Category Archives: local haunts

wednesday morning in the garden

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Yesterday brought cooler temperatures, and another stunning sunrise. It’s dark when we drop off E at school these days. Her classes start so early. But the sky is waking up on our right, and we catch glimpses of the pink hued sky between the houses on each block as we drive her to school. F put up no arguments about the garden this week, a pleasant change from her typical resistance.

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We picked up coffee and steamed apple cider and a couple of breakfast sandwiches to eat, and parked at the garden while we finished them up. It was light once we arrived, but still chilly. Delightful, really.

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We weren’t as rushed on this morning. We were able to visit the maze and the secret paths without any nagging. She was in a collecting mood, so her hands and arms were soon full. She stopped every thirty feet or so to re-adjust everything. This worked well for my photo taking too – we’re an odd couple as we walk, rarely side-by-side, usually one in front and one lagging behind, distracted by something.

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The holiday lights are being installed throughout the garden. It seems early, but I know that November is just around the corner. I’m not ready for fall to be over. It feels like it’s just starting to settle in. As she walks, F wishes for mittens. It’s not that cold, but we can sense it coming. She decides she’ll put a pair in her backpack, just in case. She shoves her hands in her pockets for a moment, but she can’t resist picking up sticks along the way. The sticks are resting in my trunk for a few days, until I’m certain she’s forgotten about them. Until next Wednesday, when she discovers something new along our walk.

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wednesday morning in the garden

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Our visit was a quick one this morning, but once again we dodged the rain that came a little later. The garden was busy – beds are being cleared and the holiday lights are being installed throughout. I had promised F that we would go back to visit the “secret paths” in the woodland garden, but they are located near the rear of the place so we had to hurry.

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Still, it was a little rushed. We had a number of detours on our way to the garden – lots of construction, a delay at the coffee shop, general morning busyness. I prefer the quiet and the stillness, and the garden generally offers that. I let her roam, and she’s happy to do it. When we have to keep a close eye on the time, I feel like I’m always urging her along. I prefer to wander at will.

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But we allowed ourselves enough time to get back to the entrance without rushing. We took a different route, and found some stunning chrysanthemums and dahlias on the way. When we got back into the car she expressed her disappointment that we didn’t have enough time in the woods. So we made a deal to return soon, without the press of a school bell in the back of our minds.

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It was still a good start to the day, much quieter than the noise and bluster of the debate later that evening. I love an overcast garden, the cool air a relief after the heat and humidity and noise of the week.

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wednesday morning in the garden

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My photos of the garden this week include a few from Saturday morning as well. I was lucky to get a visit from a dear college friend over the weekend Рshe was in town for a job site visit on Friday, and so we were able to go out to dinner at the wine bar around the corner that evening. Saturday morning we woke up early, grabbed coffee and tea, and walked around the garden for about an hour before we headed to the farmers market to grab some breakfast and flowers.

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Saturday was sunny and pleasant, and all around lovely for a mid-October day. It’s nice to see your city through someone else’s eyes – especially the eyes of another architect. She’s building her own new home in Atlanta, and I showed her the progress on our project, and promised her the next time she comes to visit she’ll get a whole suite to herself!

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Wednesday was overcast, cooler, and threatening rain – but it held off until after our walk. The air was clean and crisp, and the temperatures now are really perfect. Jacket weather, not too cold.

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She requested the secret paths again, but we ended up running into a friend and winding through the paths a different way. (My goal is to secretly win over everyone to these golden garden hours, one person at a time. I get very excited when I see my plan working!)

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The beds are being emptied, turned over and ready for hardier plantings. I’m never sad to see this in progress – it’s like a fresh slate, and we notice the patterns and the structure of the various gardens in these interim moments.

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There is still color, and green. There is brick everywhere, and it’s set off by the greens and the muted sky and light. My friend kept remarking on all the brick in this city, and it is remarkable. We forget it sometimes, living here and seeing it everyday.

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That’s why it’s good to walk the same paths with new people. Or just a new season or new perspective. There is always something you haven’t seen before, and so often it’s really beautiful.