Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Pajama Gardener in print

Months ago I submitted a very brief essay to Garden Ideas & Outdoor Living (a publication of Better Homes & Gardens). Today, I received a copy of their Spring 2007 issue. They printed an excerpt from my essay as part of "Stories to Share: Readers relate garden experiences, both recent and long-remembered." Two other writers and I made the cut.

It's a lovely magazine, so I encourage you to check it out. But for those who may be interested, here's my entire essay (sort of how the Pajama Gardener was born):

The Pajama Gardener

You would know our front yard by two things: the giant Colorado rose boulders that plow like ships through oceans of flowers and me, the lady gardening in her pajamas.

A few years ago my husband and I xeriscaped, replacing lawn with drought-tolerant trees, shrubs, flowers, grasses and groundcovers. Our idea was to plant low-maintenance plants. But I discovered I enjoyed weeding, dead-heading, pruning and keeping company with flowers. I ended up not just creating a garden, but becoming a gardener.

Usually I’m so eager to get outside I don’t even change out of my nightclothes. At first I’d only go out in my p.j.s early in the morning when I could safely expect to go unnoticed. I’d go inside and dress when I saw the first dog-walker. But over time I grew more concerned about the garden’s appearance than my own. Now you can find me outside in my pajamas as late as noon. What do the neighbors think? Are drivers slowing down to wonder at the California poppies or at me? I don’t care.

Add me to the list of the other characters in my urban Denver neighborhood: Big Voice Charles, the adult son of the couple across the street who you can hear coming a block away. The Faller, the heavy kid who regularly falls off his bike. Teeny and Tiny, the large, elderly black woman and the small, ancient Chinese woman who stroll by together every morning. And the Pajama Gardener: the woman so drawn to her yard she can’t be bothered to get dressed first.

1 comment:

Val Phillips said...

Congratulations! And thanks for posting the whole piece. So much warmth and wit, like all your writing.