Hello, My Name is The Nester and I’m Addicted to Flowers.

Fresh flowers in my home make me happy.

Flowers in my home make me happier than they should. They have some unexplained power to calm and make any room glorious.  They can make you forget about the unfinished projects and dishes in the sink, you get so caught up in their beauty.

I haven’t had many flowers in our home or yard since we’ve been renting.  Back in the days of home owning, I worked in the yard almost as much as I worked in the house.  Flower tending is so rewarding.  But, I had to leave all my hostas, my long leaf pines, creeping fig, confederate jasmine, gardenia and caladium, not to mention the two hydrangea bushes at our home in Macon, GA when we moved eight years ago.  My mom gave the hydrangeas to me when we had our youngest son.  The night we moved away, I ruthlessly cut every single bloom, or branch that looked like it might possibly bloom and I took them with me. I’m sure the new owners loved me.  Actually, I did it because I was pretty sure they wouldn’t even notice.  And that thought was so much worse than the thought of them hating me.

Three years ago when we sold our house here in NC, I had the same sad feelings when I had to leave all of our plants.  Leaving behind bulbs I had planted along with shrubs I had babied and watched grow was sad.  I always felt like the new owners would never appreciate the yard. Sometimes I ask my sister to drive by and check on the yard.  Plants are a commitment, and I get attached and don’t like leaving them.

And for some reason, I’ve found myself thinking that having a yard with flowers is reserved only for those lucky people who own their home.  Funny how it’s worth it to me to paint walls in a rental, knowing I can enjoy seeing the walls every day but, it’s never seemed worth it to me to plant much of anything.

Until I started reading A Country Farmhouse.  Trina doesn’t use a ton of tchotchkes, instead, she decorates with fresh flowers. She also has the luxury of living near a local flower cutting farm.  I’ve decided owning a flower cutting farm is my dream job.   I mean, besides my dream job of having a daily $1000 shopping spree at Home Goods and Target or my other dream job of decorating model homes with no budget limit and no one to tell me what to do or when to be done.  Or my dream job of professional cupcake taster and professional bath taker.  I’m really good at all that stuff.

So, last month I bought this hydrangea.  The bush was $20 and had about 12 blooms on it.  At my local market, the cut blooms are for sale for $5 each.  So, according to my math skills, even if I just let the bush die after enjoying the blooms, I would have gotten a better deal.  But, I decided to plant it. It was a weirdly hard choice because to me, once it’s in the ground, it’s no longer mine.

Then I found some Endless Summer Hydrangeas at Lowe’s for $12.  Jodi told me that those bloom profusely and grow to be really big so, I bought two. Planting a few things in our yard doesn’t at all feel like the waste that I thought it would.  I only regret that I didn’t plant my favorite plants the day we moved in. I could have stalked and molested those hydrangea all winter.

And I guess I could dig a few of my favorite things up before we move out one day but that seems wrong.  I’ve already realized that it’s worth the little bit of money to experience both the enjoyment and feeling of home I have when I’m surrounded by something that brings me joy.

What about you?  Is there something easily attainable that are not allowing yourself to enjoy?


  1. Nester, do you know how to propagate hydrangeas? It is the easiest thing ever! I probably have made 10 or more new thriving bushes in the past 3 years. If you want the super easy instructions, let me know.

    • Melanie, just come to my house and do it for me!!!

      • I found out how to do this from Southern Llving. : You know how there are branches (stems) with a flower on the end? Well you make the attached stem lie down there in the soil and cover it with soil and weight it down with a brick or something kind of heavy. Honest to goodness, the stem in that soil will start a new plant for you. I am a cheapskate and am always trying to root my plants to make new ones, but it is often difficult or impossible–azaleas for example–but the hydrangeas root so easily!

  2. I know how you felt leaving behind your plants. When we moved from the dream house we built, we left behind the most incredible trees we had planted and of course plants as well. Before we left the driveway, I was out in the backyard saying good bye to them. I couldn’t take any plants because it was January. My sister has always rented homes and is an avid gardener. She plants gardens wherever she resides so she can enjoy her surroundings. You must go for it Nester… yes you will miss them when you move but life is for living not regretting.

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  3. Hi Nester! I understand that you live in Charlotte, NC… well I just recently discovered a place called the Growers Outlet in Pineville, NC and they currently have 2gal. hydrangeas for $5!!! I purchased 6 and am going back today for more…. love love love hydrangeas!

    P.S. Have you seen the hydrangea tress? Gorgeous!

  4. I hope you read this. I see a lot of what you go through in my own life: We also left behind our dream home, moved to another state and are now renting. There are differences as well. We had lived in that house for 18 years. We had raised our five children in it. It was a lovely huge old Victorian that we had put our heart, soul…..and money…..into. Unfortunately, it was miles away from all family. As our children graduated from high school, they all eventually began to wonder back to the state where all our relatives were and go to college there. By the time our fifth child graduated, we had all the plans in place to move back as well. He graduated and we moved the same month. While it has been WONDERFUL to move back to our home state, where we are close to our extended family, and all our children, we feel like we left something behind, in leaving our home. Yes, I totally realize a ‘home’ is what you make it, where you make it, and the elements INside the four walls, but we felt such an attachment to our house. It is the memories: a front and back stairway…and the little boys sneaking down the backstairs when they knew I was coming UP the front stairs to check on their ‘clean’ room!; the widow’s walk in the 2nd story, the huge ballroom on the third floor the kids loved to play in; the Christmases and other holidays. When we moved here we moved into a brick ranch rental. It could not be more different from our old home. We are looking for another place to buy. We keep comparing everything we look at to what we had! Plus, we have to find a place we can afford. So we are starting our third year in our rental. I don’t know how long we will be here, but we continue, much like your sweet family, to try and make the best of it. (Don’t you think there are more and more of us in this position?) Anyway, to make this longer. A few months after we moved, my #4 child, a big huge son, had gone back to our old town to visit friends. He drove by our old house, which the new owners were just weeks away from moving into. (We were in the final stages of the paperwork). He saw my front flower beds FULL of hostas of all kinds. He waited till dark and dug them all up. Every single one of them. He wrapped them in newspapers and put them in his car. THEN he gathered up two sacks of our beautiful maple leaves that were falling (it was autumn) and brought them back. He got back to the house we rent late on a Sunday night. First he brought in the two sacks of maple leaves. I started crying. Then he went back outside and brought in a couple of the hostas. I started bawling. This 19 year old huge boy totally got it. He understood. He felt it too. Needless to say, those hostas get tender loving care here at our rental. And they WILL go with us, (if and when) we ever get another home to call our own. Sorry this was so long, but between boys and houses, I knew you would appreciate the story. Have a great weekend. Lori L

  5. Nester!! I hadn’t ever seen “A Country Farmhouse” before – ooh…makes me want that cutting farm even more! Great pass-along! :)

  6. Before I lost my job in 2008, I ALWAYS had fresh flowers (from the market) around the house because they made me so happy. Now, I just don’t make enough money to justify it. I do miss them very much.

  7. It’s been on my ‘to do’ list all spring to get over to Lowe’s and buy some Endless Summer Hydrangea! When we first started planting our flower garden last summer, I bought a bunch of the regular Nikko blue hydrangea. Then I bought a few of the Endless Summer variety and just fell in love! In fact, my Endless Summer is already showing buds this spring while my Nikko blue is still just leafing out. So I need to get more Endless Summer as I’m too impatient to wait until July for hydrangeas!!
    ; ) Trina

  8. I totally get that. We are renting right now, but when we sold our house I dug up our Peonies before we listed and kept them in HUGE pots and moved them with us. We rent but made a raised garden bed and I plant a ton of plants, I get them cheap at the end of summer and plant perennials. Every Mother’s Day we go to the greenhouse and get annuals, a few more perennials and mulch. I love seeing our yard and garden, even if I don’t own the land, I enjoy the space, you know? I want it to be beautiful for me and my family. I’ll dig up the perennials when we move again and top with mulch.

  9. That’s so funny. You have always painted and not planted flowers. I’ve always planted flowers and not painted! Every rental I’ve been in for the last four years that I was able to, I planted flowers. I even managed to find a spot to plant outside an apartment building I lived in during law school. I still regret not digging up that sedum and bringing it with me. We finally bought a home, and I am so excited to dig and plant. I think I’m more excited to do that than decorate the inside, which is saying a lot for me! I say keep planting! Flowers and plants bring so much joy!

  10. I {heart} you so much! My desire is to live somewhere long enough to see my flowers bloom! I have compromised with pots stuffed full of flowers growing on the porch. Our current rented home has a gorgeous, park-like lot. But the only flowers are wisteria and honesuckle in the woods. I have wanted to plant, and haven’t for your same reasons… and now the owners have it on the market, so it seems even more futile… In my dream life, I will garden! Blessings!!!

  11. This is only my second day of following your blog and I am IN LOVE with it. I came after the posting on Bye Bye Pie about your BU party, and I was hooked. These posts today have so touched my heart. Makes me want to go home and dig in my garden areas. And buy hydrangeas this weekend. I have about 5 but only one of them has ever bloomed. My husband goes a little overboard with the trimming shears. Thanks for making my day. You are all such wonderful, sentimental, emotional people!

  12. Come walk with me today in my garden, Sorry, can’t get my link to work but it is my latest post so this will take you there.

  13. i like!

  14. When we sold our house in September I made it part of the sale to be able to take some of the plants that I had put it. I had some super rare plants and even though we’re renting now I moved 15 pots of perennials that have also moved from 3 houses. Now I just need to plant them here this spring. I also have a emotional attachment to plants. It’s hard to let them go since they were my plants.

  15. Amy Reyes says

    Are hydrangea’s hard to grow? I have always wanted a plant but heard they were difficult to keep alive and bloom. any advice?

  16. Well, three suggestions to make:
    Cuttings (I commented above – it’s about comment 46ish) I did some rose cuttings last year, and some dogwood too (though the dogwood was a bit late in the season) and they’ve worked a treat. Not 100% success, but it was my first try!
    Seeds. We have sweet peas that are a few generations on from the sweet peas in my wife’s wedding bouquet, courtesy of collecting seeds from the plants!
    Pots. Pots can move easily – you don’t have to dig them up! (But you do have to water them lovingly – they can die pretty easily too!)

    We own a house that we don’t live in , and live in a house that’s not ours (long story). But I still do stuff on the garden in the house we’re currently living it, because as far as I’m concerned, it’s our home while we’re in it. I wouldn’t avoid hoovering just because it’s not ‘my’ house (there are all sorts of other reasons why I’d avoid hoovering, but that’s just not one of ’em!)

  17. I can’t believe I am reading this post right now…it is like you are reading my mind! We just sold our home and the new owners moved in Friday. While I was sad to leave the house because it was the place that we began our family, I think I was most sad to leave behind my peony bush that I grew from a measly little bulb!! I kept praying that it would bloom before Thursday so I could cut all the beautiful hot pink blossoms off, but no such luck! I can only hope the new owners appreciate her as much as I did :(

  18. flowers are like that for me too … but alas we live in the most remote, inhospitable place …. so no fresh flowers for me unless they come by plane or I drive four hours … but I make do with the lovely blog pics the girls all post – lovely le

  19. Oh, Nester, I feel your loss/hesitation…
    Just before buying this house the previous owners stated they would take some of the bulbs with them due to his mother having died and them having been her plants earlier. I understood completely and was happy he felt that way about his mother.
    Now, we are preparing to sell the same house and I have already ‘marked’ the plants I will be taking that we planted as subsequent homeowners. Plants are not always re-purchaseable (probably not a word). And I have some that were given in memory of my mother.
    But, if I truly ‘had’ to forfeit them, I could. Life is short and who’s to say those purple clematis, mock orange, and pink hydrangea plants will make it through another frost.
    PLANT something, even if it is just in some flower pots. Have fun!:) Life is short!

  20. I feel your pain with moving away from your plants and garden. I would hate that. I would be especially sad if I sold my house to someone who was not appreciate of my rose garden, and did not understand that my The Pilgrim needs to be babied throughout the spring and checked for pests each morning so the few precious blooms can appear late in summer. Where I live, hydrangeas don’t really seem to grow that well, Don’t know what it is about them…but they just refuse to blossom which is really sad, since I love them. Right now, we have this idea to plant a “cutting garden” in the back of our large garden with peonies, certain roses and other fun plants to have indoors in vases since indoor flowers are just beautiful but oh so expensive where I live.

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