Friday, January 30, 2015

A year in review-----2014

On New Years Day we celebrate with sauerkraut, pork and mashed potatoes. Always a must have. It is supposed to bring good luck.

On January 16th my daughter, Kylee, and I flew off to Quito, Ecuador to visit Karina and Marcelo and all of their wonderful families. Karina was Kylee's exchange daughter 20 years ago. We spent two weeks with them and they gave us the experience of seeing their beautiful homeland in a way that would not be possible on our own. I can't wait to return. They have had a new baby, Daniel, since we left. I can't wait to meet him.

Karina and Marcelo

Our Ecuadorian Family

Ecuadorian Vendor
We were home just long enough to do laundry before leaving for Seattle to attend The Northwest Flower Show. Kylee and her co-writer Jenny Petterson presented a symposium on how to decorate with house plants. Good job girls on the big stage.


Kylee and Jenny

Re-purposed Trees

We spent a night with Danielle and Adam Ernest. They took us to dinner at a real cute Asian restaurant. This has been a bonus with our travels getting to meet people that become a part of our lives. Thanks, Danielle.

Asian Dumplings

Kylee and Danielle

We missed the biggest snow storm of the winter.

February was the birth of our blog "twogirlswithapurpose". It was a new and frightening adventure. We were so pleased for all of you who supported and encouraged us.  We thank you. Thank you Barbara Wise for igniting the spark.

Working Together

February is the month for The Fort Wayne Home and Garden Show. It puts thoughts of spring
running through my veins.

It still has the feeling of winter. We are still having some snow, but when it is time, snow or not, the spring bulbs make their appearance.

Bulbs Peeking

My garden buddy, AKA Kylee and I made a road trip to The Toledo Museum of Art to experience the "The Art of the Louvre's Tuileries Garden" exhibit.                          

The Toledo Museum of Art

We stopped in Waterville to visit Carruth's Garden Smiles. I always find something to buy. It was really nice break before the spring rush.

March 26 was our blessed event. After four generations of women, Sir Anthony arrived. Our second great grandchild. Will we know what to do with him?

Great Grandparents

I was invited to present a program at De Shia on "Art In The Garden". She served a lovely lunch, and had a full house

It was time to clean and prepare the gardens for a new season.
We had an overnight visitor, a beautiful horned owl.

The last weekend in April is the Master Gardeners Herb plant sale. It is a fund raiser for the support of The Garden of The Senses and The Children's Garden

I made a trip to Franklin Park Conservatory. for the Orchid Show, with the very knowledgeable Ian Kitson

Ian and Lisette Kitson

The first two weekends of May is The Evergreen Garden Club perennial plant sale and The Mens' Garden Club plant sale. These sales support the flower beds around the city.

HGTVs," Out Door Rooms" with Jamie Durie was doing a program in Minster, Ohio. It is a short drive for us, so I filled a car and we got to enjoy his passion for plants.

Jamie Durie

Every spring I take a walk in our Heistand Woods Nature Reserve to experience the spring wildflowers. You should think about doing it this spring.

We have a long running Peony Festival the first of June.We are known as the Peony Capitol Of the World. There is a parade, vendors and a great flower show at the Wassenberg Art Center. The weekend concludes with a concert in Fountain Park. We look forward to it every year.

1930 Brochure

Hearth and Home assisted living residents did a butterfly release at KAM's Butterfly House in the Children's Garden.

Mom and Butterfly Release

My art piece "Swirl Bird " by Dale Rogers arrived.

"Swirl Bird"

WGBU's PBS came to film the Children's Garden. This was a unique experience. It will be aired at a later date.

Children's Garden

 Sue and I attended CULTIVATE14' in Columbus. This was all about the flower industry.

New Products

P. Allen Smith

The 4th of July brings a parade and the Lima Symphony to Fountain Park. This is my favorite concert.

The Longest Yard Sale that starts in Michigan and ends in Kentucky on US127, intersects with the Lincoln Highway Yard Sale in the center of our town. Our city is all a buzz. Our population explodes.   HGTV did some filming here.

Diane Kirby, a blogging friend from Texas, stopped in for a visit. She captured some beautiful pictures of my garden. Social media has opened a whole new way of connecting with people.

We wrap up the season cleaning up gardens and celebrating family birthdays with a stew cookout.

Birthday Stew
Kylee was doing a story on Buckeye Blooms for a magazine. It is a cut flower business. I was invited to go along. The business belongs to Kay Studer and her daughter. Kay mentored us with establishing our children's garden. I feel grateful to her.

We finished up the harvest for the hungry at the Children's Garden.

Growing For Hungry Produce

My husband, Fred, and I went on a leaf peeping tour in Vermont with friends through the local YWCA. It was the best ever. Janet Mohr was our tour guide. She has to be the best.

Leaf Peeping

From the bus

Home of Ben and Jerrys

It also was a sad homecoming. R.I.P. Ivy.


We started off November with a big snow. Maybe the biggest of the season.

Our family Thanksgiving was delayed due to the flu. Fred and I are lucky and are keeping our fingers crossed. We are washing our hands a lot.

Enter-- Dewey and Otis. They are little barn cats that came with ear mites and fleas. Dr. Wilkin has cleaned them up and given shots. Next, the big one, spaying and de-clawing.They are very entertaining and make me smile.

Dewey and Otis

The Children's Gardens second season began the night before Thanksgiving The Clays light up the garden from Thanksgiving to New Years. They have started a great tradition. We thank you.

Garden Second Season

This is my favorite time of year. I love Christmas and all that goes with it. We had two babies and they make it special.

I had the privilege of being a bell ringer for the Salvation Army Red Kettle. This was on my bucket list.

This year it was very special. My sister Kay and I hosted a party for our Mothers 100th birthday on December 26th. She was in great form and enjoyed family and friends. She has good health and seems to be happy. Life is good.

Great grandaughters, Jenna and Kara

Birthday Cake

A story is told

It has been a jam packed year and looking forward to 2015.

Thanks to you, our readers.


Monday, January 5, 2015

A Great Beginning January 1, 2015

What a way to start the New Year. PBS Scenic Spots featured our Smiley Park Children's Garden on WGBU PBS on New Years day. This past summer, their host Kathleen Phipps, and film crew visited our garden to tell our story. They captured the garden in the finest manner.

We are very proud of this garden, as well as the whole community takes pride in what we were all able to do by working together. It has been a community effort, so they were the integral part of its existence. We are going to re post the blog we did about that special day that they showcased our wonderful garden.Take time to read the blog and click on the "Scenic Spots" link to view the story as they saw it through their lens.

Watch Scenic Stops: People.Stories videos on demand. Stream full episodes online. This weekly show, explores what's off the beaten path in our region. What's...

Children's Garden - PBS 2014

Around the middle of May we received a call from Kathleen Phipps from WBGU-TV.  She is the hostess of "Scenic Stops" for this Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).  She called in regards to doing a segment featuring our Children's Garden here in Van Wert, OH.  After all, they are Emmy nominated for their work so, why not be flattered for being chosen for one of their shows.

The word is now out, so the preparations begin. Ruth Ann Covey is in charge of the gardens, so she starts making her ever famous list of what needs to be done in preparation for show time.  The date was set for June 26 at 11am. It has been raining a lot, so the weeds are one step ahead of us.  Ruth Ann is very organized and recruited volunteers from the community along with the Master Gardner's to ready the gardens. The end of June is perfect timing because the gardens will be in full bloom.

Around the World
There was painting to be done and extra planting. The Rainbow Garden and the Serenity Garden Tori Gate was painted.  The flower art piece was repaired and painted as well as the Children Around the World were freshened up. Patti the Master Gardner, Altha and Andy at the entrance gate, have been given a new coat of paint in order to meet our guests.

The day before the filming, Hearth and Home Assisted Living brought out their residents so they could release Monarch and Painted Lady Butterflies in the Butterfly House.  Everyone loves  butterflies  There is something magical about them. Several of the visitors in the garden also had the opportunity to release some of the butterflies.  The house is well supplied for PBS and you.

Butterflies from Florida

Marty, Hearth & Home


Children in the Garden

Monarchs and Milkweed

The day has arrived. There is new signage in the Fossil Garden.  Just think some of these fossils are over 440 million years old and are all from Ohio.

Dinosaur Garden

Now we meet our team from WBGU-TV. It takes approximately 3 hours of filming for a 15 minute segment.  Interviews were obtained from Bryce Campbell and Lilly Good who are active youth in the gardens. Ruth Ann spoke on education, Sue on the city parks and Louise on about how the garden came to be and what it does for the community.


It was a special day for all of us. It was nice to know that WBGU had heard about us and found our gardens worthy of filming a show for their viewing audience. It will air sometime in November and  we will alert the local media once we are notified when it will be broadcast.

Ruth Ann

Sue and Kathleen

None of us felt like TV stars, but just in case, we will be waiting to be discovered.  It was a fun experience and hope to put Van Wert on the map with it's award winning garden.  We invite you to come and enjoy the gardens with us.

Kathleen and Louise

Sue & Louise