Friendship Garden

I was born and raised in south eastern United States. Growing up, when I heard people speak of their gardens they were probably referring to their vegetable gardens. Flowers were mostly restricted to designated beds and borders. The area outside of our homes, which could be grass or trees or dirt or flower beds or a mixture of all, were called our yards. When my British friends speak of their gardens, I have to remind myself they are speaking of their beloved English Gardens. I imagine an intimate back yard space cozied in by a surrounding fence, filled with their favorites- a mixture of flowers, plants, a small space for growing vegetables, and a small tree, or maybe two- with sitting areas and a dedicated space for tea time out of doors.

I have a dear friend, as sweetly southern as ever was born. She was raised in a small town, and grew up with family gardens. As an adult she always had something growing in her yards, flowers, a salad garden, strawberries. Eventually she settled into a sweet old house in a historic downtown district and began cultivating the space in her yard. She would add a flower here, a plant there…focusing on perennials… and as her garden grew, her friends and neighbors would visit. The plant exchanging began. She would share, and friends would share with her. As we walk through her garden now, over 20 years later, she tells me who gifted which plants. We eventually named the beautiful space a Friendship Garden.

Ms Judy has exquisite taste and an eye for loveliness, favoring exquisite details. She and I have stood entranced by the delicate curl of the fiddle head on the Ostrich Fern, the tiny deep burgundy center of Queen Anne’s Lace, or the venation on Ivy leaves. She is a skilled creative, able to orchestrate beautiful settings in her home and garden. As I walk through her Friendship Garden, I think to myself that she has created the Southern equivalent to an English Garden.

I strolled through the Friendship Garden this week. It is early May, the daffodils are mostly backstage after their prelude dance reminding us, as winter faded, of the yellow sunshine in the coming seasons. And the Bearded Irises are taking their bows, ending their climatic opening scene of spring. Now more flowers are dancing the colors of spring, and there are leaves of purples, greens, and reds. I like to take photos in the garden in every season, there is beauty in all, such as late fall on the morning of an early frost, and the dried center of the Black-eyed-Susans in winter. I have enjoyed unending opportunities for Nature Study while strolling through the Friendship Garden. Besides the trees, plants, and flowers, there are birds and insects galore!

I do not have a green thumb, but I am inspired by this garden, and by my dear friend, to spend time in my own outdoor space and to attempt cultivating beauty with nature. I have not succeeded all my hopes and dreams in this area of my life, my imagination far exceeds my skill and efforts, but every time a flower decides to bloom in my own garden I count myself most blessed.

I have many photos saved and will share more Friendship Garden beauty here, I am sure, if I stick with my resolution to continue journaling in this space. If you would like to see more sooner than later, I have shared bits and pieces of the Friendship Garden many times on Instagram tagged with #msjudysfriendshipgarden

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s