This blog began in 2010 as part of the publisher’s promotional materials for my travel book, The Single Girl’s Guide to Meeting European Men. The book rose to #1 on Amazon’s Best-Sellers List within two weeks of publication, and is still selling. The blog has been expanded to cover my other pursuits.

My Garden

May, 11, 2016

There is magic in creating something wonderful from nothing. A book comes from a blank piece of paper. A sculpture comes from a lump of clay. And a garden comes from a patch of dirt. When, as a child, I had to let go of my trampoline due to a crippling back condition, I decided to turn the space where it had sat into a secret garden.

Garden A

I immersed myself in horticulture books, landscaping seminars, and volunteer projects at the Seattle Arboretum Foundation. Then, I patterned this little plot of ground after a poem I’d written as an escape from my childhood nightmare of scoliosis and all the painful treatments I endured to overcome it. The garden took years to create.

First ApplesApple Tree

Garden B Garden C Garden D

I called the poem Rainbow Ranch, and even included a section with flowers in arching rows signifying the seven colors of the rainbow.

Garden E

In the center of the garden, I placed a child-sized bed made from second-hand pieces of rusted iron, and planted with flowers representing the dust ruffle, quilt, and pillow. In my imagination, this was the place where my dream of a better life occurred.

Garden F

There was a gazebo for al fresco dining, and a walkway between it and a potting shed that was created by mixing childhood mementos and crushed up blue dishes to represent a stream.

Garden G Garden H

When it was finished, my little garden won the Golden Scoop award at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.

Sometimes in life, I have to remind myself of the nine-year-old girl who headed out to the library to get her first horticulture book after looking up the definition of the word, “horticulture” in the dictionary. I love taking on challenges, and I hope you all do too.

Garden I

I was delighted to win an award for my garden, but as I look back on this experience, I realize that winning is not what is important. It’s that we pick ourselves up from setbacks, push ourselves out of our comfort zones, try, have fun, and learn.

Garden J



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