My favorite corner of the garden

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The office garden has become my favorite corner of the landscape. It was the last garden I designed this summer, the one that kept calling my name even though I knew the days were too hot and my budget too thin.  I wonder if it’s because I saw it all the time, through the home office window, while I enjoyed my morning coffee, or grilled on the back patio.

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Our disappearing paths

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I bought this coffee mug in 2016 at the Glacier Point gift shop in Yosemite National Park to add to my collection of mug memories. My son and I were on day three of our summer trip to California. Printed on it is a quote from naturalist John Muir.

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”

It was the perfect senitiment to capture this adventure of ours through central California. We’ve hiked a lot of paths together over the years, and more than a few of them have been dirt.

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Oh, ash, we barely knew thee

I remember when I took my first walk around the garden the day of the home inspection. I stopped at the ash tree in the right of way, thinking, I bet that’s ‘Autumn Purple’, my favorite cultivar of Fraxinus americana. Even though the branches were bare in early spring, I could imagine the striking fall color — purple with yellow undersides.

I also knew it was only a matter of time before that voracious little bug, the emerald ash borer, would be carving its subway tunnels under the bark, depriving the tree of water and other nutrients.

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Fresh air and respite

I’m more determined than ever to #ShareBeauty — but that doesn’t mean I ignore all the ugliness in the world. My heart is heavy and hurting for our world right now, for the lack of compassion so evident in our civic conversation. But I can’t bear to amplify the ugliness and prolong its echo. I can only confront it along my daily path and focus on providing fresh air and respite for those on the right side of history.