Steve Hayward from Sandy, Utah is proof that your loved ones can only hold off from loving gardening for so long, and his wife Cindy's idea of a 'battle of the patios" was brilliant!
"I have been interested in gardening since building this home over 40 years ago. As a novice, I tried planting marigolds in the shade as I felt color was needed to "brighten the space." I quickly learned and have been learning and evolving every year since. I guess I've done well- in 2013 I received the grand prize for landscaping in my community of Sandy, Utah. The photos that I submitted came about when the pine tree on the north side of the house became so large that the grass would no longer grow well so I decided to convert to mostly shade plants (i.e. hostas, impatience, etc.) I had large pieces of stone installed for a patio and I made a small island for a fountain, lace leaf maple, ceramic pots, and various plants shown in one of the photos. The garden lights make it a very enjoyable place to be in the evenings. It was a challenge to garden under a spruce tree and that is the reason for the pots. The spruce's feeder roots can't invade them.
My wife, on the other hand, showed an active interest in gardening only two years ago. She decided to "stick claim" to the patio on the north side of the house where we have a cement patio and 10 by 14 foot pergola. It has been interesting to watch her grow from liking our garden to actively doing the gardening. She, as well as I, have our successes and disappointments. She takes it harder than I do when a plant dies but never-the-less she is learning and doing a fine job.
Sorry if I'm rambling but…So, Cindy (my cute wife) decided to host a small dinner party with the theme, "The Battle of the Patios." People came, sat, ate and drank on both our patios and then had to vote on the best one. Our friends are so diplomatic! I couldn't believe it was a tie but so goes life."
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