I love Pinterest for garden inspiration and collecting ideas, but another favorite source of inspiration for me are the gardens I visit — botanical gardens, demonstration gardens, neighbors’ gardens! Last Fall, the hubby and I spent time going through the Master Gardener’s Learning Garden at the Jenkins Estate in Beaverton, Oregon. It was our first autumn visit to that small but delightful garden, and I fell in love with one plant that was in full bloom on that sunny afternoon. It was a huge clump of Lemon Queen Sunflowers. The bees also loved that plant! It was covered with them! So I decided I had to have some Lemon Queens in my garden for this year, so I sent away for one live plant and when it arrived, I planted  it in a tub that I could see from the kitchen window and waited throughout the winter to see if it would do anything. Indeed it did! That one plant has been a delight for all of the summer. It has bloomed and bloomed, and continues blooming today! A huge clump of them would be wonderful, so next spring I will plant more of them. The bees will be very happy.


Garden Reading: Beatrix Potter


Stormy November morning…

What to do on a stormy November weekend? I’m going to enjoy reading Marta McDowell‘s book, Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life: The Plants and Places that Inspired the Classic Children’s Tales. I also downloaded onto my Kindle, Beatrix Potter Complete Tales, because I’ve only read some of her lovely tales, but not all, and I thought it would be fun to read them as I learn about her gardening life. So storm away, November! I’ll be hunkered down with Beatrix Potter and another one of Marta McDowell’s wonderful books about writers and their gardens!

Garden Light

Garden light


Garden Light
~ Michael S. Glaser

Let us seek to paint what we experience here…
not in detail, but broad brush strokes

capturing sunlight and the shadows that lace
the gravel paths, the grass,

the flowers, radiant in their beds.
and the sky, its white clouds drifting against the blue.

Everything as it is, insists on itself:
the song birds, the owls, the lady bugs

each a reminder of this opportunity
for adoration, for doing and saying nothing,

for embracing, as we might,
the generous gift of this garden light.

Back to the Garden

Mom and me sitting on Dad's memorial bench.

Mom and me sitting on Dad’s memorial bench.

Red Butte Garden, in Salt Lake City, Utah, is a place of pilgrimage for my family. It is a beautiful botanical garden located on the mountainside near the University of Utah. In 1994, it was a very young garden, and when my father died in May of that year our family decided to place a memorial bench there. Dad was a professor at the University of Utah for many years, and he loved gardens, so it seemed a perfect way and place to remember him.

So, almost every time we return to Salt Lake City, my family goes to the Garden. It’s a lovely visit, no matter what time of year, and a happy place to spend time soaking up the surrounding beauty and remembering a very wise and gentle man.

Last week, while all together, we made our pilgrimage again and enjoyed the sunshine and warmth, the beautiful roses and fall-flowering plants. We sat on my Dad’s memorial bench and talked and laughed and reminisced. He would have loved sitting on that bench in the rose garden and sharing that beautiful day with his family.



Joy Creek Nursery



We’re back to our “Wandering Wednesdays” after weeks of too-hot days that interfered with our motivation to wander. This week, we took our daughter with us and visited a special garden nursery in Scappoose, Oregon (about 18 miles north of Portland), called Joy Creek Nursery. We’re planning some changes to certain areas of our garden, so this was an ‘educational field trip’ for us.

The nursery is aptly named, “Joy Creek,” because it was truly a joy to walk through and experience. The display gardens were inspiring, and the selection of plants was wonderful. What a lovely learning and wandering day!


A Community Garden

Our town has a Community Gardens space.

The gardens provide an open, fertile space where people can rent 250 sq. ft. plots at its Victory Garden location to grow food, enjoy the outdoors, and commune with friends and neighbors to encourage a cooperative community spirit while lowering their grocery bills!

Hubby and I had heard about the Gardens from a neighbor, but had never seen them. So for our “Wandering Wednesdays” this week, we spent the morning exploring those gardens. We enjoyed the creativity and appreciated the hard work of our neighbors.

Celebrating Gardens: Red Butte Garden

Mom on Dad's Bench

My Mom sitting on Dad’s memorial bench…

Red Butte Garden is located in my hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s a very special place for my family because we have my father’s memorial bench there, so each time we return to SLC, we visit the Garden. It is constantly changing and improving, becoming more beautiful each time we visit! We returned in early June to visit my almost 96-year-old mother, and once again, we spent time in the Garden.

Celebrating Gardens: Schreiner’s Iris Garden


The second stop on our garden vacation was to visit Schreiner’s Iris Garden, just north of Salem, Oregon. It was an overcast morning with a bit of rain, but as we drove into the parking lot, the sun came out! We spent hours wandering slowly through the display garden, overwhelmed by the color and the variety of irises and other flowers! It was absolutely gorgeous!

Celebrating Gardens: Return to the Oregon Garden


The Oregon Garden Resort

Last Spring we enjoyed our first visit to the beautiful Oregon Garden in Silverton, Oregon. We liked it so much we decided we must return and spend more time there. In the middle of our gray and rainy winter, my husband made reservations at the Oregon Garden Resort for two lovely May days. It was such a nice thing to look forward to all winter! When May finally arrived, we loved our mini-vacation exploring the many different areas of the Garden. What a beautiful garden and lovely resort! This is a mini-vacation we will repeat quite often!