Getting a divorce...losing my garden

Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

I hope you'll all forgive me...I just feel I need to say this. The people on this forum are the ones that I know best here at DG.

A couple days ago I came to the final decision that I would have to divorce my husband of 16 years. It was a very tough decision to make. There are so many things that weigh very heavily on me right now--finally giving up on the love of my life (because he's damaged beyond what I can fix); breaking up our family; moving to a smaller, dumpier place (so we can afford it). And there's one more small thing that doesn't seem like it should matter to me when you put everything else into perspective, does.

When I lose our house (which neither of us can afford to keep) I will lose my garden. The new place I am considering for me and the kids seems our ONLY option right now (we have two dogs, and I will not separate the kids from their dogs for the sake of living in a better place that doesn't allow pets). The yard is barely big enough to erect a pup tent in. It's in town, not in our beloved country setting. It's the best I can do.

I know it seems trivial to be mourning my garden at a time like this, but when I look at the plants I so lovingly tended these past two summers here, it breaks my heart. I came here to let out my feelings about it because I thought perhaps some of you would understand, and maybe even relate. I hope you'll forgive my self-indulgence. I just needed to get this out.

Thanks, and *hugs*

Thumbnail by KaylyRed
Bensenville, IL(Zone 5a)

KaylyRed - I know we don't really know each other but have spoken a couple of times on different threads, including this one.

First, I am so sorry you have to go through this. I'm sure this has been an agonizing decision for you but you have to do what is best for you and your kids and what you feel you need to do in your heart. I'm so glad you are keeping your beloved dogs as they are your family too.

Your garden is beautiful but I'm sure you will find a way to have something in the way of plants/small garden to give you pleasure at your new place. We all know that gardening is very therapeutic for the soul and that will be something you will need to help you through things. But of course you have all of us here at DG who are always willing to lend an ear and support.

You know your friends here will always be happy to send you plants to begin anew.
Feel free to put me on your "friends" list and Dmail me if you need anything...or just to talk.


Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Kayly -- you and your family will be in my T's & P's

I also agree with Cheryl -- even if you don't have a lot of room ... you'll find space even for a small version of a garden.
I know when i move, i always take some of my favorite plants. We tend to put our hearts and souls into our gardening .... and sometimes we just have to start over again.


Nilwood, IL(Zone 5b)

Kayly, You are not the only one that has gone through this. In fact I have been through it more than once and may someday have to again. I have a disabled husband who is 80 yrs old and me 64. If the worst happens,Iwill have to leave 300 hostas and that many preinnials such is life I guess. I wish you the best and wish that I had had all these nice people on DG to talk to before. They have helped me through a lot of things and like Cheryl says D Mail me if you need anything. HUGS BEV

south central, WI(Zone 5a)

I am so very sorry. Do you have folks close to you that could adopt the plants, until you get settled? Maybe a few around the steps or in the corner by the "pup tent". I would never leave my 4 paws so Really understand that choice.
Please stay here, so that we can support and maybe throw a gazillion options your way.
Hugs from me and the 4 x4 paws.

South Milwaukee, WI

KaylyRed, I am so sorry. : ( I know from your pictures that you have a beautiful yard. I'm so sad and my heart goes out to you. You'll be in my prayers.
I want to send you out a big hug.

Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

I thank you all so much for your sweet words and kind offers. It really does help. It seems I may be here with the kids a bit longer than I originally thought (although my husband is still moving out, of course), but that doesn't make it any easier. At least I might get to see the fall colors here one last time.

Again, from the bottom of my heart, thanks for listening and for being the great bunch of people I've come to know you as. *group hug*

Madison, WI

I am so very sorry for you and the kids to have to go through this.
Although a garden may seem just a garden to some, it's your creation.
Enjoy it while you can and get ready for a new beginning, whatever it will
turn out to be, in your life and the garden.
Gardens heal as they grow, at least it worked for me. And if I have anything
that might fit in the new beginnings just send me a note.

Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

Well, it's official--the kids and I are moving. In fact, we're moving Monday. (What a day to move!)

I plan to divide a few plants to take with me, and maybe even take some entirely (where they won't leave a gaping hole.)

Has anyone had success moving delphs? Mine bloomed a second time this season and now they look very dormant. I suppose all I can do is try. They're one of my favorites in my garden, and I feel very sad about losing them. Still...I can grow them again.

This is the hardest thing I've ever done. :(

(GayLynn) Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

Oh Kayly, so very sorry to hear of what you and your children are going through. I know we don't know each other but my heart goes out to you. Divorce is never easy. So glad to hear that you will be taking a few of your plants with you. A new beginning for you and for your garden. Nurture both and watch it grow. I have also been through this before, and my daughter and I had to leave every thing we owned at the time behind and start over again in a different state. At the time it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do... now it is the best thing I have ever done. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your children.

Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

Just an update...

The house with the tiny yard that I originally planned to take turned out to have a basement full of toxic black mold. Originally, the landlord wouldn't let me see the basement because he said he was repairing the stairs. When I got there to sign the lease a few days later I checked out the basement and discovered the mold. The landlord swore it was just "paint coming off the walls," but I had it checked out and it was indeed mold. The basement, which he claimed was dry, also leaked like crazy when we got a little rain just before I was prepared to move in. I backed out of the lease due to the health hazard. There was no way I was going to move my kids into that house under those conditions.

Fortunately, fate smiled upon us. I hit Craigslist desperate to find another house and there it was...a 3 bedroom house for rent with a large fenced in backyard. I had to pay extra to keep my dogs (and I also had to do some fast talking that included providing references for the dogs!), but it worked out. There's even a chance we may buy the house after a year or so, and the owner said that I could apply my security deposit plus the extra monthly rent I'm paying for the dogs to the downpayment on the house if I end up buying it.

I now have an enormous backyard that looks like it once housed some fabulous gardens. It's looking a bit rough right now, but it should be a fun challenge to clean up. I'll post photos soon. And I may be asking if some of you have seeds or divisions you'd like to share for my new project. :)

Thanks again for all the good wishes. DGers are the best!

Bensenville, IL(Zone 5a)

Kayly - So glad you found a house for you and your kids and 4 legged kids too! And a with a large fenced yard to boot! Sounds like you have a guardian angel watching over you. :-)) So happy to hear things are looking up! Looking forward to the pictures.

Glen Ellyn, IL(Zone 5b)

Fie upon the dishonest landlord!

south central, WI(Zone 5a)

SO glad that things are working out for you. Are you going to be able to take more of your plants with you? I think if you do a big scoop up of the delphs you should do OK. I cannot remember if they have tap roots, but certainly worth trying.
I am sure that there are going to be extra plants in your future...:)

South Milwaukee, WI

Great news !! I'm So Happy to hear that you got a better house! Sounds like things are looking up. Prayers do help.

Madison, WI

I am so glad for you and your kids. A good size back yard is a bonus for all of you :)

( Kim) Zion, IL(Zone 5a)

Kayly Red
I have been going though the same the love of my live the house in the county dogs No kid it has been 4 years and we are only seperated not even divorce I had told him if he wants a Divorce he payes I didn't want it. anyway I moved from Michigan back Home to IL. My family is here
I have been rentting a house and I have been putting all my outside plants in containers
and scents I started that I have seen all kinds of plants growing.
There is also a Thread on Container growing.
I moved To IL because of work and the Money I lived in Michigamme MI It should be its own state work is hard and little up so the best bet was come home
I am Ok No men in my life but I do Road Construction on 294-94 so most of the time I work12 hours a day. And Have no time for Men I wood like one but not till I am ready May not be we will see
Sorry If I got on this I hope that all will be happy for you and the Kids and here is Some Cookies I just took out of the Oven
They are called Honey Grams Hershey's Cookies Very Very Rich Just the way I like them all the Chocolate

Thumbnail by Dimmer
Bensenville, IL(Zone 5a)

Best wishes to you Dimmer. Cookies look yummy! Chocolate, the perfect comfort food! Well... that, mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese! And of course our gardens!

Middleton, WI(Zone 4b)

Kayly -- count on me for cuttings and splittings. I don't have a lot since we just moved in fall of 2006, but I wouldn't have my garden if it weren't for friends and family sharing their gardens with me. I would be glad to pass on the tradition.

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

So glad to hear that you saw the window the Lord opened for you and your children and four legged children. We have to push ahead now matter how hard it seems as the rewards are great.

I for sure would be more than happy to send seeds of what ever I have that you might like next year.

Suggestion make a special file on you computer of those of us who would like to send you something and when the times right drop us an e-mail (not dm) and make an inquire with us to see what we have.

I love being a part of sharing plants.

Blessings to you, your family and new beginnings.


Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

Thanks, everyone. I'll post those pictures soon. We're all moved in now (Internet finally reconnected) and the dogs and kids are enjoying the yard. I especially love the gigantic old red maple in our front yard. It may keep our dining room and foyer very dark and shaded, but it also keeps the house cool on warm days and it's just plain beautiful.

Dimmer, I'm sorry to hear of your problems, too. I've seen people grow some gorgeous container gardens, though, so I'm sure yours have been shaping up beautifully.

The cookies look delicious. I'd love to have one for real! hehe

Nilwood, IL(Zone 5b)

KaylyRed, Glad to hear you are doing good. BEV

Thumbnail by dragonfly62
Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

Here are some "before" photos of what looks like it was once a nicely landscaped garden here at my new place. All the "bones" are here--the paved walkways and the slightly raised beds. Now I just have to mix in some good compost and maybe add a bit of topsoil and start (slowly but surely) planting things. It's probably silly to plant when the house isn't actually mine yet, but...its' good for the soul, so I feel a need to do it anyhow. I'll take what I can from my own gardens and divisions from friends and I'll just make it work.

Lots of shade here, so I could use some shade garden suggestions! What have you folks had good success with growing beneath trees in fairly heavy shade? My gardens have always had at least part sun, so this is a bit new to me.

Thumbnail by KaylyRed
Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

This is the courtyard area beside the kitchen door.

Thumbnail by KaylyRed
Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

And looking out into the backyard...

Thumbnail by KaylyRed
Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

Well, okay...the photo above is more of a side view of the yard. I grabbed the wrong one. But it shows some of the landscaping which has become overgrown.

Here's some pretty heavy shade in a raised bed between the fence line and the walkway as you head out into the yard.

Thumbnail by KaylyRed
Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

There was apparently a pond here once upon a time.

Thumbnail by KaylyRed
( Kim) Zion, IL(Zone 5a)

Here is a crazy Idea of mine and have No idea if this will even work or if it can be done
I was looking at the pic and the stone walk way what do you think if you took a pressure washer and did the stone between the walk way and got all the dirt and grass out of the way
Its just a thought that might help you decide what to do and can you cut some of the branches off the trees might get more sun. I also rent here and that don't mine me doing things They have told me that in all the years that they lived they couldn't get grass in the back yard and I have been trying to grow it it niot thick but I will get some more grass seed at the store for sun and shade
I have no idea if this helps but I thought I send my 2 cents
Dimmer(AKA) Kim

Nilwood, IL(Zone 5b)

You could use some more hostas for your shade, Bev

Thumbnail by dragonfly62
Nilwood, IL(Zone 5b)

here is another arround a tree

Thumbnail by dragonfly62
( Kim) Zion, IL(Zone 5a)

I just typed in for full shade flowers and this is what I got
Foxglove,Columbine,Coralbells,Lilly of the vally,Impattins
Here is something I made this summer it was so easy and took an hour the hardes was try to thing what kind of flowers to put in cause its shade

Thumbnail by Dimmer
Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

This looks like a peony. Not sure how it's doing here, but the foliage seems to look healthy (despite being beaten down). We'll see what it looks like next year with some grow-through staking.

Thumbnail by KaylyRed
Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

I'm not sure what this is. Looks like someone cut it down, whatever it was. Anyone have a clue?

And Dimmer, I love your impatiens and the way you created the tippy pots. I'm definitely going to have to try that next spring.

Thumbnail by KaylyRed
Bensenville, IL(Zone 5a)

Kayly Red - Hard to tell in that last picture what was there. Your new yard definitely has lots of potential though. Looks like someone really cared about it at one time. Sad to see it go downhill like that. But, I think you will give it some tender care and grow lots of new things there... new beginnings in more than one way, huh? Hostas would be perfect and so easy to send you in spring. I think Heuchera divisions may be in order too!

Nilwood, IL(Zone 5b)

That last pics loks like it may be what is left of Ostrige Ferns. BEV Someone spell that for me thanks Bev

South Milwaukee, WI

Ostrich Fern or some kind of fern is what that does look like. They must have dried out. There is alot of potential there. It is really exciting!! Astilbes, lillies of the valley, lungwort, fox glove, and vinca, all - like shade.

Nilwood, IL(Zone 5b)

Thanks soap!!

Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

Medinac, I'm with you on the hostas, lungwort and other shade lovers. I've been thinking about corydalis, too. Maybe some epimedium for ground cover under the shrubs (which I think may be lilacs)? Dicentra is also one of my favorites. I hope I have enough light here to grow a huge old-fashioned bleeding heart like the one I had in my other garden. :)

Ferns, huh? I'll have to keep an eye on that area next spring. It's actually one of the sunnier spots in the yard, so if there are ferns there, and it turns out they're still alive, I'll likely move them into the shade. I certainly wouldn't mind some ferns.

For what it's worth, Quin the greyhound (and his little sis, Ella, who was off exploring when I took this) loves the new yard. We had only a small fenced area in our other yard, but this one has a privacy fence that's about a quarter of an acre. That makes for happy hounds!

Thumbnail by KaylyRed
Madison, WI

It seems that the area is pretty dry. So what you have are Ostrich ferns that gone dormant. They are not dead but if you don't keep them moist they will go dormat if don't get enough moisture.

I primarily garden in the dry shade on a slope. So here are my full-proof choices. Pulmonaria Mrs Moon is the one that beats them all in toughness and the rate of multiplication. An added bonus is that is comes out green from under the snow, blumes profusely and does not wilt during dry spells like some other. I don't water it at all.
As for the rough shade under maples, I have wild ginger that forms a carpet and looks good all summer. No supplemental watering there either. It just does not like to get hit by the sun directly and can't handle any foot traffic but it's a nice filler in between other shade lovers that does not crowd hostas, ferns or Solomon's seal for me. I'd plant Solomon's seal for the back drop - it's one of my favorites too. No help with water either. Uvularia grandiflora does well on it's own for me in the deepest of shade, but it does not spread but rather forms a nice clump, slowly though. These are all well behaved plants that you can keep to a small size area.

Of cause if you water, there's a whole more that will do well in the shade :)

(Jan) So Milw, WI(Zone 5b)

"Kayly"---Best of wishes to you in your new venture...the yard really does have a lot of potential and, like many others, I'm willing to share plants with you---when you're ready just let us know!!!

Hope to meet you (and other UM gardeners) next year at the RU!!!


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