Posted by: Brenda Kula | March 3, 2008

Another Rainy Monday!

Here it is the first week of March, and I have all sorts of new plants sitting outside in the rain. And I’m dying to get out there and plant them! I have Lamb’s Ears (one of my very favorites), more Mondo grass to plug in between stones, and Alyssum (smells glorious; wish someone would make it into a perfume!). I found something called a Fiber Optic plant. I just thought it was unusual and had to have it. I bought two hanging baskets of purple petunias, as I wanted some spring color. And I have seeds to plant that I couldn’t resist buying, even though I’m awaiting a batch in the mail from Renee’s Garden.

On Saturday Walli and I moved a wooden archway I inherited when I bought the house, and I’ve been working on making a scenic vignette surrounding it. Love little decorative vignettes both inside and out! I nearly broke my back carrying around concrete blocks and square pavers over the weekend. But what else is new?

I had to get some coffee beans ground at Starbucks this morning, and I just decided I’d head over to Tuesday Morning, even though I was just there on Saturday. I picked up another one of those little slate pictures I had on my blog one day last week. That one had pansies; this one has a hydrangea. And because it is made of slate and hangs by leather, I would think you could hang it most anywhere outside. Thought I’d give you a little sneak peak. This for $7.99! Tuesday Morning always gets in wonderful garden stuff I never find anywhere else, by the way.


I also found a steel table that can fold up for storage. It was $49.99, and I thought I’d use it for a coffee table in my garden/living room. I may have a piece of glass cut to fit it; haven’t decided yet. But I think it befits the garden room better than the wooden one that was previously in front of my couch. And if I want to, I can also put this steel table outside, where it was actually intended to be, come summer. But I kind of like it inside.


The garden room was once a patio and was bricked in by the previous owners. This is where I spend most of my time when indoors.

I planted a beautiful red rose bush in Charlyce’s garden on Saturday. Charlyce was my best friend. She was also my daughters’ paternal grandmother. She died in Norman, Oklahoma on May 2, 2006. I drove there that day and crawled up in the hospital bed with her in her home. She died in my arms around 5 p.m. One of the saddest and hardest days of my life. My beloved dog Pepper had just died in my lap on March 24th of that year, so I was already grieving. Oh, what life throws our way!

There is an artist in Tulsa called the Garden Deva ( She sculpts steel art for home and garden. She made both my "Pepper’s Garden" sign and "Charlyce’s Garden Of Love" sign, as I created a garden to memorialize each of them. That is my special way of grieving. Pepper’s sign is shaped like a dog, and Charlyce’s is shaped like a house. I will take photos of their gardens come spring. You just tell the Garden Deva what you want, and she manages to make it to your specifications. My daughters had Pepper’s sign made for me, and that gave me the idea for Charlyce’s garden.

I am not one of those people who like to go to the cemetary to see my loved ones who are gone. I prefer to grieve in private, and I create my own little places where I feel I can be with them. And since I’m a gardener, I much prefer to be in a natural setting. 

I still have Pepper’s ashes in a special wooden box in my garden room, as I couldn’t bear to put them in the garden! That was my original plan, but I’ll just keep him in here with me. My oldest daughter, Kendra, who is 33 now, kids me that one day she will inherit my ashes and also all my pets’ ashes that I’ve managed to collect over my lifetime! (Actually, I just have Pepper so far, as I didn’t get the idea until he died, or even know they would cremate pets for you.) But there will be more, I know! I told her to just put us all in a garden and put a little sign up saying Mom loved gardening. She just shakes her head at Mom’s strange antics! I gave birth to her when I was 17, so we kind of grew up together, I like to say.

Here is the bookshelf in my garden room where I have my dear Pepper. Hopefully you don’t think me too strange!


I hope that on this Monday, it is a nice sunny day wherever you may be gardening. I think I may be stuck inside staring at the rain, thumbing through gardening magazines and dreaming. I’m traveling to Tulsa to see my grandson this coming weekend, so I hope it stops raining soon and warms up a little. I have lots to get done outside before I leave. And if I come home next Tuesday and the dogs have dug everything up, I’ll have to start all over again. (You see, Dad doesn’t watch them as closely as Mom does!)


  1. Brenda, you just do what you want with Pepper. Keep him near. You are allowed. It’s his ashes, afterall. You know he’s watching anyway, right? Did you read about Peaches on my blog? (See Animals.) Anyway, I have a joke (sort of–but it’s actually true) that by the time I leave the planet there will be several little urns that have to go in the ground next to mine. I have two so far. The kitties go in the garden. But the doggies go with me. Maybe I was Egyptian once? Kathryn

  2. Ooh, you have Lamb’s Ear to plant. I love Lamb’s Ear, but I killed them last time I tried them. Ah well.

  3. Hey-it’s me–your ugly twin!! lol I think it is endearing to love a pet so much that you can not part with even one bit of them. The very best most important thing we can do for each other….is to allow. Allow everyone you know to do whatever it takes to be themselves and then love them for it. If your house gets too full of your pet remembrances and other paraphernalia you collect—then give me a call, I’ve got a very big attic and we’ll store it there. You just keep collecting and storing until there is no more room anywhere. See, that’s not likely to happen but you can be caught trying. I think it’s a very beautiful part of your personality.

  4. Oh–love the hydrangea and have to have lambs ears in my new gardens;

  5. I think that the way you keep Pepper is totally appropriate and respectful of her memory.

    Our precious Belgian Malanois, Winifred, died of kidney failure two years ago. She was our son’s first dog and will always have a special place in his heart. Caring for a dog teaches tenderness, responsibility and respect for life.

    We had Winifred cremated when she passed. Benjamin still keeps her little ashes box, collar and a photo in his room, displayed together. I expect he will always keep them with him. We all still remember her with love.

    Robin at Bumblebee

  6. What a great post to read. What a sweet thing to plant a rose bush in Charlyce’s garden, I hope it blooms with more Red Roses than any bush should!
    xo Lidy

  7. Hi Brenda! Reading about Pepper made me run and hug all of our furries. Loved the pics of Georgie in your earlier post. You had stopped by my blog and asked about a pic of flowers I had up. They are reticulated irises–“Katherine Hodgkins”. I wasn’t too sure I liked them at first, but I’ve grown to love them.

  8. Hey Brenda,
    I don’t think of you as “too strange”. I’ve got Kendall & Sasha by my desk with angels on top. Good for you – so Pepper can be close. One lucky pooch. All animals should be loved in that way. You kind soul.
    My Petite Maison

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