I wanted to post pictures of our trip to the National Arboretum. It was beautiful and full of delicious and sweet/savory smells! An extensive herb garden, perennials, firs, and ferns welcomed us and spread their scents across the breeze for us to enjoy.


Toward the end of our visit, though, a storm rolled in, and I got some cool pictures of historic Capitol columns against the stormy grey backdrop. 


Coincidentally, I named this blog “Storm” in part because of the stormy Arboretum pictures, but also because earlier this evening I experienced some stormy emotion. It seems my difficulty in coming “home” (from “home”… very confusing) finally peaked. The straw that broke the proverbial back? A letter from our homeowners association.


Apparently, having herbs and vegetables planted in your front yard is against some statute within their bylaws, and we’ve been notified to move it.  So with my precious little porch garden now threatened, I burst into tears.


For those who are “regular readers,” you know how I have fallen in love with this porch garden! I tell the plants good morning and goodbye as I leave for work in the morning (just ask Mike), and I water them with care every day, then sit quietly, picking out dead leaves and twigs and watching them mature. It’s been therapeutic in a lot of ways – a welcoming path when I come home, a tropical(ish) retreat… I’ve taken pride in their care, growth, and use.


When I read the Homeowners Association “Architecture Inspection” letter, I was angry, and I cried like a baby. I’m not naive enough not to think that it also had something to do with the fact that I never allowed myself to be sad about leaving Florida… I told my Care Group ladies that I was afraid it would boil up at some point, over some other issue. Sure enough, I think that was partly why I reacted so strongly tonight. Still, the garden itself is worth every tear!


So, “storm” describes my mood quite well.




Well, enjoy these pictures nonetheless. I know I had fun taking them!












IMG_5695Handsome dude.










Who needs a bed when there are acres of soft grass to lie down in?


IMG_5719Cue: Storm





IMG_5721Dozens of BRIGHT blue dragonflies were flitting above this pond. They looked electric!











IMG_5735Dandelions caught in a fountain basin…








Boy, that red pops!


IMG_5745This tall grass reminded me of the opening credits for “Little House on the Prairie” 🙂


IMG_5752Thank you, weird storm light!


IMG_5754Descending into the “Fern Valley” – one of my favorite spots because of its quiet, dark, peaceful tranquility…

(I think living in a metropolitan area has increased my sensitivity to wide, open spaces and quiet, green places)



Goodnight, blog.

Goodnight, readers.

Goodnight, porch garden (*tear*)



  1. #1 by Jill on May 26, 2009 - 9:41 pm

    After reading this, I feel like writing a strongly-worded letter to your HOA criticizing them for their lack of love for nature.

    Most Royal HOA,

    I am so offended by cute little green plants in adorable clay pots.

    Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. What kind of “statute” is against nature? Were your statutes written by industrialist concrete lovers? You subscribe to paving paradise to put up a parking lot, don’t you? I realize it is a neighborhood of townhouses, but are you really about making everyone exactly the same on the outside? Didn’t someone else want to do that? Oh yeah, Hitler. See, now *that’s* offensive, NOT plants.

    Get a life…and get a garden.


    plant-lovers’ friend

    I love you, Laura. Don’t let this get you down. Find a lovely spot in the backyard and tend your garden with pride.

    And anyone reading this that doesn’t really know me…I’m very sarcastic and my letter should be taken as such. 🙂

  2. #2 by Daddy on May 27, 2009 - 8:58 am

    What interesting plants. I understand that Handsome Dude is native to Central Florida but is a hardy perennial that transplants well. It can also be used as a sheltering plant for more delicate species as the Mountain Laura which is quite sensitive to extreme cold, heat, and plantless porches.

    The tall grass reminds me of Roan Mountain.

    I can’t wait for July. As for your herb garden, it will exact its own revenge against the evil Homeowners’ Association. That’s why they say that “thyme wounds all heels.”

  3. #3 by Phyllis on June 5, 2009 - 8:11 am

    So sad about the garden! Do you have somewhere that you can move it to? I think of you every time I look at my cilantro here. 🙂

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: