Think about what makes you happiest – the one thing guaranteed to get your heart racing and a big grin spreading across your face. Got it? Good. Now do that thing. Yes, today.

Without question, the most soul-nourishing activity that has become me is tending to all my organic babies that are presently dancing their way out of the ground in my backyard. I LoVe doing yard work... and I love marveling at the beauty that it creates around me.

For the first two years in our humble abode, I painfully stared at the dreadful sight in my backyard. A steep slope that has never had attention - covered in orange clay, ugly tree roots, and welcomed patches of weeds that provided the only source of life back there. I HaTeD it! Mr. Agrestic and I discussed an extravagant landscaping plan, which involved a winding row of retaining walls, steps climbing the hill, gorgeous plants, etc. We even had a landscape designer come over to work up a plan.

Then the real estate market fell, as did an infamous, not-so-small tree in Cades Cove... And so gone, were my big aspirations of a peaceful outdoor living space.
But fret not my friend... give this girl a shovel, some soil, a few plants, and a challenge... and big things can happen. A dear friend once told me that "it is in our challenges that we grow" ~ and that's what happened to me... and that's also what has happened to my little sweethearts on the hill ever since -- just growing and growing. A poetic, messy sampling of Virginia blue bells, autumn ferns, oakleaf hydrangeas, lady-in-red hydrangeas, dreamcatchers, yarrow, peonies, forsythia, a dappled willow tree, and many many more, all complimented by patches of gorgeous moss sprawling throughout.

My most fragile me will forever live in the roots of all that work... I did much of it during the darkest days of Mr. Agrestic's accident. A time when our whole world was crumbling upon us, and I was overwhelmed with responsibilities. During weeks of my broken husband sleeping, exhausted from high doses of pain medicine, and mostly confined to our bedroom ~ as my sweet toddlers (1 and 2 years old) would take their beloved three hour naps in harmony, I would occasionally be lucky enough to find a moment of me time and escape to my little blooming heaven. I would bathe myself in that giant dirt pile, and felt amazingly beautiful covered in sweat and a small sheet of the Earth. Today, I get to relive the peace and serenity that was created back then each and every time I step outside ~

To someone else, the end result may not have the same appeal as lovely hardscapes winding around the hill, framing all of nature's work ~ but dig-by-dig, slowly but surely, it's turning into my little masterpiece. And I know with confidence that the pride and peace I feel staring at it now far exceeds how I would feel marveling at someone else's handy work. It is my little breath of fresh air each morning as I step outside to say "Hello" and see how all my little peanuts have grown through the night.

I also have a new love for dreary, rainy days (such as today) ~ my heart keeps repeating "think about your sweethearts on the hill!"

So that, my friend, without question is the one thing guaranteed to get my heart racing and a grin spreading across my face.

I'm sharing a few photos of some of my little sweethearts dancing their way out of the ground ~

Virginia Blue Bells new to the garden last spring

Linton Roses rising in the sun

One of my most beloved plants to watch grow in the spring are my 
Autumn Ferns. These creepy, hairy, wormy fingers start unrolling
and turn into one of the most decorative features in the garden

Okay, so I didn't plant these… and they're not even 
organic ~ But I sure think they're cute enough to 
get some coverage on here

Blossoms from my Weeping Cherry Tree

More creepy fern fingers ~

My dogwood tree in bloom

So what is it that makes you happiest?


  1. I love your new blog. Thank you for sharing snippets of your life and your amazing photographs :)

  2. Thank you for the kind words Mrs. Meyer ~ you are very much a part of the inspiration that got me to start this little project. Can't wait to share my other little snippets ~


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