Floy Slavik began her garden with just four hostas.

They were the green and white variety, and she kept dividing and transplanting them as her beds expanded.

“There were no flowers to start with,’’ she said.

She added colorful perennials. Fruit trees such as cherries, peaches and pears flourished. She and husband Joe also added grapes and gooseberries. Everything was processed and enjoyed by the family.

Roses, which she loves, were added to the collection. The phlox came from her mother’s garden.

“So did the bindweed,’’ she says.

They had plenty of room to grow things on more than an acre of land near 90th and Pacific.

Slavik enjoys coming outside for coffee and seeing all the colors.

“It’s a work in process. You are never done,'' she says. "You are always grooming, you are always snipping and fertilizing and planning for the next year.’’

Slavik’s beds dot the large expanse of grass. Although nearly 81, she still enjoys working outside. The only problem is, there are too many other things she wants to do, too.

Things like scrapbooking and quilting with her constant companion, dog Toby, by her side.

That’s why as plants and trees have died in her more than 40 years at the house she hasn’t gotten upset. It’s just one less thing to have to worry about.

She does get some help. Family friend Rick Willms does the mowing. His wife, Debbie, works in the flower beds. They have a large vegetable garden in the backyard, too.

“I try to keep it groomed but not to the point that it looks like I have a full-time gardener,’’ Slavik says. “I don’t go to that extent.’’

Slavik and her second husband, Gary Kilgore, added a large deck about four years ago, which gives her a perfect place for container planting.

This year, she got a late start on her annuals, so she had to settle on coleus. But the plants are thriving in the early morning sun and late afternoon shade from the large trees that mark the border of her lawn.

Adding the deck also gave her the opportunity to create another bed along its steps. She split more hostas, but the perennials showed up on their own.

That's all part of gardening. Slavik has already started planning what annuals to add next spring.

“Next year, I’ll plant more begonias,’’ she said.

Marjie is a writer for The World-Herald’s special sections and specialty publications, including Inspired Living Omaha, Wedding Essentials and Momaha Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @mduceyOWH. Phone: 402-444-1034.

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