Spring is a time when plots of land overflow with leafy and flowered plants. I admire the individual who can sculpt masterpieces from nature, even in small ways.
Each garden for me is a reminder that I’m incapable of growing anything. I was once so unsuccessful with a spindly house plant that its last act was an attempt to crush my skull in a failed murder-suicide attempt. Sure, it might have been the macramé that held it up giving way just as I walked up the stairs, but I really doubt it.
My spouse, on the other hand, has taught himself to master growing native Texas plants, filling our small backyard in Dallas with blooming vegetation that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. This little garden of Eden is matched only by a much larger garden surrounding a house we are lucky enough to own on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. Both are ideal spots for inspiration and tranquil contemplation. Sitting in the backyard surrounded by a plethora of cats getting along and one dog resting beside me is ideal. The solitude is only broken by a squirrel-obsessed little Shih-Tzu mix who occasionally has a barking tantrum.
A sizeable tree born of a seed planted after a trip my husband made to El Salvador grew so large that it threatened the ceiling of the covered patio where I write. The plant insisted with its increasing stature that it be set free and has now found a permanent home in our yard thousands of miles from its original home. The patio continues to serve as a makeshift greenhouse for lemongrass and shoots of laurel that will someday become the tree that provides me bay leaves for cooking.
The photo that begins this post is not from my husband’s garden. It is just one of the beautiful photographs posted by my friend, Anna Maria Gardner, taken at Whitney Gardens in Brinnon, near her home in Washington state. In addition to her skill as a compassionate veterinarian to companion animals (her Petsynergy page), Anna produces photos that are visual marvels of nature (her photoblog), and especially the wonders of the season. While I may never be able to successfully grow much planted in the ground, I am blessed to have spring just a few feet away anytime I can view Anna’s photos on line. Or any time in the springtime when I step out my back door.
Take a monthly trip to where stories are journeys. No security lines. No lost luggage.