This past Friday was my last day of school and my first day of vacation. I decided to celebrate by meeting my friend, Karen, at a local gardening shop aptly named, The Farm at Green Village. It has a pond, acres of trails and foliage, an enormous greenhouse, and even a resident peacock. I am not a gardener, but I love going to The Farm. It is my Zen place, my place to unwind and breathe; my place to meet a friend and laugh.
When I arrived, Karen was already picking out plants. She is the gardener. Her home is surrounded by flowers. I love visiting her; sitting out on her back deck surveying her flowers, watching bees and hummingbirds pause by the blossoms, and scolding her cat, Pepe, as he tries to catch butterflies in his claws. It’s like a wonderful summer ballet.
We walked the aisles looking for the right flowers and hanging baskets for Karen’s home. We marveled at the colors and types of flowers. Karen knows many more flower names than I do. I would love to be more garden-knowledgeable. I love reading the names off the garden tags: salvia, hydrangea, echinacea, begonia, petunia, impatience, zinnia. Lots of lovely rolling syllables. Lots of bright and cheerful colors. We filled up two carts with flowers for Karen’s garden and planters. I felt my body relax as I roamed the aisles of flowers, taking in their fragrance. It was like spending a morning in Eden with a friend. It made me so happy. What better way to start the summer.
My new favorite flowers were the Lantana. I have admired them but didn’t know their name. They have delicate little flowers that grow in little bunches in a variety of complementary colors. I especially loved the Sunburst Lantana. They just make me happy when I look at them. They remind me of flowers you would arrange for a summer tea party for the fairies or a wedding for garden gnomes.
After a couple of hours, we sat among the flowers and chatted, soaking in the morning sun. Then we headed inside to look for houseplants and planters. This is another happy place for me. While Karen, selected two small houseplants, I went hunting for colorful pots with my camera. I don’t have room to collect such things, but I collect them with my camera, and that means I can keep them forever and never worry that they may break.
I roamed among all the beautiful things, clicking away in wonder of each little object: pots, statuettes, vases, mirrors, and baskets in an array of colors. If I had a grand mansion, I would fill one wing like this full of plants and light and love. Instead, I choose two small ceramic objects: a bunny and a turtle. The bunny will grace my desk, and the turtle will be a present for my husband. He loves turtles because they remind him to slow down and concentrate on what’s truly important.
I am glad I slowed down today. I am grateful for this time with Karen, for this day among the flowers. I cannot wait until our next trek, but for now the flowers are enough.