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.
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 →