Thursday, February 9, 2012

"Go into your own familiar yard ... "

"Go into your own familiar yard.  It may be a beautiful garden.  It may be only a weedy lawn with a few half-dead shrubs.  No matter -- if you throw back your shoulders and look up into the sky, you will see what else is yours."    -- Evelyn Corley Buzbee*

Myth:  Most people I meet assume I have a beautiful garden.

Fact:  Though my garden is not quite '... a weedy lawn with a few half-dead shrubs' -- it is the one in our family that everyone has a good time with, saying things to me like "Here -- try this.  Even you can grow this!"

And you know what?  I laugh with them!  I don't even begin to compare my garden and backyard world to theirs or anyone's, because I so love being in my own backyard world -- it is the place I am happily without my phone or e-mail.  It is the place I am always filled with wonder and joy.

True -- there are chores and things that need tending to in my 'own familiar yard'.  Yet my own backyard world is the one place I truly honor 'pause'.  What a lovely concept -- 'pause'.  (Yes, I do notice all the 'paws' that are printed in various places of feasting, and often 'pause' to do the necessary detective work.)

Still, no matter the chore, if a bird is singing, I stop what I am doing, and scan the trees to find it.  If I don't know the type of bird, I will grab at least one bird book from my collection, and identify my visitor -- taking a few more minutes to read about why that bird might be visiting this time of year, or what that song might mean (usually he's trying to impress a potential mate).

As expected, the chores and weeds do wait for me.

I can remember many times popping in to visit my grandmother, who was often in her garden.  No matter what she was doing, she would stop her work, and invite me to sit on the porch or in her garden so we could have a visit.  I now do the same, should a friend or neighbor stop by while I am in my garden.  Our conversations that begin in the garden are always delightful, always informative, always Rife with Life.  And it never fails, something will always call our attention skyward -- a bird, a puffy cloud, the silhouette of the pine trees at dusk.  I do so love going into my own familiar yard.

*Evelyn Corley Buzbee was my maternal grandmother and a national judge of hostas and daylilies.  After she passed away, we found her notes from speeches she had made all across America as she toured the country judging plants and flowers.  It is my great pleasure to live with her quotes every single day, and to be able to share them through this blog and in the Perpetual Gardening Record Book and Gardening Note Cards, available at


  1. My familiar yard, or my Shangri-la, is in my pasture. After a busy day of work and the long drive back and forth it sets an inner peace back in me to be home and stop and watch the chickens. Their actions of roaming about the pasture puts me back where I need to be. - Linda Schotz

    1. Linda -- thank you for the comment! Sounds so very lovely :)