Journey 104: My Happy Place

In spite of a canopy of dark clouds today, only occasional drops of rain fell. When the temperature climbed into the mid 60’s, I answered the tug to wander out into the backyard. I only intended to take a stroll, checking the new growth.

Soon I was humming and pulling weeds, exclaiming over new green stalks appearing all over the garden, pushing up through the mulch and last year’s dry leaves. The outdoors beckoned and this became my journey today. After dealing with the weeds, I set out the metal buckets and containers. It seemed the perfect afternoon to begin planting.

I always smile as soon as I pull into the parking lot at Lowe’s Garden Center. I can meander among the colorful flowers and varied plants, shrubs and trees for hours, thinking, dreaming, deciding. This is one of my favorite happy places. I can’t be here without being inspired.

My purpose today was to search out and purchase this year’s first flowers for the containers, with Aunt Annie’s metal tub foremost in my mind. I knew what I wanted for that metal tub, color wise. The joy was in finding the perfect flowering representation of those colors. I didn’t spend hours browsing today. In 30 minutes I was headed back home, plants carefully nestled on the floor in the back of the car.

My aunt, who recently stepped into eternity, loved to garden, as do many in my family. It must be our Celtic roots that bind us to the green earth so. I am extremely honored to have Aunt Annie’s tub, a cherished gift from my cousins. Late this afternoon I planted my chosen flowers within the container, and added plants as well to two metal buckets and a vintage watering can, grouped around it.

Aunt Annie was born on the 4th of July. It seemed very appropriate to me to fill her container with red, white and blue flowers. And so tucked into the rich, fragrant soil are red Verbena, white Calibrachea, and blue Lobelia. I’m pleased with the way it looks, and as the plants mature, the Calibrachea will trail over the edges. I will think of Annie and the blessings of her life and love, every time I look at the showy display in her tub.

The tall metal bucket behind the tub holds more red Verbena and white Calibrachea, while the watering can is planted with coral Portulaca. I love combining yellows and purples. The dented, beautifully imperfect bucket cradles Margarita African Daisies in those brilliant colors. When the Fireworks Gomphrena plants arrive that I’m ordering, I’ll add them to this corner of the brick patio, in honor of Uncle Dale who passed recently also. It will be my own little memorial garden.

As much as I enjoy the garden center at Lowe’s, nothing compares to this place in my own backyard, my ultimate Happy Place. In this sheltered but not so secret garden, I can just be. I soak in peace and joy as surely as my plants soak up the sun’s rays. Truly, my happiness is found within my own being, but it is called forth in this place of beauty, radiating outward from me, to every corner of the garden. It then returns to me in waves, amplified, washing over me and filling me. I smile. I sing. My hands get dirty. I am so content.