Those who know me know that my little backyard garden is my happy place. Given I am not traveling overseas this summer I was determined to make this year’s garden a true zen location. I also incorporated some elements of various countries that provided some of my favorite travel memories. Allow me to share those elements with you.
1 – Thailand statue. This statue always reminds me of the temples we saw in Thailand. I am not sure this is the classic type of statue, but it does make me think of temples, zen, prayers, calmness and serenity.
2 – Wild flowers of Texas. I worked in Texas more than 5 years during my 15 year career abroad. One of my favorite times of the year in Texas is spring. Wild flowers are everywhere. I even visited cemeteries full of wold flowers between the headstones and the monuments. In hill country the Texas blue bonnets grow wild and abundant. From March to mid-May, people visit Texas to feast their eyes on those beautiful wild flowers. My little space dedicated to wild flowers is now full of little sprouts of leaves and growth! Can’t wait to see what comes up!
3 – The beautiful fragrant lavender of France. I love the scent of lavender and I make sure that every year I have a few big containers to perfume the entire zen garden.
4 – My chiminea of Mexico. Chimineas are very common in the South, and I often saw many in people’s front and back yard during my many trips to Mexico. I found this chiminea in the garbage, and brought it home, sanded it, and repainted it light green. It adds a nice touch to my garden.
5 – The houses of La Boca, Argentina. La Boca is a neighborhood of Buenos Aires where the houses are painted in various bright colours. It’s a huge tourist attraction and I thought it would be a nice addition to paint my little wooden houses to remind me of La Boca.
6 – The poppies of Spain. When I walked across Northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago, I saw for the first time, immense fields of beautiful red poppies growing wild. At times, one could only see vast crimson coloured fields as far as the eye could see. As well, poppies were my sister Denise’s favorite flowers, and I always plant some in her memory.
7 – Symbols of Quebec and Canada. I was born in Quebec, but moved in my late twenties to Ontario, across the Ottawa river. My heart belongs to both Quebec and Canada. I’m in favour of Quebec being part of Canada, but I also am a strong supporter of maintaining the French language as an integral part of our country’s culture and heritage. Therefore, my garden is home to the red maple leaf, symbol of Canada and the Fleur de Lys, symbol of the province of Quebec.
Even though I may not be traveling outside my country, my zen garden reminds me of my wonderful adventure abroad.