Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Saying goodbye


This is a difficult post to compose. First of all, I must apologize to readers and followers of my blog for not keeping you updated. The reason for this is that Michael and I are so superstitious that we were afraid that broadcasting what was going on would jinx everything. But the day has arrived - as of this morning, our house is sold.

So, how do you say goodbye to a house and garden that you have lived in for 23 years and loved with every fiber of your being? I am not sure. I thought I would have a literate philosophical essay about that but the truth is I am rather numb at the moment. Both of us are emotionally and physically exhausted. I think that is probably for the best. I think it is better not to dwell on the issue. Just writing this and selecting these photos has been a very somber experience.

However, I know we are in for wonderful experiences ahead.We are moving to the Pacific Northwest, an area that I never dreamed I would ever live (but always knew that I would love). I am not officially retired yet so I will be returning soon to finalize those plans as well as get our belongings in storage moved out there. Keep your fingers crossed for us - neither one of us has ever lived outside Alabama and we are both a bit apprehensive. 

First of all, we have to find a house. We have been very fortunate so far - the next-door neighbor to our friends in Portland is letting us rent his house at least through December. This really relieved some pressure and we are happy to be so close to people we will know. Hopefully, we will find a house quickly - the market out there is really competitive.

I am of course excited to begin the creation of a new garden. This blog will continue - I will just be changing the sub-title! As for this home and garden, it is being inherited by some wonderful people who absolutely love the garden. I know they are going to love and care for it as much as we have.

So, for now, I will end by sharing some of my favorite photos of the garden, taken over the years.


rose-veilchenblau
borders-pergola-2 rose-new-dawn Rose "Nearly Wild" japanese-maple-leaves













Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

34 comments:

  1. Best of luck to you both in your new adventures to the PNW!! You will have a new garden to make your own, with a whole new growing environment. What fun. It will be wonderful!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congratulations, Phillip! I am so excited. You're going to love it here. One thing: I sure hope you're packing all your garden art. Those pieces on the purple wall are much too cool to leave behind! Safe travels.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh my gosh, I love that purple wall. That would be hard to leave. I think you will love the PNW. We will be almost neighbours...well, two hours apart. Come to the beach sometime!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congratulations! I am so happy for you, this is a long time coming. Not that it makes it easy, I've left a home and garden behind in a move and it tears a little piece of your heart out. As you know there's a very active gardening/blogging community our here and you'll be welcomed with open arms. Be sure to tell us what your looking for house-wise so we can be extra eyes and ears. You're right, the market is a little crazy.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Best of luck. You have created a beautiful haven and will create another in a new climate. How exciting. Sending energy and good wishes to you both for your daring move.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Best wishes in this new phase of your life.

    ReplyDelete
  7. How exciting!! I know you have wanted a change for some time. I am so happy the perfect buyer came along and will appreciate your garden filled with love. You have a great adventure ahead of you. I can't wait to see what all happens out west. Best of luck to you you and Michael.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Bon voyage Phillip and Michael. I know you'll find just the right home and garden in Washington. I'm so glad you're keeping the blog. I love reading of your adventures. ~~Dee

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dear Phillip, gosh, that must be hard to leave that house and garden, but as you said a wonderful future in Portland might be waiting for you and your partner. I visited Portland recently and I think it is a lovely city and the climate is very good for gardening, too.
    The photos of your garden and also the house are quite stunning. You truly created something very special and I hope that your garden will live on under the care of its new owners.
    All the best for Portland. Hope you are able to blog more often about your new adventure!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

    ReplyDelete
  10. Good luck on your move and new life!
    Life is chapters and I look forward to reading about your next one.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm happy for you that the house has sold to people who love the garden and that you'll be able to realize this dream you started dreaming so long ago. It doesn't make leaving a garden and home you love any easier but, as Loree said, you'll be welcomed with open arms in the PNW. The pain of leaving will eventually be tempered by the excitement of your new place but you'll always remember your Alabama home and garden fondly. The time, energy, and love you spent there will linger in a sweet way. Happy trails to you!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm very happy for you and completely understand how emotional it is and has been for you. I've been working in my own gardens for 2+ decades, can't imagine leaving. And btw, you have taught me SO MUCH over the past 6-7 years or however long I've been following you! I can't thank you enough, and I look forward to reading your blog as you transition into a very different environment. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
  13. A bitter-sweet moment for you both. But so happy that you will be starting a new adventure! Our minds tend to relax in an "every day" setting and to think how much you have yet to learn about the plants and all in the PNW is exciting!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Congratulations! I hope you find (as I did) that the joy of creating a new garden outweighs the sentiments experienced when leaving a mature one. And it's kind of awesome that you'll be moving to a city that's already home to lots of fellow bloggers and gardening friends!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am so fortunate to have seen your garden in person. I know it will be hard to leave it and that beautiful house but it is a time for new opportunities and a clean slate to start over and that can be great. It will keep you young! Best of luck to you and Michael. I hear the pacific NW is a gardener's paradise. Take care!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've been on that difficult, but exciting journey, so I wish you all the luck! I've always said that I miss my old garden more than I miss my old house! Can't wait to see what kind of new garden and life you create. Best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh Phillip! Seeing the purple wall makes me remember seeing your garden on the old website first - that was certainly wonderful but then... the blog! All my best wishes for you both as you hunt for the next garden (with house included, of course). And thanks in advance for telling us about your new everything.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    ReplyDelete
  18. Philip... I have loved your garden ever since I first discovered it in your wonderful posts some years ago.... I hope you have found gardeners to take over your labor of love? I have to admit to a fantasy of starting over in the northwest just as you are doing although I'm way past that possibility at this point in life.... best of luck and I can't wait to see where your creativity takes you! Larry

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a beautiful garden. I know it will be hard to leave your little peace of Eden, but you will have wonderful adventures ahead and each other to share them with. Congratulations.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Congratulations on your great leap forward, and I wish you the best of luck in finding a new garden. Hopefully the house attached to it will be nice, and it will be a little bit of Dixie in the great Northwest.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Phillip, I believe you will love the Pacific Northwest and I'm so looking forward to your blog continuing on your journey. You will always have wonderful memories of your lovely garden. I've enjoyed it and I've never laid eyes on it. Thank you for sharing it with us over the years.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Congratulations!!!!! Good luck with the move and keep us updated on your adventure!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hey Neighbors-to-Be!! Sooo happy for you both and yes, I can appreciate the apprehension. Just know you have friends in Portland and we'll all do what we can to help you settle in :) Plus your new garden will be a dream, no matter where you land.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Best wishes to you as you continue your life journey. I know you will make a new beautiful life and garden. You have been an inspiration to so many of us! I will drive by your cottage occasionally and let you know if the new owners are continuing the tradition of maintaining your beautiful garden in the manner you would approve. You may never have to drag water hoses again, and that will be a wonderful thing!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. The new owners are SO lucky! What a beautiful, gorgeous garden you created! I hope you'll be able to take some of your garden ornaments with you...

    ReplyDelete
  26. I kinda thought that's what ya'll had in mind of doing! I really hope you'll keep us posted on how everything goes! It will be interesting to see how you pick a place and begin a new garden. I moved to Texas 5 years ago after living on the Mississippi coast most of my life and then the Alabama coast for a couple years. I miss it terribly. Because of health reasons I have not been able to garden out here like I would like to. Can't wait to see how it goes! hugs

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hooray for you and good luck with your new move! :o)

    ReplyDelete
  28. "So, how do you say goodbye to a house and garden?" By starting a new one and a new blog of course. I will miss your photos. Cherish the legacy you created in your neighborhood - all documented here online. All the best on your new adventure.
    Ray

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks for sharing these "Greatest Hits"!

    Best of luck in the PNW. Look forward to reading about your gardening adventures in a totally different climate :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. I think you'll love the PNW. It would be my first choice if I were moving far away.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Phillip and Michael, I am so sorry I didn't see this post sooner. I'm so happy for you but so sad to see you go. Thank goodness I got to visit your beautiful work of art and enjoy your sweet poundcake before you left! I will miss knowing you were close enough to visit but look forward to keeping up with your adventures. Hugs to you both! God's speed!!!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Congratulations! Of course the new owners love the garden, too. How could they not? What you created there was beautiful. I am so excited to see what you do in the PNW. I visited Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, BC last year and fell in love. It is at the top of the list for places to retire to in the US. This summer I returned to Ireland, though, and now that is the top spot on my list for retirement. The PNW and Ireland have similar climates so either place would be heavenly for gardening. Looking forward to your posts from the PNW! Best wishes for much health and happiness there.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Portland is a gardening-crazy town and will be lucky to have you! You did beautiful work with your garden, and soon there will be a beautiful new canvas on which to paint with plants. Congratulations and good luck with your new adventure.

    ReplyDelete