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.

Day 124: Plant in Metal Containers


Another beautiful day meant another day working in the backyard garden. Record high temps, in the mid 90’s, made me grateful for the wind though. Today, for my first, I enjoyed grouping together metal buckets, a watering can and an old wash tub and filling them with flowers.

I love how the backyard transformation is progressing. This morning a new back gate was installed, offering privacy and security. This afternoon I spent a couple of hours browsing at local lawn and garden centers, searching for the right plants and flowers for the assortment of metal containers that I collected on a recent junkin’ expedition. When I’m in creative mode, I carry a mental plan and as I search for items, I am continually matching what I see with that picture I carry in my head.

Sometimes, though, a new plan develops or the mental image shifts slightly. That was the case today as I looked for flowers in hot colors such as reds, oranges and yellows. As I added selections to my shopping cart, I realized the colors had shifted to pinks, whites and purples. Once I put the yellow flowering plants I had picked out back on the rack, the new color plan rapidly came together.

Back home, I got to visit with my son, Nate, his fiancé, Megan, and my granddaughter, Aubrey. That allowed time for the temps to fall slightly as the sun began to sink toward the horizon. When I carted all my newly purchased plants into the backyard, it was perfect planting weather!

I love getting my hands into the dirt and gardening. I also love creating vignettes and groupings, so what a delightful evening for me! I am so drawn to gardening. I think my Scottish ancestry has something to do with my deep love for the earth and green things. I truly am most at peace, most blissful, when I’m creating in my garden and moving among living, growing trees, plants and flowers.


I had fun grouping my metal containers on and near one corner of the brick seating area. The wash tub I purchased at a flea market was a little wobbly on its legs so Greg graciously made it secure by attaching copper wiring to each leg and bringing the wires together in the center, beneath the wash tub. It is very secure now. I had searched and searched for a couple of old metal wash tubs. I was thrilled to find one at the Fancy Flamingo Flea Market at a great price. I’d like to have at least one more.

As the sun was setting, I completed the plantings in all the containers. Stepping back for a look, and mentally comparing what was before me with the image I had carried in my head, I was pleased! The plants and flowers are young, however, in a few weeks the containers will look wonderful. In each container there is at least one upright plant and at least two trailing plants. I look forward to seeing the plants grow and fill in. It will be beautiful!


I enjoyed relaxing on the brick patio as darkness fell. My eyes often glanced over at the new grouping in the corner, and I smiled, feeling content and satisfied. As the wind stirred the plants, a mixture of delicate scents drifted by. That was the other part of the plan that shifted today. I realized as I shopped that I was picking up plants that smelled wonderful. How amazing it will be to sit on the patio in the mornings and evenings and not only delight in how the plants look as they mature, but breathe in deeply and inhale the fragrances of lavender, petunias and sweet William. Bliss indeed!