March 08, 2011

Can't Never Could

It matters not that Time has shed
His thawless snow upon your head,
For he maintains, with wondrous art,
Perpetual summer in your heart.

~ William Hamilton Hayne

I vividly recall the message I received from my brother Michael one late afternoon in August 2005.  He sounded so excited that I could barely decipher his words through the phone. All I understood was that he was coming over.  I was not quite sure what to expect… this type of call was not unusual!  Patiently I waited for his arrival because I knew it would be worth it.

Michael’s F150 roared up my driveway like a hurricane!  I watched as he climbed from his truck and walked up embracing a large boulder!  He was a big, strong guy!  I knew immediately it was for my gardens…but something told me there was so much more than what I saw.  He proudly looked down at the heavy object held tightly against his body with ease.  My eyes curiously followed his gaze and there it was, “Jano’s Garden”. Lovingly etched into the hard surface appeared the name he gave me as a baby and continued to call me from that day forward.  I marveled at his skilled ways and wondered how he did it! It was perfect, made especially for me by him! Together we selected the perfect spot for my memorable new garden art.

A lot has changed since that warm day in August and my boulder remains humbly placed under a tree in my gardens. It meant so much then… and even more today. In 2006, Michael passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack at the age of 49.  In so many ways, he was like the boulder in my gardens, he was my rock. We were very close in age and even closer in spirit. We shared a lot growing up and I always admired him…he was a great guy and a wonderful friend.  Michael was my big brother, my protector, my buddy, my pal.  I miss him deeply.

Michael taught me many things through the years but most importantly he taught me the importance of simplicity.  He often reminded me and I can still hear him say, “can’t never could”, which was exactly how he lived his life.

May all your gardens grow

March 06, 2011

Inside Looking Out!

Inside yourself or outside,
you never have to change what you see,
only the way you see it.

~Thaddeus Golas

I am a die-hard gardener and can never get enough! For me, it is equally important to enjoy my gardens inside as well as outside - especially on rainy days or while laboring in my kitchen. If you’re like me and just being in your gardens is not enough, follow these simple steps and enjoy them all the time, every time!

Before you head to your favorite garden center, take time to sit (and stand) in the rooms that face your gardens. It is wonderful to enjoy your gardens (a labor of love) from many different views. Move around your rooms and look out all the windows to decide where and what you want to see

Bonus: Fragrant plants are awesome when placed by windows, patios, sitting areas, or porches. There is simply nothing lovelier than a hint of lavender, lilac, or honeysuckle to name a few!  

Double bonus: there are many plants that offer winter interest so be sure to include them in your thought process!

To keep a clear view of your gardens from inside your home and to help promote sustainable practices, remember “right plant, right place." Proper plant selection allows you to clearly view your gardens from the inside and avoids unnecessary pruning.

More importantly, have a ball as you stroll around your house and decide what tickles your fancy! Gardens are such wonderful gifts to be shared and enjoyed by you and your family while inside looking out!

May all your gardens grow!