Diane Matula: Central Texas Gardener


>>IN WHARTON, DIANE AND LUDVIK MATULA LIVE
IN A 1920S HOUSE NEAR THE ONES WHERE THEY GREW UP.
BUT IT WAS YEARS LATER WHEN DIANE RETURNED TO WHARTON THAT THEY MET AND MARRIED, AND
HER GARDEN SPRUNG FROM ROOTS PLANTED LONG AGO.
>>MY MOM LOVED TO WORK IN THE YARD. SHE DIDN’T HAVE A LOT OF TIME, BUT SHE WAS
ALWAYS IN THE YARD AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY. AND I DIDN’T GO OUT AND JUST WANT TO HELP
HER ALL THE TIME, BUT JUST BY LIVING WITH HER AND OBSERVING HER MANNER AND WHAT SHE
WOULD DO, I LEARNED A LOT. AND THEN AS AN ADULT, I BECAME INTERESTED
IN IT, SHE STARTED GIVING ME STUFF TO PLANT IN MY YARD ACTUALLY IN GEORGETOWN, AND SHE’D
SAY HERE, TAKE THESE, THESE ARE EASY TO GROW, AND SHE KIND OF GOT ME HOOKED ON THE JOY OF
TAKING A PLANT, WHETHER YOU BUY IT IN A NURSERY OR YOUR MOM GIVES IT TO YOU, AND STICKING
IT IN THE GROUND AND HAVING SUCCESS WITH IT.>>DIANE HAS THAT KNACK, FOR SURE.
HER GARDEN IS FULL OF PASSALONGS FROM HER MOM AND FELLOW GARDENERS, INCLUDING HER NEIGHBORS.
BUT MORE THAN KNACK, DIANE PUT IN A LOT OF SWEAT EQUITY, A PASSALONG THAT’S TAKEN ROOT
WITH HER DAUGHTERS, ANSA AND PHOEBE.>>THIS PROPERTY WAS VERY OVERGROWN WHEN WE
BOUGHT THIS PLACE. IT HAD BEEN NOT NO ONE HAD LIVED HERE SEVERAL
YEARS AND SO THINGS WERE REALLY OVERGROWN, SO WE SPENT
LUDVIK AND I SPENT QUITE A BIT OF TIME JUST CLEARING THE PROPERTY AND GOT IT ALL CLEAN
AND TIDY. HE’S A REAL CLEAN AND TIDY KIND OF GUY, GOT
THE GRASS GROWING, AND IT LOOKED REAL GOOD AND WE HAD WORKED ON THE HOUSE FOR, OH, PROBABLY
NEARLY A YEAR. AND HE KEPT TELLING ME DO NOT HE SAID, I KNOW
YOU WANT TO START FLOWER BEDS. DO NOT PLANT AROUND THE HOUSE BECAUSE WE’RE
GOING TO PAINT THE HOUSE SOMEDAY AND I DON’T WANT TO DEAL WITH PLANTS.
SO I WAS LIKE, OKAY, SO START IN THAT BACK CORNER. AND SO THIS LITTLE SHED WAS BACK HERE.
I HAD ACCUMULATED A WHOLE BUNCH OF BRICKS ‘CAUSE I LIKE TO LAY BRICKS AND MAKE LITTLE
SIDEWALKS, AND HE SAID YOU CAN START YOU CAN HAVE THIS CORNER BACK HERE.
AND I MEAN, HE WAS TALKING ABOUT A 15 X 15 AREA, INCLUDING THE BUILDING, AND SO I JUST
KIND OF GOT STARTED, YOU KNOW, AND JUST DIGGING UP A LITTLE GRASS HERE AND THERE AND LAYING
A FEW BRICKS AND THEN PUTTING A FEW THINGS IN THE GROUND.
¶¶ YOU KNOW, IT JUST NEVER WAS ENOUGH.
I STARTED WORKING AROUND THE TREE HERE, MADE THE SIDEWALK AROUND THE TREE AND STARTED PLANTING
THINGS, AND HE’D COME HOME FROM WORK AND HE’D WALK OUT HERE HE KNEW WHERE TO FIND ME CAUSE
I STAYED PRETTY MUCH IN THIS AREA AND HE’D COME OUT AND SAY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING, WHERE’S
MY GRASS? AND LIKE, OH UH, WELL, WE DIDN’T NEED THAT
GRASS THERE ANYWAY.>>WITH EVERY NEW PASSALONG PLANT, OR ONE
SHE COULDN’T RESIST AT THE NURSERY, DIANE KEPT ON DIGGING UP GRASS AND CONNECTING SPACES
ON THE FLY.>>ONE THING JUST KIND OF LEADS TO ANOTHER.
THERE WAS NEVER A PLAN. I NEVER HAD A DESIGN.
I’M NOT A DESIGNER, I’M NOT A PLANNER. PLAN IS A FOUR LETTER WORD FOR ME.
IT JUST HAPPENS. ¶¶
AND THEN LAST YEAR WE ADDED THE POND, WHICH CHANGED
THIS SOMEWHAT. ¶¶
IT STARTED OUT, OF COURSE, LIKE MOST PROJECTS, YOU THINK, OH,
SIX FOOT, NICE LITTLE POND, A COUPLE OF FISH, AND THEN YOU START DIGGING, KIND OF LIKE MAKING
A FLOWER BED. YOU START DIGGING A POND
IT’S LIKE, WELL, WE’VE GONE THIS FAR.
MIGHT AS WELL MAKE IT THIS MUCH DEEPER AND THAT MUCH BIGGER.
IT WAS JUST ONE MORE SENSORY THING THAT WE COULD ADD TO THE GARDEN, YOU KNOW.
WE HAVE THE SOUNDS OF BIRDS AND THE SMELLS OF THE FLOWERS AND, OF COURSE, THE SIGHT,
AND THIS ADDS THE WATER SOUND, AND THEN THE ENJOYMENT OF JUST WATCHING FISH MOVE IN THE
WATER, SO, JUST LOVE IT. BUT WHAT WAS I GOING TO DO, ALL THE DIRT THAT
CAME OUT TO DIG THE POND, WELL, IT MADE NEW FLOWER BEDS, SO EVERY OPPORTUNITY AN EXCUSE
TO GARDEN. AS IT PRESENTS ITSELF, I GRAB IT.>>DIANE AND LUDVIK ALSO KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR
FUN AND FUNKY ACCENTS. ¶
¶>>THAT’S HOW LUDVIK FOUND AN OLD BUILDING
HE FELL IN LOVE WITH, JUST THE PERFECT SIZE FOR THE BED & BREAKFAST THEY’D DREAMED ABOUT. A SELF CONTAINED COTTAGE, BIRDSONG INN GAVE
DIANE ANOTHER EXCUSE TO DIG UP GRASS. THEIR GUESTS CAN RELAX IN THE GARDEN, BUT
STILL HAVE THEIR PRIVACY. ¶¶ ACROSS THE STREET, A NEIGHBOR LETS THEM GROW
LUDVIK’S VEGETABLE GARDEN AND DIANE’S CUT FLOWERS, FUELED BY HOMEMADE COMPOST WITH LEAVES
THAT LUDVIK PICKS UP AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD.>>IT’S SUCH YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING
ABOUT, YOU JUST CAN’T ENOUGH OF MESSING WITH GROWING THINGS AND PRODUCING YOU KNOW, WHETHER
IT’S FLOWERS OR EDIBLES OR WHATEVER, IT’S JUST WONDERFUL.

5 thoughts on “Diane Matula: Central Texas Gardener

  1. I know exactly what you are talking about….You just can't get enough. I too, love laying brick paths and patios. I watch a lot of garden videos and your garden is my most favorite of them ALL ! I love your creativity. We have similar taste in style. Wow!…so impressive. Thanks for sharing.

  2. She made me laugh . . . she was so creative and joyful. I feel the same way, it's not really planned out like the professionals do. It's more natural and done with LOVE.

  3. Love your yard and I do the same thing as you! I go off the top of my head and do it. Always get the best results. Never plan or designed things in my life!! You go girl

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