In the gardens of my friends, week 4

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.

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Don Quixote guards the garden.

Step into my friend’s back yard, and you’ll realize quickly that it’s equal parts whimsy and actual garden. She blames, … er, attributes the whimsy on her husband and has told him to stop buying statues.

His whimsy suits her, though. She has a light spirit and is quick to laugh, even though she has lived through some truly difficult circumstances. I love that there were so many reasons to smile throughout her garden, and whether she admits it or not, all that whimsy fits her personality.

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Band of gnomes, playing under the windmill

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A ladybug ponders a dip in the pool.

Even the beautiful, huge shade tree that protects her yard from the sun sports a bit of fun.

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Impatiens appreciate the shade from the trees as much as I do (perhaps even more).

Though my friend’s garden holds more trees and flowers, she grows a little patch of food here, too:

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Tomatoes hide under these vines.

My favorite bush in her yard is covered in purple flowers. The flowers remind me a bit of petunias, but on a shrub instead of vines.

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Sometimes Google is no help at all with plant identification.

Speaking of vines, my friend has trained some to grow across her pool. They provide delightful shade while you’re sitting by the pool or even when you jump in for a dip. I had come to visit her for a pool party, and once everyone arrived, it took almost no time before we gravitated to this spot, some jumping in the pool and some sitting on the side to let our legs dangle in the water.

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My friend is a welcoming soul, and she told me about the gate and path below that served as an entrance for their elderly neighbor to visit them more easily. The woman no longer lives in the house behind them, which may explain why gnomes have moved in to trip any strangers trying to come in the back gate. They may be even more effective guards than Don Quixote.

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Every yard needs a little pop of red, be it flowers, fruit or a little manmade thing. Amid the iris plants, a red wagon sits.

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If I were to describe this garden to you in one phrase, it would be this: full of life. That’s my friend, too.

Join me again next week for the last stop in our virtual garden tour. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about the favorite thing in your garden: flora, fauna or manmade. For me right now, I’d have to say it’s four little marigolds I planted over the weekend to protect a tomato plant. You’ll have to wait to hear the full story until September.

2 thoughts on “In the gardens of my friends, week 4

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