Invariably imagined

Jeff and Matt enjoy a lovely September day in a gorgeous garden spot. Luxembourg Gardens, Paris, September 2004

Jeff and Matt enjoy a lovely September day in a gorgeous garden spot.
Luxembourg Gardens, Paris, September 2004

“…it is not surprising that paradise is invariably imagined as a garden.”
Mac Griswold

Autumn is upon us, with all its promise of splendor, but it’s not too late to bid a fond farewell to the green grass and vivid blooms of summer.  I hope you are able to spend a few minutes this week taking in the warmth and sunshine in a large or small garden near you.  Bask in the beauty of roses, begonias, mandevillas and hibiscus, and gather ideas for next spring.  It will be here before we know it.

I don’t know about you, but I could use a little taste of paradise just now.  Find a nice spot and point me in the right direction– I’ll bring the iced tea.


  1. As we age time passes more quickly than we would like it to. No longer do the lazy days of summer engulf us in its’ presence. No longer can we smell the scent of the Honey Suckle and Tea Roses in the early morning light,. No longer can we watch the Fire Fly light up the night, or watch the Grasshopper jump from blade to blade. No longer do we light the Punks and swirl them in the dark of evening and watch the light show. How wonderful the years were to us and we didn’t even realize it until now.

    • Patricia, I always love reading what you write. I remember lighting the punks! Wow, I haven’t thought of that for years. My brothers loved the loud firecrackers and bottle rockets, but I always liked sparklers best, and didn’t understand why anyone would want anything else. I noticed this morning, for the first time this year, we had to turn on the living room lights while waiting for Matt’s ride. Summer is over and the time is flying by. I’m trying to treasure each minute. Well, ALMOST each minute. 😀 Hope you have a great weekend coming up!

  2. blseibel

    That is a wonderful idea and just what I need to calm my current anxiety over my future. I keep trying to give it to God but then taking it back. Maybe a garden walk would help me commune with God and His creation.

    • That sounds so familiar. Sometimes when I give something to God and it’s not instantly “fixed” (according to my standards, anyway) I too end up trying to take over again. For me, the garden and woods and even landscaped suburban sidewalks are a balm to my soul that provides stability in almost all circumstances. I hope you were able to get out for a nice stroll and a few quiet minutes.

  3. Cherie

    Julia, my prayer today is for you to find your special paradise. I have you and your family always in my thoughts and prayers. Love you. Cherie

    • Thank you Cherie. I appreciate your kindness, prayers and friendship! We are making progress toward adjusting, baby step by baby step. Now and then the stars shine brightly through the gloom. 🙂 ❤

  4. What a beautiful garden and you’ve been to Paris!! How wonderful. We have a touch of autumn but our days are still summer. I love this time of year. Ready to plant my bulbs for spring. Hope you have a wonderful week ahead.

    • Marlene, this has been a week of true autumn weather. I actually swept the leaves from the walk on Monday (the cherry blossom is one of the first trees to shed its leaves) and I’ve relished my evening walks in the cool twilight. Bulb planting time is upon us! I tried some new varieties last year but most were duds. I may just stick with my perennial (no pun intended) favorite, the daffodil. Paris is fabulous — I did not see it for the first time until 2005, but I thought to myself “now I know what all the fuss is about.” It has a special magic.

  5. Jack

    I made the most serendipitous discovery a few years ago as I wandered around on a road less traveled. The community where I live gathers leaves and keeps them in a central repository, eventually with God’s help creating the most beautiful dirt you ever saw, all just for the asking. The thrice-annual dump truck load came to my house last week, nine cubic yards in tow (think cover Turner Field in about 3″ of it and you get an idea of 9 yards). Over the course of about 20 hours, I moved it, amended soil, planted bulbs…lots of bulbs…addictive, irrational, borderline stupid amounts of bulbs.

    I’m not sure that’s what you had in mind with the reflection, but that’s how I read it.

    • Jack, that’s precisely what I had in mind. I’m green (or should I say brown) with envy at your unlimited free compost. We have a place to bring our yard waste for compost, but then we have to pay for the privilege of hauling it off ourselves, so Jeff and I usually just make our own, alternating leaves with grass clippings in a big trash can with holes punched in it, and watering it down from time to time. Plus the trees in our “lower 40” make their own compost. How wonderful to plant “addictive, irrational, borderline stupid amounts of bulbs” — your place must look like a mini-Keukenhof! There is nothing in the world like those vivid blooms to perk us up in springtime.

  6. MaryAnn

    What a treat to “walk” with you in a garden. When I ride my bike or walk in our neighborhood, I marvel at the beauty in many of the yards, praising God for His Creation! Today, I choose your beautiful garden in your backyard. I take my tea sans sugar. See you soon!

    • Mary Ann, I have a whole bag of nice tart lemons to put in our tea. I’ve learned to like the taste of tea without sugar too, even (or especially) with lemon juice. That’s quite an accomplishment for me since I love my sweet tea, but nothing like a diabetes diagnosis to change one’s habits. See you out in the garden– or if it rains, inside at my kitchen table!

  7. Amen to that!

    • Thank you, Alan!

  8. bobmielke

    Imagine what it’s like for me living in a beautiful house on the 11th hole fairway of a golf course? I’m giving all this up in 4 days to live in New England in Autumn in the country, surrounded by beautiful trees in Fall color. It’s a rough life but somebody has to live it! LOL

    • Hey Bob, if you need to take a break, we will be glad to house sit. 😀 Happy fall!

      • bobmielke

        Careful, there’s a hurricane heading up the east coast.

        • Jeff was just telling me about it! I hope it calms down before it reaches any inhabited areas.

  9. Julia, a garden sounds delightful right about now. We’ve had much flooding for several days in Garden City. The Super Moon and King Tide happened at the same time. There’s a good reason that beach houses are RAISED. Several streets have been impassible at high tide and we have much beach erosion. But every day is a blessing, with or without these little inconveniences. I’ll meet you for that ice tea and I’ll bring some sunbeams! 💛🌞🌼 I’m keeping you close in thoughts and prayers. Love, Sheila

    • Hi Sheila, I have really needed our virtual tea times this week, but this is the first time I could take a break for it in quite awhile. I loved reading about your weather, even though it probably wasn’t fun for you. I always had these crazy romantic notions about how cozy a beach house would be in the rain. We are supposed to get hurricane weather in York this weekend, so that might be more than I’d like, and we won’t even have the beach. Thanks for staying close — your friendship is a comfort.

  10. Michael

    Sumacs are starting to turn, but it was 72 degrees today in the Emerald city.

    • Is fall your hottest season? When we lived on the Central Coast of CA, I remember how October was our hottest month. The boys used to get too hot trick-or-treating if they wore a heavy costume.

  11. HarryS

    More feelings are unleashed In our imagination that we can imagine.
    The kiss of the sun for pardon,
    The song of the birds for mirth,–
    One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
    Than anywhere else on earth.

    • Harry, I just love that poem! It’s a very rainy day here today, but I can still hear the birds chirping now and then. Hope you are having a great week.

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