Planting a seed
I absolutely love summer in Spokane!
The mornings are cool, the afternoons heat up and gradually the heat gives way to evenings that are just down right gorgeous.
Lots of folks have irrigation systems, but my favorite sound is an old fashioned sprinkler that brings back memories of my childhood. As children we raced through those sprinklers screaming and laughing. So much old-fashioned fun!!
While I love summer's slower pace of life, the relaxed family time,
and water activities, my happy place in the summer (or one of them anyway) is in our garden.
It all starts in the early spring and spring brings its own list of garden activities. Cleaning up from a long winter with snow and ice, composting our soil, weeding the beds, and getting ready for the planting process. It really feels like a sacred process to me since I truly believe that we are tending to God's earth, not just our own yard.
Our home is situated in one of Spokane's oldest neighborhoods and the streets have huge trees on both sides that create a canopy of touching branches up above. While there are lots of huge and regal homes in our neighborhood, our little one story home is sandwiched in and has such a unique personality. We just love living here.
The gardens in front of our home are exquisite, thanks to all of Bert's hard work and creativity. There is an island of plants along the sidewalk that truly looks like Hawaii. There are so many huge ferns, giant hydrangeas, five different varieties of hostas, lilies and lots of coleus plants.
Not only are the plants breathtaking, the front yard garden is filled with garden art...a large Japanese concrete temple, aged with moss, unique lanterns everywhere you look, and there is a huge, much- loved bench tucked in near the back of the front yard. That concrete bench with a wooden seat is filled with gorgeous, colored and comfy pillows. It's a perfect place for a morning cup of coffee or a glass of lemonade with mint from our garden.
The grass weaves in and out of the gardens. We love to sit on that cozy bench, have coffee and chat with our neighbors and those who walk by. "Love your yard" starts many a conversation.
Those huge trees that line our street give us lovely shade in the front so as the day heats up, we often move from the back yard to the front to escape the heat. When you stop a minute to watch the sun coming through the leaves on those gorgeous and gigantic trees, it brings about such a sense of peace and wonder.
While the front yard is shady, the back yard is filled with sun-loving trees and plants. Our cherry and pear trees both flower in the spring, and there is lush foliage everywhere. The back yard is sunny all day long. We have two dining areas back there. One on the lawn for the two of us, and then a larger table in the back of the yard for more diners.
At the very back of the yard is Bert's studio and shed.
Their walls, facing the yard, are filled with art. Lanterns hang from the trees and an old-fashioned swing, with comfy pillows, is surrounded by multi-colored adirondak chairs. That area is the center piece for many a conversation.
Colorful, huge umbrellas echo the colors in the cushy pillows we sit on, and the trees come alive with a breath of wind as gorgeous chimes in the trees share their music with slightest breeze.
The tinkling sound from the chimes is almost angelic.
And at night? Oh, at night both the front yard and back yard become a fairy land of small twinkling lights and lanterns that come alive with a warm glow that melts your heart. We love to sit in the old-fashioned swing, with Daisy (our doggy) between us and quietly just take it all in.
There is even a prayer corner in our garden that brings me such peace each time I sit down there. It helps me remember whose garden this really is.
It helps me remember that everything we are enjoying is a gift from our Heavenly Father!
Our garden, and all the love and work that goes into it, is not just a show place. It is really a sanctuary for Bert and for me. As I dig in that dirt, it is therapy for my soul. The feel of the dirt, the smell of the plants, the aroma of the chives and lavender and mint, well, they all remind me of God's goodness. And there is just nothing like popping a cherry tomato in your mouth straight off the vine.
My dear friend, Jackie, once called gardening dirt therapy, and she is so, so right about that. Thank you, dear friend, for sharing that insight with me. Gardening is therapy for my soul, my mind, my heart and my physical body. It is couple's time for Bert and for me. Strolling with coffee cups, and looking at how our plants are doing, is a little bit like watching our children grow.
It also makes me so, so happy to get a vase from my potting table
and cut flowers from our garden and share them with our neighbors and family. All this beauty is so fun to share!
So today, after a day of gardening, my soul is at peace and
I am grateful beyond measure for the garden beauty that surrounds us. It's surely a reminder that God is good, all the time!!
PS- Garden pictures to follow in a later post! :)
"We are all just walking each other home." ...