Garden Stories – Episode One: The Secret Garden

Spring has definitely made herself comfortable here in Lower Bavaria.  If you happened to read my previous post, I mentioned how I was going to tackle our garden  a.k.a. backyard.  I have and this is my progress so far.

This one area we have always had.  It is just a small flower bed up against the back of the house.  We have our table, chairs and barbecue in this area.  There really was not much for me to take on here.  As you can see everything is coming up nicely, with the exception of the lavender.  Still waiting to see if those will come around.  My succulent is doing amazing of course.  It always does.

This next area is in the opposite corner of the yard, and I wish I would have gotten a picture before I dug in removing 7 years of leaf and debris pile up and miles of ivy.  Oh, and one dead mouse (actually, truth be told, I had to have my husband remove that poor critter for me).

I was happy to find tulips and daffodils, just struggling for air to show their beautiful blooms.   This one made its way through the debris to welcome spring!

Here are more photos of this secret garden spot.  Some is cleaned out but  I still have much to uncover.

I was thrilled to find out there were raised flower beds along the perimeter.

This next picture is taken standing in the area I have already cleared.

Believe it or not, there is a  little pond in front of those trees on the left hand side.

I do hope to have most of it cleared this weekend.

Here is why this garden area is so important to me.  This winter, my husband showed me photos of this yard in all its glory.  His mom tended to this space, nurturing it.  She planted everything, even the trees I’ll show you in another update. I will scan some of the photos soon and share with you what this area used to look like.  Unfortunately, when she fell ill, the garden was neglected too.

We spend so much time outdoors in this yard and it has been such a shame to see it covered up.  She grew vegetables here as well.  I have noticed that tenants have thrown the dirt from empty flower pots in the past and grass has also covered much of the area.

It is a big job, and I don’t know much about gardening, but I want to honor her memory so much with this space.  I never got to meet  her.  I do feel as if I am getting to know this wonderful woman, who is my mother-in-law when I work in the yard.  Also, I really enjoy working in the yard.

I hope you’ll cheer me on, by coming back often to check on my progress.





Making a fresh start with the arrival of Spring

With the arrival of spring I am finding a renewed energy.  I never seem to keep resolutions when I make them at the beginning of the year.  When spring rolls around I have a renewed discipline to implement good changes.  This season I am very excited to share a few of these goals or probably more appropriately called, projects with you.

My first and most exciting change will be outside in our garden (aka backyard).  I am thrilled with this opportunity to clean it out and enjoy this beautiful space.  It is unusual to have as we live in a 6 family apartment building, which is pretty standard here.  Being we live in the roof apartment and do not have the luxury of a balcony as the other residents do.  I have been given full reign to do and use the yard to my liking.  We have always set up a small table, chairs and our weber grill in one corner but now we can expand.

Second, I am ready to say goodbye to most of my wardrobe.  I am ready to create my first capsule wardrobe.  The goal is to fit my wardrobe into one carry on suitcase.  I would love to be able to throw all my clothes in one piece of luggage and take off at the drop of that hat.  We do plan on traveling quite often this spring and summer.  I am tired of holding on to clothes that don’t quite fit right but feel guilty getting rid of them. Some I keep for sentimental reasons. Surprisingly, I find myself tired of shopping.  It is a never-ending cycle  that ends up in spending money I would rather use in other ways.  I don’t know about you, but I always end up wearing a select few pieces of clothing anyway.

This will be the hardest project for me, especially emotionally, but I embrace this new challenge.

Lastly, I will be freshening up the walls in most of the rooms in our home.  A little touching up with a fresh coat of paint can do wonders to brighten up a room and ours do need just that. Oh,  and we need a new light fixture in our kitchen as the old one decided to leave us.  Still looking…


Enjoy the newness that comes with spring.  I find the little buds of the new flowers peeking through the ground, refreshing and in some way, motivating me to do the same. Blossoming beautifully with a renewed energy.








The Kindness of Others

Sometimes when one least expects it, a random act of kindness occurs.  It is quite possible, God just knows when we need a little extra kindness in our lives.  I’m not going to question why, just enjoy the feeling this particular act brought out.   Here is what happened, the sweet deed that truly opened my eyes in a way I never could have imagined.

It has to do with the photo above.  I nanny part-time for an english speaking family.  It was one of those jobs that just happened.  Interestingly enough, as a young teen, I babysat often.  As an adult, I ran a private day care.  I have always enjoyed helping parents by watching their children and I finally learned one of the reasons why.

One of the young girls I watch, told her Mom that she wanted to get me a “present”.  She used her own money and biked to the market, took her findings home, to create a gift for me.   Handmade with beautiful spring flowers in a pretty wood container that she decorated herself.  After they dropped my beautiful gift off, I notice a little hand written card tucked inside.  She wrote a little note. It basically says how much she and her sibling love spending time with me.

How sweet is that? She didn’t have to do that.  There was no special occasion.  It truly melted my heart. I feel like this says a lot about the way she is being raised but I am not going to analyze what prompted her to do such a thing.  I am just thankful that I have this family in my life and that it opened my eyes to how I need to let go and not worry how others perceive me, something I have struggled with for a long time.  I tend to hold adults at a bit of a distance and not let thim totally “in” for fear of getting hurt.  I realized when I am with children I am truly myself.  When I am with adults I tend to try to always be impressing them.  Looking “perfect” and acting “perfect”, saying what I think people want to hear.  If I am acting, then I am not being myself.

All this learned from a homemade basket of flowers and a young girl that was just being kind.