Category Archives: local haunts

wednesday morning in the garden

Garden 2

We’re back here again. A little later than I thought we might be, but we had a run of cold or windy Wednesdays, even in the middle of an unseasonably warm February. It’s hard to get up an hour earlier when it’s 40 and drizzling outside. But this Wednesday was perfect.

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Everything is budding, green things shooting up through the earth, several weeks earlier than in years past. The temperature outside is dropping about forty degrees; there is snow in the forecast for Saturday. I hope it’s milder than the predictions, and all the early blooms survive.

Garden 4

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I took that shot of forsythia above from a distance. When I was looking through the photos, I noticed that the cardinal we had been watching earlier is perched on a branch in the trees. Can you find it? It’s such a bright thing. We saw several on our walk.

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There’s a new path and viewing area in the Japanese Garden. F was very excited to spot it – we nearly missed it.

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The view from this peninsula is lovely. I couldn’t believe how fragrant the garden was.

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Garden 1

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So much color already, it fills me up for these busy days ahead. The wind was brisk, but the sun was warm on our faces. We were there just as they opened, and walked for over an hour, passing four or five people at the most. It felt like it was all ours.

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Garden 5

She wanted to see the sheep, and she struck a “Hamilton Pose” on each one. The photos look like she’s raising her hand to ask a question. Or give an answer. Probably the latter.

Garden 9

The rest of my Wednesday wasn’t so great. By the end of the day I felt the opposite of relaxed and energized. It’s nice to see these photos again – to remember these moments and to look forward to the next ones. Watching a garden come to life again is a magical thing when you find the time to notice it.

Garden 20

wednesday morning(s) in the garden


I keep telling her that this is our last garden morning for the season. We expect it to get cold and drizzly and damp, but it doesn’t. So we take them, these gifts, for as long as they are there.




The holiday lights will be lit this weekend, the installation is wrapping up. It’s been busier on these mornings as the preparations for the season are underway. There are big tree crews on ropes, stringing lights while swinging in the leaves. We skip all the action and the bustle and head to the rear of the garden.





Berries are everywhere, in every color. I enjoy discovering them, she’s not as interested. She’s happiest when moving about, tiptoeing across rocks and getting as close as possible to the water without actually falling in. Yet.






Some of these photos are from last Wednesday’s walk, the rest are from yesterday. Last week I was a bleary, blurry mess; this week, maybe a hint better? It’s hard to tell. I feel tired as we move into this next season. There is so much going on, and I feel like there is an added weight and urgency beyond the mundane. This irritates me, this extra layer of hyper-awareness and checklists of action items. My privilege is showing, I’m late to the game.





I point out our long morning shadows, and I ask her to take a photo with me. She rests her hand in the crook of my arm as I hold the camera up to take the shot. It’s so still, and she’s not moving, just standing there, joined to me for a moment. I’m surprised at how this makes me feel. It sneaks up on me and the spell lasts for several seconds before she remembers how fun her shadow can be.






The citrus trees in the Linnean house are full of fruit. “Mmmmm,” she says, pointing at the grapefruit. I agree. Grapefruit feels like Christmastime, and the holly and the poinsettias add to this.





I’ll take another Wednesday gift, if there is one. And if it turns dark and cold and blustery, that’s okay. They’ll come around again, and for that I am grateful.


wednesday morning in the garden

I’m starting to emerge out of the fog of illness, but I’m not firing on all cylinders quite yet. I always check to see that the memory card is in my camera, but I forgot to yesterday morning, so when we arrived at the garden on one of the most gorgeous mornings of the season, my camera was a no-show.


Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but I kept seeing interesting things that I wanted to photograph. I took a few shots with my phone, but it’s not the same. I appreciate the convenience of having a camera on me all the time in the form of my phone, but it’s never really felt like a camera to me. There’s something different in carrying around my “real” camera when I’m in the garden. My phone is tucked away – I only check it occasionally for the time.

It’s pretty dark now at seven when we leave the house. We drive east to the stop sign just a few feet away, before turning north. The sky is so gorgeous every morning, streaked with watercolors. We cross a diagonal thoroughfare, and catch a brief glimpse of downtown silhouetted against the sunrise. M used to work in a corner office on the nineteenth floor of the tallest building downtown. He was always there before the sun went up, and had the best photographs of it.


We’ve gotten into the habit of stopping for breakfast on the way to the garden instead of making something quickly at home. I tell myself each week that I need to be better at making a portable breakfast ahead of time that we can grab and go, but I never seem to get around to it. Sleeping as late as possible always seems to win out, even if “late” really means that the alarm sounds before the six o’clock hour. But I’ve let her add steamed apple juice to the breakfast tab, and she adds a little whipped cream. She never finishes it completely, and she doesn’t need it. It pushes our modest breakfast tab beyond the threshold of modest for a weekly occurrence, and each Wednesday I consider whether it is worth it.


But now they recognize her, and they steam it just right – not too hot – and make the whipped cream into a funny little tower before squishing it down with the lid in front of her. She drinks it in slow sips on the way down the street to the garden, and then bigger drinks as we head off to school an hour later. When I finally pull into the parking lot at work, I pick up the cup, now cold, and feel its weight. I take a drink and it tastes like fall, but sweeter. Too sweet to drink any more, but just a taste to carry our morning with me for a few more minutes.