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Report From PIA – August 31

I’ve done numerous consultations for homeowners who are trying to landscape so that guests will come to the front door instead of the kitchen door. Often, despite new paths and plantings, they aren’t successful with this effort. In many houses the kitchen door is closer to where everyone parks cars, and it’s homey. Perhaps we should pay more attention to the landscapes in this area, and focus less on what’s growing around the front entrance.

Kitchens are where our everyday lives are centered. We’re nourished here. The door in and out of a kitchen exhales us to the outside world and inhales us, ideally, back to a place of comfort and safety. It is most appropriate then, to have a garden outside the kitchen door: a place of growth and beauty we can see from the heart of the home.

This is my official last post in my “year of conscious cultivation” and blogging daily. Yes, I’ll try to continue posting every day, but this first year of being dedicated to writing a daily Report From Poison Ivy Acres ends tonight. After a rather stressful day when I wasn’t feeling top notch, I decided to take my camera out to the garden to find a topic that is suitable for summing up this project.

I walked out of the kitchen with faith that I would find my subject, looked at the garden in front of me, and thought, “The view out the kitchen door.” Somehow this sums up this blog: moving from the place of comfort and safety out into the world, and using the garden as the middle ground between the two.

We spend our lives building our metaphorical kitchens…those places that nurture our hearts and souls. We fill them with family, God, friends, work, healing and play. Then we move from that place that feeds us spiritually, emotionally and physically, out into the world, and a garden is the ideal passageway for that journey.

Looking out my kitchen door I see the grape arbor and fragrance garden. The driveway is to the right...

and the lake is to the left. I see the bench where I never sit, and the bird feeder that handles more air traffic than O'Hare. I see the Simply Beautiful "Red Head" Coleus, thriving here in the full sun garden. I see some weeds and dried stalks that need pulling, and spaces that need more plants. I see a garden that needs work but is also perfect just as it is.

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