from Pat DeSocio, who says, "I moved from two acres in Locust Valley, New
York, where I built and cultivated a variety of gardens (perennials, shade,
flowering shrubs around a long rock wall, cutting, heather-around a
windmill-winter flowering) for 20 years, to an apartment with a small backyard.
My daughters left for college and I lost my house during the recession.
I was selling real estate and my bills were the same, but nothing sold in
2008-2010. I was heartbroken, as my renovated house of 20 years had six sets of
doors that opened to my gardens, which had grown and changed and evolved over
20 years like my children.
I brought some plants with me, inluding my
Jack-in-the-pulpit, hardy hibiscus, a few scoops of cimicifuga, ginger, and
some amazing hostas. I've started building gardens here. Although it is a
rental, it is my home and the back yard is my sactuary. My shade garden is
thriving, my caryopterous is abuzz with happy bees, my portulaca pops up
everywhere in the cracks, my containers have nautia (like elephant ears) tubers
from the grocery store and black taro from India via Ebay. We have an organic
garden with everything and I share the abundance with my friends and neighbors.
I went back to my old house recently because I felt
strong enough, but it looked overgrown and unkempt. I have recently beenfeeling
blessed by the freedom I have come to appreciate. I am unburdened by the high
property taxes and the expense and work involved in maintaining my house,
gardens, and pool. I've realized that a garden is a living thing that you live
and care for, and when you move, it moves with you. It is spiritual."