Presidents Message

Maplewood Garden Club’s President Monthly Message

May 2024


HERE COME THOSE MAY FLOWERS! Well…for most gardens this is true. For mine, not so much.

THIS YEAR I CONTRACTED to have my house painted. My house will be 100 years old in 2027, and she needs some loving care. (I like the romance language way of gendering inanimate objects, and by that method, houses are female.) My strategy is to try to do one large house project every year to keep up, and this is the year for the exterior to be the focus. When I bought her in 2017, the owner was just doing a flip, and quickly slapped a coat of paint over everything. God only know when she was last painted with any attention to detail. Before they could even begin painting, she needed a great deal of carpentry work to remove all the rotted sills and missing shingles. To complete the metaphor of the house as a she, she’s getting a new dress just in time to celebrate her birthday!

BUT WITH THE SANDING, SCRAPING, and painting comes a great deal of tromping all over flower beds, snapping of bush branches, and although tarped, inevitable paint scraping debris in the beds surrounding the house. The house will look great, but the plantings around it look traumatized.

ONCE THE PAINTERS have completed their job, I have my work cut out for me. Many plants have been walked over so many times, while hidden under tarps, there is no hope for their survival. Others, although bruised and broken, will probably make their way back with some loving attention. Soil needs to be skimmed to remove any paint since it may contain lead. (The painters were very careful, but bits remain.) I also need to dig up and aerate the soil since it has been pounded down so completely by workmen’s boots.

Lisa's House

ALL-IN-ALL, I MUST ACCEPT that this year my plantings will not be as lush and abundant as they were last year. Looking on the brighter side, this gives me the chance and motivation to replant using native plants. As I’ve mentioned before, I want to extend the garden to the whole of the front, removing the lawn in the process, so now I can do that with fresh eyes as to what stays and what goes. And the timing couldn’t be better since the Plant Sale is coming up! I may need one of the biggest wagons to haul all I want to buy!

HIRING CREWS TO PAINT our houses or replace a fence, to do any work on our homes, always takes a toll on the gardens we’ve so carefully cultivated. But it can’t be helped. Maintenance must be done, and workmen will never be mindful of where they step. All we can do is grin and bear it, and nurse those sweet plants back to health after their trauma is over. So out to the garden I go, with renewed vigor to get everything beautifully thriving for a Centennial birthday party in 2027!


~ Lisa Lackey