Tuesday, March 29, 2016

My Garden Visits . . . The Beginning

I've been thinking about expanding my French Country blog from once to twice a week. 
I'll still write about French Country decor on Fridays;
this will be my first post about my garden. 
I hope you'll stop by each Tuesday for a visit on My Garden Visits.

(Can you spot the little visitor in my garden below?)

I like to think of gardening as an extension of my creative spirit in my home. 
It spills out the French door onto the patio and into the garden 
like my yard-sale treasures tumble into my home on weekends. 
It's that same creative urge that speaks to me in the plant nursery and says, "Take me home."

I may start out with a plan for my garden but then that spirit taps me on the shoulder 
and whispers, "Why not try something different?" 
And so I dig out a butterfly bush and move it to another spot. 
It will get more sun there, I tell myself, fingers crossed it will survive the move.

That garden spirit whispering in my ear is my father. 
My love of gardening came from my Dad 
even though I didn't recognize it until much later after he was gone.

It's hard to picture him now without seeing him kneeling in the dirt, 
a grin on his tan face, as he holds a fresh baby eggplant. 
Like a new father, he is proud of what he's produced. 
I can just hear him shout, "Hey, look what I made!"

My father died on Good Friday fourteen years ago. 
Maybe that's why my thoughts turn to him this time of year and I invite him for a garden visit. 
His gentle presence is always with me in the garden, letting me know he's proud of me 
for the woman I've become and for my stewardship of all living things in my garden.

I didn't know I'd become a gardener (my sister inherited the green thumb) 
but somehow that latent love of the earth burst forth in me 
like spring bulbs pushing up through the wet, soggy ground. 
And over the years, it's become a bit of an obsession, giving me purpose and rebirth each year. 

Now, as spring approaches and the ground warms, I kneel in my garden and say, 
"Hey Dad, look what I made!"

Thanks to everyone who checked in on me during the
Great Denver Blizzard four days into Spring.
Yes, we were smack in the middle of it and got about 16 inches!
But no broken limbs (in the trees or on the body)!
Now, if I could just find my plants.

Linking with:
Bella Rosa AntiquesElizabeth and Co.Savvy Southern StyleKnick of TimeMaison de Pax,
Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. OlsonA Delightsome LifeThe Vintage NestPoofing the Pillows,
Peonies and Orange BlossomsAdirondack Girl at HeartRooted in ThymeCharm of Home,
French Country CottageShabby Art BoutiqueThe Cottage MarketShabby Fu FuThoughts from AliceOur Southern HomeRustic & RefinedDwellingsBetween Naps on the Porch,
Cozy Little HouseCoastal CharmCedar Hill Farmhouse


  1. By all means. Pat, share your gardening obsession, your sweet presence of your Dad's memory, along with all your little visitors. I grow bee balm also, and feed the hummers each year with both plants and strategic feeders. Happy gardening!

    1. Thanks Rita. It's always nice to hear from you. Having beautiful weather here in Denver, perfect for puttering!

  2. By all means. Pat, share your gardening obsession, your sweet presence of your Dad's memory, along with all your little visitors. I grow bee balm also, and feed the hummers each year with both plants and strategic feeders. Happy gardening!

  3. Yes, I spotted that wee visitor. We've had his cousins here most of the winter, whizzing past the window and looking for the feeder.
    I look forward to reading more from you garden.

    1. Thanks so much for visiting my garden. My only visitors now are robins and chickadees but I know the wee ones are out there somewhere. Wish I had your first name so I could answer personally.

  4. Right up my alley. So glad I found you at Thursday Favorite Things. I adore your foxgloves and lilies. What a lovely tribute to your father. Mine loved to garden, and sometimes I feel him in the wind.

  5. Gardening is one of my first loves! Next to my family, of course! Love for my savior is right up there on top as well. Your father would be so happy! My love came from my mother. Even as a teen I loved mowing the lawn because I love the smell of freshly cut grass. And dirt, love that smell too. Lol! Good garden dirt that is. Your flowers are lovely! Glad they survived the storm. We hear it's snowing back home in Utah. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    1. Hi Jann, great to hear from you. I've seen your garden pixs on your blog and they're gorgeous. Thanks for visiting.

  6. You have such a lovely garden! Blessings, Cecilia

  7. Your garden is so pretty! Such a nice photograph of your father, and such wonderful, heart-felt words. He looks like he was a great dad. I miss mine, too, and it's been 30 years he's gone. He was another who loved to till the earth, and I DO think of him as well whenever I'm gardening. I'll be checking on your gardening progress. . .I always love to see what's happening in other places/climates.

    1. Hi Cynthia, thanks so much for your sweet comments. We never stop missing our parents do we? What part of the country are you in?

  8. Gardening is one of my joys as well, it calms me, inspires me and keeps me balanced. I grew up on a farm with my Mother having the best green thumb in the county!
    I enjoyed this tribute to your Father as well, our parents are the salt of the earth and he would be so very proud of you for continuing on his legacy.
    Thank you for sharing this with us.

    1. Hi Jemma and thanks for your sweet comments. After you commented, I went to your blog and found your wonderful Kitchen sink post. Thanks for stopping by my garden.

  9. What a sweet post, and heartwarming. Flowers and gardens are so peaceful, rewarding and beautiful, and in your case a beautiful reminder of your beloved father. Thanks for sharing your heart with us and Happy Sunday!

    1. Thank you Gina. So glad you stopped by for a visit. Hope to see you again.

  10. Your garden is lovely, I'm sure your father is looking down with pride and joy. I got my love of gardening from my dad as well.

    1. Thank you so very much for your kind words. Someone said they felt their father in the wind. Isn't that an amazing thought? Hope you stop by for a visit again.

  11. Pat,
    Thank you for this refreshing visit to your lovely Garden, dear friend!
    I just finished some "Spring Cleaning" of my Galley Style Kitchen and I needed a rest!
    I'm glad that you have times in the Garden when your Father comes to mind.
    May they always bring pleasant memories to your mind and warm your heart.
    "Mr. Ed" (aka. Farmer Boy) tends to the Gardens here on the Prairie.
    When I first retired, I planned on the Fairy Garden being my domain.
    However, "Mr. Ed" took over, so as long as he's hApPy, I'm HaPpY, too!
    Hope all your SNOW has left you great moisture for your Garden plants!

    1. Hello Pat and thank you so much for your sweet words. I hope your gardens flourish this year. I spent the day trimming and raking. Things are really popping!

  12. I love your garden and your tribute to your father is wonderful. Thanks for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop.

  13. Good Afternoon Pat, I love the choice of flowers in your garden and although we live many miles apart, (I live in the North of England) when the warmer weather arrives I will be growing similar flowers in my garden.
    How wonderful that your father was a keen gardener and that you and your sister inherited that same love.
    My Aunt Mollie, who was 100 years old in January, is still a keen gardener and her motto is, plant where you will, if the plant does not do well, then move it. I have followed her advice throughout the years and I find it works.
    Its lovely visiting you and I am looking forward to visiting again.
    Best Wishes

    1. Hello Daphne, It's so wonderful to receive a comment from England where all great gardens were created! Being in the North summer must come rather late to you and be all the more welcome. I love that your Aunt Mollie still gardens. Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit to my garden; hope to see you again soon.

  14. Love the connection of your father and the earth. My dad grew the hugest, earliest tomatoes and he loved feeding the masses, then neighbors, his card club anyone that walked by---a huge red tomatoe. When he got older---we found out his secret...a disgusting mash of fish parts---from his fishing trips. He would throw all the scraps, bones and all in a bucket and then churn it up with a long paintmixer head on a drill. This concoction was poured over and then turned under around the tomato plants.

    Your Foxgloves are gorgeous...so beautiful...almost etheral. Thanks for your garden tour and the memories your post evoked, Sandi

    1. Hi Sandi, thank you so much for visiting my garden and for your great story about your Dad. Our dads would have been great friends! I hope you stop by again soon.

    2. Hi Sandi, thank you so much for visiting my garden and for your great story about your Dad. Our dads would have been great friends! I hope you stop by again soon.

  15. Loved this post. I started Gardening to add curb appeal to my home, but soon found I was connecting with my late Grandmother. She too loved to dig in the dirt. and even toward the end living in a one room retirement home, she had to be surrounded by plants. I loved seeing your beautiful flowers, especially on this cold and rainy spring day!

  16. Thanks so much Christine. Your comment really touched me. I have similar memories. Nature has a way of connecting us. Hugs,