I’m traveling west today, sitting too long among strangers after spending several lovely days with family and friends.
A couple of weekends ago, I got to see one of my dearest friends and two of her children, now grown into amazing young women. We met in Napa and spent a fun day together.
Worried I’d get slowed down in traffic, I wanted to arrive at our first destination early. I hit traffic (of course) but still arrived with time to wander the gardens at our first stop. I thought you might enjoy wandering along with me for a few moments.
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.
For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
And as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
To spring up before all the nations. — Isaiah 61:11
I’m more than a little bit addicted to the Olympics right now (you, too?). Perhaps this post will encourage you to take a few moments away from the games’ coverage to walk through a garden. Today marks week three in the series of tours through some of my California friend’s gardens.
My friend whose garden I feature today loves sharing goodies from her garden. When I was going through a rough patch this spring, we met for coffee, and she showed up with a bouquet of camellias from her garden. They cheered me for days.
She’s one of my writing group friends, and invariably, she brings herbs from her garden to share. The last time we gathered, she had mint by the bag full for us.
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.
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: Continue reading →