Cornfields, Stump Gardens, and Other News Fresh From the Farm

Inside: My field of dreams, when life gives you a fallen tree, make a stump garden, and observations from the Katy Trail.

Cornfields, Stump Gardens, and Other Observations Fresh From the Farm.
The cornfield next to my yard–truly my field of dreams! Photo by Mike Moore

My Field of Dreams

Call me a child of the corn–though not in a Stephen King sort of way. But when you grow up on a farm in the Midwest, chances are you played in a cornfield. You’ve had the pleasure of running through the rows, hiding and seeking, suffering the little cuts and nicks from the leaves as you made your escape. Maybe you were like me and fell asleep to the sweet smell of ripening corn carried on the gentle summer breezes coming through your window. No perfume could ever rival that scent! Maybe you watched, as I did, the small sprouts emerge in the soil like stitches on a dark quilt and measured your height, from one week to next, against the rapidly growing stalks until that “high as the corn in July” moment when you knew you’d never catch up. And maybe, like me, you were sad when those vibrant green leaves turned pale in the short chilly days of autumn, knowing your field of dreams would soon end. Yet remembering still, there’s always next year.

When Life Gives You a Fallen Tree, Make a Stump Garden

We’ve had this fallen tree at the end of the yard for longer than I care to reveal. Way back when a wet autumn and stormy night resulted in an uprooted tree, and after a frustrating day of cutting logs and limbs, a huge portion of the trunk remained, as well as the stump upended on top of the hole it had once occupied. Last summer I had a vision for a garden but little time to make it happen. Plus I wasn’t sure how to make it work. Mom wasn’t available to help. Enter the summer of 2017. I shared my vision–and she shared my excitement. After a trip to Sugar Grove, our plant place, we began to fill in a few plants. Then she’d think of something else that would work well in this nook or that cranny, and the stump started taking shape.


Stump garden.
Our stump garden in the early stages. Photo courtesy of Ann Harke.

Some of the plants in this early picture are caladiums, moss roses, sweet potato vines, purslane, sedums, grasses, and silver mound. Since then we’ve added begonias, Kong coleus, and salvia, and probably a plant or two I’m not remembering. Now, weeks later it has filled in and become quite the centerpiece of the yard. Look for a post on building a stump garden in the near future.

Another shot of our stump garden.
Looking good! Photo by Mike Moore

Observations From the Katy

Why would anyone willingly wake up at 3:48 in the morning, get dressed, grab a water bottle, and head out the door by 4:15? To go for a walk on the Katy Trail in the cool of the morning–or, in Hubs’ case, to go for a bike ride. For me, there’s no better way to spend a Saturday morning, deep in conversation with my daughter Emily as we walk her dog Odin on the Katy.

For those of you not familiar with the Katy, it’s a rail trail–the longest in the nation, actually–that extends across Missouri. If you like to walk or cycle or just enjoy nature, it’s a fun destination. For history buffs, the east side of the trail offers glimpses into Lewis and Clark’s adventures as well as some Daniel Boone and family history. It’s a great place to visit on this good green Earth we share!

Katy Trail.
View from the Katy Trail. Photo by Mike Moore.

How did your week go? Tell us about it in the comments.

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Next week’s coming attractions: Help! The Weeds Have Taken Over my Garden, Backyard Bird Feeding 101




2 Responses

  1. calensariel

    Ok… I have to admit I got caught up in the cornfield part of your post. All I could think about was all the bugs I’d be running through out there! I am SO a city girl!! LOL Love the pretty stump garden.


      🙂 You got me smiling about the bugs and you being a city girl. You know, I don’t notice bugs unless they are biting and I am itching. Or the occasional something crawling on me. Thinking about bugs in the cornfield, the only one that comes to mind is grasshoppers. Come about August you see them hopping around the stalks. In my garden, too, but I don’t think they do much munching. Not that I notice, anyway.