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Finding a sense of peace amid the calm of my garden

As I write this, I’m in my favorite room of summer: my back, north-facing patio. I’m sipping my second cup of tea during this early morning time. The cool, crisp air is so refreshing on my face, and Neslie my dog is by my side.

The birds are eating their breakfasts. A Black-capped chickadee parent is feeding babies in our yellow bird house, which is such a joy to watch. Other birds, including a Towhee, are enjoying sunflower hearts from the cylindrical feeder; goldfinches are eating from their thistle feeder; and hummingbirds are darting back and forth between their feeder and the various nectar-filled blooms of my garden. Lobelia Cardinalis is a favorite, along with the hardy fuchsia and yellow Phygelius tubular flower. I notice a Black-capped chickadee “house hunting” at the orange house designed with a metal sun. Perhaps for next year?

I’m surrounded by my garden from my patio vantage point, which brings me such a sense of peace. I’ve always appreciated this early morning quiet time. I spot something white and realize my first “Blue River” hibiscus is out — a plate size of nine inches. I also have apricot-colored oriental poppies. This year the plant is laden with blooms. It’s always a thrill to see nature at her best with such little care. The plants may be thanking me for last fall’s compost application?

Gardening has taught me so many things; of utmost importance is patience. We can’t rush Mother Nature. The seasons certainly can’t be rushed, which makes for constant changes with something new always in bloom to admire. Everything happens according to nature’s plan.

My garden is a maxi on a mini lot, plus countless pots. I’ve raised the sprinklers so most of the garden is automatically watered. Gardeners are nurturers, which makes for constant fussing over this plant or that ... the correct food, relocating if necessary. What continues to astonish me about gardening is that you can walk by and notice one thing wrong, stop to set it right, and then one thing leads to another and an hour or two later, contented and relaxed, I’m wondering where the time has gone.

I’m always in awe over the wonders of creation. Just imagine: From one tiny seed or bulb, an exquisite bloom is born. The temperatures of the season dictate, the plants perform accordingly.

For now, I’m enjoying every moment and wandering daily through my garden. It is also very satisfying to share my knowledge of gardening, which is ongoing, with my grandchildren and friends. If one has an appreciation of nature, be it gardening or bird life, it is a form of relaxation which is close at hand.

Fast forward to October: fall cleanup, cutting back, raking and composting to nourish for next spring, putting the plants to bed as it were. Then it will be time to plan for next spring, poring over catalogs and planning a necessary change for better results next year. I’ll dream of being back out on my patio and in my garden once again, experiencing the emotional calm.

Barbara Camp is a resident of Lake Oswego and a member of the Lake Grove Garden Club.




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