End of spring in my garden 

The joy of a garden

I have been at home in my garden for over 14 months. I have been untouched by the direct loss of loved ones. I’ve not been ill. I’m vaccinated, comfortable and companionable with the love of my life sharing this experience. There are many things I haven’t liked about this forced seclusion, but my good fortune has been apparent to me.

A favorite sitting place in my garden

I miss traveling to gardens, the opportunity to discover new vistas, new plants, and the stories of gardeners. Although my encore career, a grand tour of beautiful spaces, history lessons, and splendid beauty has been closed to me because of a deadly pandemic, up to this moment, my loss is minor. I have had enough food (more than), space to share, plenty of blank paper and pencils to noodle my ideas about, and foremost, a beautiful garden which I have lavished care and attention to for decades.

Sunrise in May

Now, as we tentatively consider stepping back out into the world, I sit in my garden in the early morning when the temperature is still in the low 70’s and watch a sunrise, A new view since the removal of my neighbor’s overgrown pine trees during the past year. Now I sit and watch the soft morning light fall on the blooms of Gomphrena fireworks and blue salvia. The Gomphrena flowers are a spiky shape in deep pink with tips of gold. The blue salvia spears combine perfectly with the Gomphrena—both long summer bloomers soaking up the heat and thriving.

Gomphrena fireworks and blue salvia

My camera phone focuses my view as I explore the blooms, my “red bed,” where I mass a collection of red heat-tolerant perennials to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

Blanket flower vibrancy

The blanket flower (gaillardia) in two varieties has finally established itself, reseeding and spreading generously. The Hesperaloe, red dynamite variety, send out long-lasting stalks of red tubular blooms. Firecracker penstemon blooms for several weeks with red tubular flowers the hummers love. Behind this stands a sizeable red fairy duster. This mass of a singular color is my attempt to help the butterfly find the flowers.

Red bed for the blind butterflies

I have a white bed of flowers near the patio, and it is filled with blooms this time of year.

Spider lily in the center, Yerba Mansa blooms just to the left

The Yerba Mansa sends up stalks of white flowers for weeks and weeks. My Crinum species, spider lily is blooming. I have four grand stalks of flowers right now. These are so beautiful. I cut one to bring inside and watch it open like fireworks. My white Pentas are blooming vigorously.

White Pentas

These plants are generally treated as annuals, but these are at least four years old. They look a bit ratty in the winter, but I trim them back, and they reward me with nonstop flowers for months. My two Calla Lilies need to be moved as they never bloom; I think the Yerba Mansa overshadows them. If Calla Lillies are in the right growing conditions, they multiply freely, even to the point of being considered invasive! Mine are clearly not doing well. Arabian jasmine blooms here too. In the middle of this bed, I have a bubbling fountain with a small bowl on top. The birds flock here throughout the day, hummers, tiny green verdin, wild canaries, which delight me but the pigeons, grackles, and starlings get thirsty too.

Color in abundance

Other bloomers scattered about make it easy for me to gather a small bouquet from the garden. Flowers on my table are a luxury I crave. My Mother would bring in a single flower for the table throughout the summer season. Continuing this reminds me of her and her garden. 

Sunflowers in red and gold will be blooming soon

At this moment, my garden is a jumble as our home exterior is undergoing painting. Vines, trellis, and pots have all been moved away from the walls—patio furniture is out of place, tarps and buckets stacked at the ready. But, still in the early morning, as I sit under the olive trees looking at the displaced pots, and the light begins to change, I focus on the blossoms of the day, and I am so grateful. I am here to see the beauty of my garden. I live in a quiet, peaceful neighborhood. I have a garden, and I have hope as I eagerly await the next blooms. May you have the same. Until the Traveling Gardener travels again, I wish you buckets of flowers from your garden. Wandering, wondering, and noticing for over 12 years and 900 gardens, I am eager to explore more.

Enjoy your blooms

31 thoughts on “End of spring in my garden ”

  1. I have enjoyed them all Linda, may you continue to reap the joy. Thanks much. It has been fun to travel near and far with you. Marty Blood

  2. Whew! So glad to receive your beautiful tour of your garden As the end of the month approached, I realized I was missing your monthly gift of beauty in prose and photos. Thank you so much for your continued generosity.

    With best wishes to you and Rich for continued good health and enjoyment of the lovely spot you have created ☀️

  3. I just love your positivity! And that sunrise is a sign of hope- especially hope that we can have normal again. We are at our summer home in Colorado where it is spring Again for us. The town is decked out in flowers. I went to in-person church this morning for the first time in more than a year – it was a powerful proof that we really can have normal

  4. Please don’t consider giving up your monthly posting with gorgeous pictures of flowers. I know it’s laborious but it brings joy to many.

  5. Your pictures and descriptions renew my weary spirits tonight. Thank you for sharing your spirit, garden, flowers and travel, past and future. Safe travels!

  6. Your monthly letters bring hope and positivity to an otherwise
    long year. I have spent more time in my garden this year than
    in any other year and I am reaping the benefits. I look forward
    to hear what is happening in your garden or your travelling gardens
    and it looks like again you will be able to show us what you find on
    your explorations.

  7. Linda, such beautiful photos and prose. Please give Rich a big hug for me. It’s been a while…20 years!

  8. Your garden is so lovely, I enjoyed your writing about it. My garden has helped me get through this pandemic as well

  9. Thank you for the sharing the beauty of your garden and the deep and loving relationship you have with the living and growing nature in your backyard garden. Be Well, always!

  10. I, too, love flowers! Right now, my woodsy backyard (10 acres of conservation land) is blanketed with numerous purple and white “somethings.” I don’t know any of their names…but enjoy them, none-the-less.

  11. Linda I really enjoy your posts but this one was one of my favorites! Thanks for sharing it. Come to Santa Fe some day and stop in to see me.

  12. Thank you for following us to Oklahoma. I am gradually learning what grows in this rather small yard, but have resorted to pots and appreciated your special program on that. I am now hoping to incorporate some vegetables in with the flowers. Everything that grows brings me pleasure.

  13. When you’re an explorer, it’s hard to stay put! Hoping you and Rich are able to be traveling again soon.
    Meanwhile, chalk me up as one more person who enjoys and learns from your posts, wherever they’re focused.

  14. Thank you for all the wonders you have shown us over these years and looking forward to your traveling. But our own gardens are really the best!

  15. Beautiful eye candy in the pictures of your blooms. Thank you for the encouragement to bloom where we are planted. Hope you are soon able to travel and find more gardens to share with us.

  16. Oh, good morning, dear Linda. Please add my voice to the chorus shouting/urging/cajoling/whispering, “Don’t give up!” We all love your gentle insights and loving wonder at all that surrounds you.

    Do you know Ingersoll’s speech “Acres of Diamonds”? Visiting your garden reminds me of the importance of backyards. I hope we can revisit both you and Rich soon and that we can have a “cuppa” under your olive tree sometime soon. Also, you’ve motivated me to buy some red penstemon just in case I can lure a few hummers to my tiny corner of the world.

  17. So enjoyed the trip around your blooming, beautiful garden. Definitely rivals those you’ve traveled much further to share with us. Wishing you a bon voyage as soon as possible!

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