In the gardens of my friends, week 2

They will come and shout for joy on the height of Zion,
And they will be radiant over the bounty of the Lord—
Over the grain and the new wine and the oil,
And over the young of the flock and the herd;
And their life will be like a watered garden,
And they will never languish again.
—Jeremiah 31:12

I hope you enjoyed last week’s stop on my friends’ garden tour. This week brings us to the garden of a friend who leads a group of us fearless writers. She often opens her home so we can gather and spend a few hours in quiet, companionable writing. Depending on where I sit to write, I often find myself gazing out into her yard, enjoying the abundant beauty there.

She also happens to share my love of nurseries, and she introduced me to one of my favorite nurseries one weekend as we strolled and chatted, laughed to see hummingbirds buzzing about, and tarried over favorite flowers to dream about and plan our own gardens.

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My friend’s favorite flower, the princess lily

As we walked through the rows and rows of flowers, we talked of flowers that grow well here and flowers that grow well in North Carolina. I’m always delighted to find reminders of home in friends’ gardens:

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A hydrangea with just a blush of pink

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Hostas can grow with enough shade.

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Snapdragon in deep pink (with a hint of orange)

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Calla lilies

My friend also has plants I will forever associate with California:

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Agapanthus in purple and white

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A kumquat tree (I think)

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A small citrus tree

I photographed my friend’s garden one of the mornings several of us gathered to write, and I forgot to ask her what some of the trees were. But I had a tour guide who seemed eager to show me all of her favorite spots in the garden:

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A capable, friendly tour guide took me around the garden.

This is my favorite non-flowering part of the garden. My friend and her family love the water, and so it’s no surprise that this bit of garden whimsy should be in her back yard.

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She has a lovely shaded area in one back corner of her yard, an easy place to linger on a hot day.

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Just looking at these last two photos takes me back to her garden and its cool, shaded spot in the garden. I hope they’ve brought you a few moments of respite, too.

These next few weeks will be challenging for my friend, as she packs up her baby boy to take him away to college. I chose today’s verse to remind her (and the rest of us who may be encountering tough moments) that joy will come again and what feels empty now can be full again in the Lord. Sometimes we simply need to pause and look around in the garden to discover a few moments of joy.

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