As I mentioned in last week’s post, my husband knew my missing a race would require distraction and cheering up. After the race and breakfast, we headed to Luther Burbank’s home and gardens. They’re both usually open to the public, but when we arrived, the home was closed, leaving only the gardens to see. That was perfect for us, and we spent a blissful hour wandering among Burbank’s remarkable gardens.
Everywhere we turned, we saw something beautiful or interesting or colorful (or all three). Dahlias, princess/Peruvian lilies, sunflowers, marigolds and much more kept us happily strolling along the flower beds.
A riot of colors, textures and varieties of flowers
A Paradox walnut tree hovers over the edge of the house. The tree is 102 years old.
Late last year, hopped up on post-race endorphins, my husband and I registered for a half marathon at the end of August, a race that would be at the perfect point in my training for a December marathon. “It’ll be great!” we told each other.
My body wasn’t on board with the training schedule, though. Thanks to a nagging injury, I spent the last six weeks in a boot and am just now getting back on the road to recovery. I’ve lost a lot of strength and a lot of flexibility. And I’ve lost both the August half marathon and the December marathon.
My husband and I had been anticipating the weekend getaway, though, and cheering him on would be fun, if bittersweet. Our hotel was near the start/finish area of the race, and I decided to walk part of the course, scream like crazy when he ran by, and take photos along the way. It was a beautiful, chilly morning, and I enjoyed the slow walk.
Along the course
A few tears threatened to fall, though, when I saw the pace group near where I should/would have been at that point in the race.
While August here on the blog brought a delightful journey through friends’ gardens, my own garden had some lessons to teach me. I have a volunteer tomato plant that surprised me earlier this summer. I first spotted it growing up along some hedges, and I thought, “What kind of weed has sprung up now?” As I got closer, I thought (and hoped), “Is that a tomato plant?” As soon as I smelled it, I knew.
I staked it, and it has been producing tomatoes for several weeks. Other than a little water from time to time and an additional stake or two, I’ve done very little tending of it.
Three weeks ago, I checked to see if any of the tomatoes were ripe enough to pick. I noticed a chewed leaf and then a partially gnawed tomato. I thought, “Hungry caterpillar,” and began my search. I pulled back when I saw this:
My husband and I feel very blessed to know the couple whose garden we’re touring today. We share much in common, and from the earliest days of getting to know us, they began sharing food with us. Fresh fish caught in the Pacific. Tamales at Christmas. Garden fruits and vegetables throughout the year. You get the idea. We’re blessed.
While our friends focus their efforts on vegetable gardening, they have lovely flowers, too:
They will say, “This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste, desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.” —Ezekiel 36:35
Summer may be coming to an end for many of you as school doors open again. I always think of back-to-school time as the start of fall. It’s not fall here by a long shot, but the blistering heat has abated some. Instead of triple digits, we’ve enjoyed low 90s for the last few days. Ahhhhh.
As I’ve wandered my friends’ gardens this summer, my love of trees has expanded. The shade they provide make this boiling hot place tolerable in summer. Backyard pools—much more commonplace here than where I’m from—help, too. The friend whose garden I’m touring with you today has both. She also has something no other garden I’ve seen has: a guard she calls Don Quixote.