Life as I know It

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San Luis Obispo, California, and South Bristol, Maine, United States
Author ~ Illustrator ~ Lecturer

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Leafless in South Bristol to ....

Packing, closing, and finally leaving our beloved seaside cottage in Maine is always heart wrenching–this year particularly. The weather was so perfect that we could sit outside for all our meals, rocking in our chairs, mesmerized by the sun glimmering across the waters of John's Bay, and listening to the peaceful sound of waves curling against the shore and shushing their way back into the bay.

Our final act was to hammer the window coverings into place lest we get hit by a powerful hurricane. The house was darkened and cold. As we turned to leave, I said my farewell in the hopes that we can return soon.

The flight (ususally we drive, work, and visit friends across the US) home took 12 hours. That night when we walked through the gates to our "Sunflower House" gardens, the scent of Brugmansia, lemon and lime blossoms, and some unidentifiable sweet aromas wafted through the air. From balsam fir and the rich moistness of the forest floor to the sun drenched gardens of California. What a change.

The first morning home I wandered through the yard and discovered what a fine job my son Noah and granddaughter Sara did with my plants. My Cinderella pumpkin patch (seeds from Renee Shepherd ) almost covered our back yard. Dozens of orange-red pumpkins glowed from under the canopy of foot wide leaves.
I found the pumpkins I had scratched with my grandchildren's names and presented them to the kids that night. They were thrilled with their personalized Autumn pumpkins.

Our gardens (inspired by the walled gardens of Spain and The Cloisters Garden in New York) is alive with flowering vines, herbs, fruit trees, strawberries, and a medley of flowers. I particularly love the 8' tall Indian Spring single hollyhocks running single file down our adobe wall. Nepeta 'Walker's Low,' fringes all of our front garden beds with lacy spires of lavender blooms, and the 'Munstead' and Hidcote lavender, Mexican sage, and pineapple sage continue their showy splash of vibrant colors.

I am harvesting more pumpkins, guavas, the last of my Fuji apples, cucumbers, tomatoes (especially love the pleated little Oaxacan tomato), and scads of 'Painted Lady' runner bean seed pods (also from Renee Shepherd).

More later. The garden calls!