From The Desk Of Bill Varga

Our yards and associated gardens change dramatically over time.  We built our home in the 1970’s. It was on the north end of a wheat field, and the home was surrounded by a moat the spring of the first year.  Backfilling with quality topsoil solved the drainage issue, but the home baked hot that summer with no central air and no trees.    Now, as I write this article just after summer solstice, our backyard is completely shaded by Buroak, Water Birch, Redbud and Honeylocust.  Annual flowers filled large expanses during those sunny years while newly planted trees just barely began to stretch upward.  Some perennial flowers like our Candytuft, thrived in the sun and now cover a large expanse in the shade of Water Birch.  This plant and bark provide groundcover where lawn and flowers were center stage decades ago. ‘Iberis sempervirens’, Candytuft is a long lived evergreen perennial.  Some, like ‘Alexander White’ and ‘Tahoe’ can grow to 12”. ‘Purity’ and ‘Whiteout’ are slightly shorter.  A key feature though is the evergreen foliage for a rich long lasting look.    Many plants have come and gone at Varga Park, but Candytuft has endured time and change of exposure in almost a half century.  Add conscientious neglect and it is a ‘no brainer’ addition to your yard and garden.

One day my mom was out and my dad was in charge of me.  I was maybe 2 ½ years old and had just recovered from an accident.  Someone had given me a little ‘tea set’ as a get-well gift and it was one of my favorite toys.
   Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought Daddy a little cup of ‘tea’, which was just water.  After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my Mom came home.
   My Dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea, because it was ‘just the cutest thing!’.  My Mom waited, and sure enough, here I come down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy and she watches him drink it up.  Then she says, ‘Did it ever occur to you that the only place that baby can reach to get water is the toilet?’

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