Garden with Grace

"I hope that while so many people are out smelling the flowers, someone is taking the time to plant some." ~H.Rappaport


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Earth Day 2022: A Hour-Long Garden Conversation in 7 Minutes

It’s been over a year since my last garden post. And, while I have about a dozen stories in draft form in my head, I’ve had too many distractions to actually sit down to write. Thankfully, the bluebirds have returned for the third consecutive year. And another spring has sprung in New England.

This year’s season of renewal also marks a year since the sudden passing of my mother. I’d shared many stories about gardening with her over the past decade and while she disliked attention, she loved reading my Garden with Grace blog. She was especially touched with a post I wrote at the end of the summer of 2020, Finding Church in the Garden. I’m so glad I wrote that story while mom was still here. It’s a reminder to pay tribute to the living.

Over the past 12 months, I’ve been fortunate to have my garden as a place to experience and work through my grief. It was a feeling I’d never experienced before and is difficult to put into words. There’s a saying that “grief is love with no place to go.” While I somewhat understand that, it recently hit me that my grief went right where it needed to go – back into the garden.

Just one year ago, during the spring of 2021, there was still a lot of isolation due to Covid-19 . Vaccines were just starting and people weren’t yet gathering together in groups. A mild spring was a huge relief as it allowed me to have friends visit in the garden. This was very much needed since there were no formal services after my mother’s death.

One of those visits was on a cold afternoon just before Memorial Day weekend. My friends Marjorie, Elise, and Liz came over for a ‘garden tour’ and Friday afternoon cocktails on The Porch. It was Elise’s first visit to my garden and she really took interest in my focus to remove a manicured lawn and create a welcoming space for wildlife and pollinators.

Elise is one of those friends whom I haven’t known for long, and don’t see often, however, we have a connection to one another through a shared network of wonderful people across our community. She is the reason I finally have a new blog post this evening.

A few weeks ago, she asked if she could create a video using photos from my Garden with Grace Instagram account. Elise is the music director at a local church and wanted the video as a project to celebrate spring. I was honored to be asked to participate. On Earth Day 2022, Elise and I chatted via a recorded Zoom call for over an hour.

Rather than tell you what we discussed, you are invited to listen and watch for a 7 minute recap of our hour+ conversation. I hope you enjoy Elise’s work as much as I do!

An Hour-long Conversation in 7 Minutes


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Hearts and Flowers from the Garden

The week of Valentine’s Day makes me think of my garden and springtime.

While not traditional Valentines Day flowers – like Red Roses, I always think of Bleeding Hearts in mid February. They look like what might happen after Cupid shoots its arrow.

This image is from my garden in May 2018. I’m always on a quest to find quotes to match my garden photography – this one seems right. If you have another hearts and flowers quote that you love, please share it via a comment.

Happy Valentines Day!

Bleeding Heart plant with quote by John Lennon - Love is the Flower You've  got to Let Grow. ©SandyBelknap2019


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A Tour of My Garden in Under 7 minutes

When news of a hard frost came as an alert on my mobile phone yesterday, I went to the garden to pick the last of the zinnias to bring indoors and to say good-bye to the perennial flowers that were still blooming late into the autumn.

The temperature was a chilly 45 degrees with a blustery wind, but I had the urge to do a quick last minute garden tour – with this one under my belt, I promise to capture more¬† garden tour videos throughout the season in 2019. But for now, here’s my farewell to the 2018 garden.

Click here for a Garden Tour in under 7 minutes.

PS….Amazingly, the day before this video was taken, I found this gorgeous ruffled daylily in bloom. Just as everything was winding down for the 2018 gardening season, this beauty made a guest appearance. (Making this morning’s freeze even more sad.)

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