Seeds to Sun

Carole and her Pine Needle Baskets Photo by Ann Brewer

It’s that time of year when everyone is ready to enjoy being outdoors and clearing the garden plots, planting flowers and vegetables.

And so we meet Leawood South neighbors Michael and Carole Blankowski, a true Renaissance couple!  Their interests and talents range from gardening, rock masonry work, sculpture art from old musical instruments, woodworking, basket weaving, baking, and aerial fitness…and the list goes on. 
Carole is in her third season of planting and growing seeds into larger plants ready for transplant.  She has a cozy spot in the lower level of her home with a grow light. This year, she grew tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, basil, and rosemary to name a few.  The plants are large enough to go into the ground after a few months.  Carole says, “They talk to ya and tell you when it’s time to transplant!”  

Carole and Michael’s backyard are full of garden plots where there are plants flowers and Carole’s vegetables with a smattering of crane sculptures to keep the garden company.  Carole has built her own rock patio, fire pit, rock retaining walls, and even a dry creek bed for fun.  This year, she is expanding her composting and is hopeful for its success.  Carole sadly reports the massive hostas in the front yard “gave up” after a great 20 years and the “record amount of mulch put down from last year is nowhere to be found.”  Still, the yard is blooming and full of new plants and promise.

Michael, is a self-proclaimed “keeper of the lawn, feller of small trees, washer of windows and smoker of meat!”  Michael also supports Carole’s activities in the yard including heavy lifting, tool sharpening, and operating most machinery!  You could say, Michael and Carole have their operation figured out.

The Blankowski’s are truly enjoying retirement life and of course, living in Leawood South.