Five Years Of Great Garden Ideas

It is said — by whom, actually I don’t know, however let’s not get bogged down in details — that great things come in fives.

And if you don’t want to take my word for it, consider:
• Five fingers for the average hand; five toes for each foot
• The Blazers’ starting lineup
• The Jackson Five
• The Dave Clark Five
• “Five Easy Pieces”
• No. 5 in the filmed-in-Oregon “Short Circuit” (“No. 5 is alive!”)
• Beethoven’s Fifth
• The Fifth Dimension
• Cinco de Mayo (much more fun than Seis de Mayo, right?)
• The Lakers’ starting lineup.

Of course, not everything that comes in fives is great. Or this season, even decent.

And it’s fair to consider that, if there had been five horsemen of the apocalypse, maybe they would have been nicer fellows.

Five Years Of Great Garden Ideas

This obsession with five is not random, because on June 18, 2011, thanks to the encouragement of Homes & Gardens editor Peggy McMullen and features managing editor Jolene Krawczak, we wrote our first column.

That means we’ve been doing this for five years, writing about 130 columns.
And, it is safe to say that, out of the 130, there have not been five easy pieces.

It’s hard to believe we have been writing this column for five years.

I remember that, for our first column project, I faced Good Neighbor Mike’s front porch with brick.

Unluckily, Mike has moved, but the porch lives on in his memory.

Time flies! A lot has happened in those five years.

Five Years Of Great Garden Ideas

When we wrote our first column, we had one grandchild, and now we have four.

Sadly, our little cat Lucy and wienerdog Maizie passed away.

Woodpeckers brought down the gazebo in the back garden, dry rot destroyed our front porch (which we rebuilt), and I went from brunette to blonde. OK, maybe that’s gray.

Some of my favorite columns involved having our daughter Madeline and daughters-in-law, Dawn and Andie, help with our columns. Our cat Buster became quite the media sensation in our columns on good kitty bouquets and natural Easter egg dyes. I think the latter went viral, and Martha Stewart’s people even contacted us about using it in her blog, although I think they eventually decided not to.

Speaking of Martha Stewart, our son Chris re-created a Martha Stewart Living magazine cover with me on it for Mother’s Day. Pretty funny, if you ask me, since I have been teasingly called Marcia Stewart more times than I can remember.

Five Years Of Great Garden Ideas

Other favorite columns include stone mosaics, our back garden stone/concrete steps, refinishing old furniture, rebuilding our front porch (only because it’s finished!), making copper leaves for Good Neighbor Al and Cathie’s trellis , decorating tops of pots with stones, anything to do with decorating gourds and pumpkins for Halloween, covering the Association of Northwest Landscape Designers and Garden Conservancy garden tours, the O’Byrnes’ hellebores, and growing unexpected plants in the Northwest.

And, certainly, it goes without saying that any mentions of Weird Uncle Gary, especially his gnome collection, have a place in our hearts.

My least favorite column was rebuilding the front porch because it involved, well, rebuilding the porch and pushed back plans to rebuild our vegetable garden, which we still haven’t gotten around to doing (because we were too busy rebuilding the porch).

Five Years Of Great Garden Ideas

The porch kind of took over our lives for a couple years and became known as the front porch from Hell.

Though we have enjoyed writing the last 130 columns, I have to admit I’m getting a little burned out on creating projects on deadline.

Frankly speaking, I am looking forward to writing about interesting plants, beautiful gardens, garden tips and sharing other people’s projects as well as our own, which just might include that elusive vegetable garden.