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Garden Retreats: Canvas of my back yard

My canvas continues to be very colorful. Life is like that, so why not plant all the beautiful seeds that the good Lord has given us.

As a young girl growing up I had the unbelievable experience of moving 13 different locations from the time I was 9 to 17. Each new house that my family moved into allowed me to focus on the good areas of these locations, which helped to block out the bad areas of pain that were going on. I can recall a back yard to a small home when I was 11 years old. It was my kind of Heaven right outside the back door. Lots of large trees, beautiful perennial flowers from the past owners and a wonderful cherry blossom tree right next to my bedroom window. When I was older I was invited to a very dear friend of mines home where I was taken to their back yard, which was overwhelming. I saw many flowers that my friend cared for ever so tenderly. Wonderful assortment of trees and bushes throughout the yard.

A very large square vegetable garden was off to the South-East of the yard, she must of used miracle-grow or maybe she just had a green thumb, but everything in that vegetable garden was thriving. I so admired my friend, she had talent and an almost angelic singing voice. She would go about her tasks in her back yard and be singing some song that made you feel as though you were standing with the angels in their flower garden. How wonderful it was to see all the magnificent things my friend had done to just a simple back yard, but it had taken her years to accomplish. She began with starter plants and flowers and as the years went by, each living item she had planted into the ground was now showing off their entire splendor.

Remember, I talk of a canvas often, as I am an artist. So many things come from the start of a blank form. Whether you’re writing something on a blank piece of paper or starting a colored work of art on a canvas, it’s the same. Why not view your environment area in much the same way. Stand back and really look at your back yard. Don’t just see an old fence or weeds that have overgrown. Look beyond that and visualize that you want a place you are proud of. A nearby neighbor in town has a unique back yard, they always get ‘yard’ of the month with a sign placed in the yard, showing off all the hard work they have done. Now, you don’t need a prize every month, you know when you have accomplished something, but every now and then it’s nice that others like and enjoy what you have worked so hard to achieve. This neighbor made one whole corner of their yard a terracing rock formation water fall and tons of colorful bedding flowers that cascade from the rocks. The grass throughout the yard is immaculate. It appears it is a back yard that requires a lot of work all the time, but maybe they like that. All I see is the colorful canvas. They have painted many colors into their space of enjoyment; therefore any one passing by takes a moment to glance that way. It’s no different than when you drive to the mountains to take in all the beautiful fall colors nature has blanketed for all to admire. Why not have that same kaleidoscope spray near you in your own yard?

Okay, to give you an idea, I have many trees, I like trees they tell stories to me. I wrote a poem all about a tree and how the branches are similar to how we as people stretch our branches to life. I have a beautiful blue spruce, several pine trees, a couple of aspen trees and a few mixed ones for variety. To the North-West are border hedges that the local deer love to sneak through every evening around dinner time. Along with my sacred rock garden I have a couple of other gardens; one can never have too many garden areas. It’s the spice in your life as to what, when and how you make your yard, as for the person that is inside you. Every garden believe it or not tells something about the gardener. My herb garden is tiny, but I have the necessary plants for my tastes. A full peppermint plant, parsley, chives, basil, add a couple of raspberry bushes and there you have it.

This year I may add strawberries, however the 8 local traveling deer and their babies love all my bountiful food, so I have to be careful in what I choose if I want to reap any benefit from all the planting. Unless everything is behind a tall fence, and I don’t care for fences, then the animals take whatever is handy. Because my favorite of all flowers is an iris, I have a full row of assorted colors, soft peach, rose, purples, white and yellow iris, and bed down along the side of the house right under the dining room windows. When I open the windows in the morning to breath in the fresh mountain air, I am delighted with the fragrance of my iris. Nestled in among them are the Colorado columbine (the flowers that make up several of my pressed flower designs).

Tiger lilies are a fun flower and they multiply fast, so I added these flowers to the side area, to shake up the other flowers. In the evenings, while I am sipping a fresh brewed cup of tea with a sprig of peppermint, that I have just picked from the herb garden, I gaze around the yard and see my canvas of colors and I am pleased. I won’t trade my piece of Heaven in my back yard for any city living anymore. I have had both sides of living in small towns and living in cities; I choose a small town to keep my heart at peace. It doesn’t matter where you live, as long as you surround yourself with beauty, then all else will follow.

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