Monday, April 23, 2012

My Not-So-Secret Love Affair

I fell hopelessly in love at the age of five and my ardor continues unabated to this day.  I was on a family vacation with cousins , aunts, uncles and grandparents.  We were at a lake house somewhere in New Jersey and  I don't recall much  except that I discovered one of the great loves of my life.

Falling in love at five.
One very hot morning my great aunt took me for a walk through the woods and along a country lane.  I remember the road was dusty and the  bees and other insects buzzed about my face.  As we strolled along I noticed the flowers growing along the rocky edge of the lane.  My Aunt Loretta knew the names of all the flowers and we picked the Queen Anne's Lace, a few Tiger Lilies  and some Chicory.  I was enthralled by the variety and beauty of the flowers and began an affair that has lasted my whole life.

Summer Garden 2006
Since that memorable wild flower walk, I've planted  dozens of gardens, each one was a work of art-in-progress.  Unlike a painting or a symphony, I never quite finish my  garden, always imagining new ways to realize my vision, which changes from year to year and decade to decade.  Just ask my long suffering spouse.  He has suggested that we should never actually plant anything, just keep everything in large pots with wheels.

The compost bin is hidden in this corner of the garden

A seat for the gardeners to relax.
My current garden has been evolving over a 14 year period. The  plan was to plant a garden with four season interest that would be a haven for whatever wild life we could attract, especially birds and butterflies.  I wanted trees, shrubs, flowers,  and a separate area for herbs and a few veggies with a  path to suggest a walk in the woods.

This garden is a source of constant enjoyment for both my husband and I.    We  get lots of exercise keeping up with the weeding, trimming and planting.  I  spend many hours photographing  my 'work of art' and I especially enjoy harvesting and preserving my herbs.

These echinacea attract goldfinches when they go to seed in the fall.

I love to photograph the visitors
We can be found at all hours sitting on our deck just gazing at the beauty around us.  One particularly wonderful pleasure is sitting on the deck with a cup of tea, on an early summer morning, watching the birds teach their fledglings to fly.  We feel like they are "our" birds.

Thank you Aunt Loretta for turning me on to a life time love affair with  plants and flowers!

Today's Take-Away-  For me, gardening is a hobby that nourishes my soul in so many ways.  Everyone needs a hobby this fulfilling!  What is yours?

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