It all started with my hubby complaining that he is always out there for hours mowing the lawn. And after a torrential rain our front yard always got washed out. So I started looking into a dry riverbed, to manage the water and cut the yard size down for hubby. While on a vacation in Germany (2018) in Illesheim, my Dad was asking me about my yard and how it was coming along. He had mentioned that one of his garden friends had mentioned something about “hortus”, but he didn’t know exactly what it was. So when we came back I started my research. In spring 2019 I started to cut down invasive trees, layed cardboard out to smother out crab grass. Build my first benjes hedge, which prompted our neighbors to build a high fence. But that didn’t stop me. No even more I dove into researching native plants that grow in sandy soil. Figured out I can use the fence line as my buffer zone and started planting trees. Combed through FB pages to find rocks and other materials. Started seeds indoors. Built a herb spiral with a mini pond. I am far from being where I want to be. But I have learned so much already, have seen a big influx of bugs that I have never seen before. I get excited seing wildlife in our yard and enjoy every minute outside. The name Hortus Spiritualis came through, because we live in an area where we constantly get lake wind advisories, I love being outside when there is a breeze. I also only line dry our clothes. Then my yard time is my zen time, where I can connect to my inner thoughts, meditate and relax. We have so much more room. I am planning on more fruit trees, but have to learn to garden with the restrictions of electricity lines (no trees allowed under it) and the septic tank. I am excited to get my keyhole planter going, hopefully this fall. I have started to collect seeds from my native flowers and hopefully soon be able to exchange those for other seeds. I am making new friends with the same passion, and that feeds my soul.