The Perennial Diva

email:             phone: 610-409-8232

Collegeville, My Hometown

After living in the same house for 28 years and getting my 1/2 acre down to grass paths we decided to move. The back yard was a hill which I rolled down several times like a gigantic Easter egg. Plus our new neighbor built right on the property line and played loud music, fought constantly with his wife, had big dogs, and sat outside watching me bend over which is quite silly since I look like an egg. The day we moved I started crying. My husband seemed surprised and said, “I didn’t know you were that fond of the house.” I replied, “I’m not, but I will miss my garden and my greenhouse!”

Be careful what you wish for you might get it!

So off we went to Collegeville, a semi-suburban house in Montgomery County, Pa. I now had 2 acres to fill and I never realized how long that would take. Most of the plants on the site were high grade builder’s junk. I had a pine tree with three leaders, a poorly grafted cherry tree with half growing up and the rest growing down, lots of yews, spruces, Bradford pears, and Euonymus. Everything I hate. We had one big tree which was a Norway maple and they are invasive. So I bonsaied it permanently by cutting it to the ground. My neighbors were in shock. They saw all kinds of equipment and thought I was planning some extravagant landscape. I took out the entire planting. My neighbors were aghast as they had babied these factory reject plants for over 12 years. I like a clean slate.

Now we play a new game in the garden. Can I find a space? When you are obsessed you just have to do it. I can flip more plastic in a nursery than in Tiffany or Cartier. Some women would think how pathetic. For me, it’s even better than chocolate or ice cream.

So twelve years later and a large funeral plot for the deceased (plants I killed,some accidentally and some on purpose) I have almost filled it all in. However, if I get plant lust and I have to have it you better get out of my way.

Collegeville used to be a two blinker town with just two lights. It got its name because Ursinus College is in the center of the town. Don’t you just love trivia? Any ways, now it is a bustling suburban metropolis. I hate the traffic, all the strip malls, and too many neighbors. I have it in me and the strength to make a garden one more time. However, my husband has that look in his eye and wificide in Pennsylvania is a capital offense. I rest my case.

Sharee Solow — Landscape Designer, PCH, ASLA and Assistant Diva

Rob Cardillo — Photography

Andrea Johns — Web Design

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