring she still planted all the flowers you will get to see in this post, kept her home tidy, cooked and baked on regular basis, not only for herself, but also for her family and friends.  She loved traveling with her daughter not just to the grocery store or church, but to Hawaii, Germany, Virginia, and local parks and resorts.

As my tribute to them both, I will share with you today the fruits of their labor, which brought them lots joy and pride, and kept them young at heart.

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This is their beautiful home, but don’t stop here…please review the rest of the post just to be amazed by how much time and effort they invested in their back yard, over the years.

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Beautifully landscaped, and very inviting entry to their home.  Don’t you agree?

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These are the major flower beds in the upper back yard.  Notice the stone retaining walls neatly constructed in front and behind the plants, and around the side shrubs.

Uncle Alex loved working with stone and cement.  Later on in this post I will display the other retaining walls he constructed with his bare hands, and very simple tools.

Aunt Elisabeth adorned them all with myriad varieties of her gorgeous plants.

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Did you notice the personal touch everywhere in these flower arrangements.  How about the collection of shells her grandsons gave to her, and she found a special place and purpose for them. Nothing was ever wasted….she was a very smart and frugal lady.

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Please take a close look at this stone work, with so much precision and art.  How the stone colors are strategically spread out throughout the walls, as well as proper drainage pipes are incorporated into the wall, to add to its stability.

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These stone ramps were constructed for future use to carry stone up to the upper levels, to continue with sculpting the hill with additional retaining walls.

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Have you noticed how these retaining walls were built around the trees, to preserve them, and at the same time to use them for additional support for the walls.  Pretty clever I would say.

Can you believe all the time and effort spent by one person to accomplish this task? Unfortunately, from what I can see in the picture above, his plan was left unfinished…..the supplies were ready to use, but the creator was no longer available.

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Here is another work station left behind unfinished….a vegetable garden which used to flourish with abundance of varieties of vegetables, and surrounded with more flowering plants, yet no longer utilized.

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The “I love my garden” plaques are a perfect example of aunt Elisabeth’s joy with plants outside and inside her home.

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I captured these little mementos inside their home, which confirms Alex’s and Elisabeth’s warmth and love of family and nature.

The doll’s name is Heidi, and she owned quite a wardrobe…always dressed up for the occasion.

She was part of the family ever since I can remember.  I believe she filled the gap of an empty nest, once their daughters grew up, and moved on to fulfill their life plans.

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These two plaques captured my attention as well, as the quotes confirm their family values.

There are words of wisdom about marriage, and the one in German is (I believe…) about the power of God in our daily life.  Hopefully someone will be kind enough to translate it for us, in the comments below the post.  Thank you.

One of our readers was kind enough to take the time to translate from German to English:

“Sheltered by good powers, we are able to face whatever comes our way. God is with us in the evenings and mornings, never failing to greet us each new day”. 

What a wonderful lesson for all of us in the above words of wisdom.  Thank you so much!!

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I intentionally saved these three pictures to complete my post with.

The date on the stone wall signifies the beginning of their garden project.

The hanging hats are a symbol of completion of their task.

The empty bench they left behind for others to occupy, appreciate, and enjoy their accomplishments.

I hope you were patient enough to read this post in its entirety, learned from it, and enjoyed it.

Farewell uncle Alex and aunt Elisabeth; you will always remain in our hearts.

2 thoughts on “Very Special Garden Tended by Very Special Gardeners”

  1. Larissa says:

    What a beautiful tribute for our Uncle Alex and Aunt Elisabeth! I was so happy to have seen Aunt Elisabeth in July, and having her know I was to marry a wonderful man in her home country. Your pictures sparked a lot of happy memories, and it truly is impressive all the work they did for the stone wall and gardens. I especially have fond memories with Heidi! To help with the translation of the German plaque:

    Sheltered by good powers, we are able to face whatever comes our way. God is with us in the evenings and mornings, never failing to greet us each new day.

  2. Suburban Grandma says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your loving memories of aunt Elisabeth. Yes, she was looking forward to the trip to Germany to visit her family and attend your wedding. She will be there in spirit. I also appreciate the translation of the plaque words of wisdom. I will incorporate it into the post. You are so kind for taking the time to read the whole post and to assist with translation. Have I wonderful wedding!! I wish I was able to be there in person….:-(

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