Beginnings Of The Cottage

 We moved here after a week-long road trip from California- a trip that involved multiple tornado storms in front and in back of us and a stressful drive up Route 66. But that is a story for another time. In the end, we made it and after several months of living with a pastor friend, we moved in right before Christmas. This is what it looked like… Three trees and a whole lot of room.

Here we are (look how small we were) helping mom water the teeny tiny shrubs in the front of the house. That stick tree we moved to the backyard because it was right up against the house and mom was worried about it. It ended up being a great idea because it is now taller than the house by far!
Good job Mrs. Cottage!

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This is a photo of part of the back garden. This is where we were working on putting in the fencing to what mom lovingly called the play yard. This was a strategic move to keep us alive and kicking and out of the nearby ponds.

 You can see even here the birth of the Rosevine Cottage as grandma started added her roses to the yard. She sure loved her roses.

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Here we are adding lattice for keeping us out from under the deck and for pretty flowers to be able to grow up. Slowly but surely we started making the house our Cottage…

Grandma planted a rose garden, we put in flower beds and arbors, planted a few snowballs bushes, we planted trees that was our Father’s day tradition for many years.

Later we put in two fish ponds- Grandma Cottage’s pride and joy, and also her worst enemy. We put in a patio. Hung bird-feeders and bird houses.

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Grandma Cottage’s newly constructed rose garden. This is how we got our name. It all started in this tilled up patch of dirt. Little did we know that Rosevine Cottage Girls would sprout from this fertile ground.

Lots of blood, sweat and tears went into this place.

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We began to till up about 2400 SF of the back part of our yard for a massive garden to go in. 
Here we would grow beans, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, pumpkins, peas, lettuce, spinach, corn, okra, eggplant, and tons more. We grew up in this dirt. We used the bean teepees for hide out forts and played in the sprinkler. We picked weeds and tomatoes and enjoyed life in the red Tennessee soil.
We worked right alongside our grandma and our parents here and enjoyed the bounty of our organic garden plot.  We grew up with this green thumbed lady to our delight! She was a pearl among women and taught us both so much. To plant, and pick, to love and grow and to cry and hug. I don’t remember a time without her there. 

Recently we started using raised beds because that huge garden was just too much for us girls… Mr. Cottage was doing a lot of traveling, and we just couldn’t keep it under control. These boxes are great!

We added an orchard in the front and in the back. I remember planting these trees… they were about 3 feet tall when we planted them.

And watched as our Father’s Day trees grew and grew.

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Along with our tiny orchard trees.

They now tower above us.

Flower gardens are here and there filling the cottage with color and beauty.

 We have winding pathways to take your time and enjoy the flowers.

We added a beautiful gazebo for grandma to enjoy her pretty roses and the orchard trees dwarf us with their height.

We work together, and work hard to keep it pretty.

We added lots of hydrangeas for splashes of color.

Grandma has left us now. It has left the cottage a hollow shell of what it once was. Some of the life and beauty she took with her and there is just a little less laughter gracing her halls. But still, we work on.

She’s changed a lot, this Cottage of ours. Things are added a few things removed.

The storms of life roll in

And out

The storms have come and brought destruction
And change

Those trees we planted every Father’s Day tower above our heads and give us wonderful shade now.

 The tree the builder planted up against the house in the front has grown and grown (yep, good thing we moved it).

Some things never change- the ponds are green more often than not, the flower beds constantly need weeding, the orchard needs tending, the garden needs water. Some days we feel like crying- others we end the day with a glass of lemonade laying on a floaty in the pool watching the stars come out over the spot where the roses were originally and listening to the tree frogs and crickets. Do we miss California? All the time. It will forever hold a piece of our hearts… but this place holds a chunk. The Cottage has a mind of its own, it doesn’t always follow our “plans” but it is an amazing journey…

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