Gratitude in the Eye of this Storm


This week I’m in a flurry — finalizing talks, sending off handouts and invoices, and making the last travel arrangements for presentations at spring events across the country. It’s amazing to think ahead to April when, having logged dozens of hours in transit, I will (if all goes well) once again be able to lavish significant time and energy on my own garden.

Saxon Holt took this photo of Susan Harris’ backyard clover/sedum lawn for my book Beautiful No-Mow Yards. I look forward to face time with both of these garden pals in the next couple of months.

Flower & Garden shows tend to overwhelm me — they seem better suited to extraverts and multitaskers — but they do showcase many ideas in one place, and as a bonus, far-flung friends converge on them. This year I’m excited to see fellow author and lawn reformer Susan Morrison’s talk “It Would Be Better with Vampires: Adding Drama to the Garden” in Seattle, and to reconnect with philosophical photographers Saxon Holt and David Perry at their joint San Francisco workshop.

Another fellow author and lawn reformer, Billy Goodnick, will be speaking ahead of me at the ReThinking Idaho Landscapes seminar; I usually find a lot of value in these full-day seminars, with their variety of photos, lectures, and discussions. Last time Billy was in town, we had a great jam (he’s a skilled drummer), but alas, this year’s visit will be too brief for that much fun.

Then it’s off to the eastern US, where between events I plan to catch up with fellow Ranter Susan Harris, though sadly I will miss seeing what’s new in her garden this year. That trip will also give me a chance to hang out with garden buddies from Charlotte, NC, whose warm hospitality made my first Open Garden visit a delight.

Catching up with gardening friends and making new ones after last year’s booksigning at the Elizabeth Lawrence House & Garden in Charlotte, NC.

In this whirlwind of events and travel details, there is an eye of calm, strong gratitude for the chance to make connections with other gardeners and nature lovers. It is a blessing to be able to meet other people who share my passion for plants and animals, for living more outdoors, for reconnecting with nature daily.

So I’m taking this time to breathe, to feel the gratitude, and to record it here, along with a wish that you who read it will also be lucky enough to have garden-related events to anticipate, and a community of gardeners with whom to share your passion.

And now, having paused and felt and written, it’s time to dive back into the whirlwind. Happy Spring, everyone!


  1. What a shock to see that patch of clover and Sedum from my old [email protected]! You aren’t missing much not seeing my new garden this visit – in early March there won’t be gobs to see anyway – but meeting up in Old Town Alexandria will be fun. Susan

  2. Thank you for the shout out on my presentation! I relate to everything you are saying. Spring is the busiest time of the year for me as design work, speaking and my own garden all demand attention. But despite the craziness, it is also the BEST time to connect with other gardeners. I’ve made so many good friends at shows and other venues. One example: I struck up a casual conversation with a docent on a Garden Conservancy tour and stayed in touch. Not only was she able to help one of my volunteer projects by securing free plants, she’s become a good friend. Gardeners rock!

    • Now that you’ve added zombies, I’m looking forward to it even more 🙂

      I have such great memories of finally meeting you in person last year and that delightful post-seminar dinner you hosted.

      Yes, gardeners DO rock!

  3. Have a wonderful time, Evelyn! You are fantastic, and anyone who gets to hear you speak is in for a treat. I fondly think back to the dinner at Susan Morrison’s when Nick made that insanely delicious Brazilian stew and we all laughed and talked the night away. It is true, the shows and talks bring good friends together. Enjoy every minute of your journey – you deserve it! XOXOXO

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