Who Let The Dogs Out?


Who let the dogs out? Well, actually, I let some of them out, interrupting gardening chores today to help get the dogs out while most everyone was at the Reunion Picnic. Once a year, Homeward Bound takes over a local park where dogs from the “Class of 2000” on come together. It’s a great opportunity to see the results of our work in the happy faces of the adopted dogs and their humans. Here’s one group courtesy of my friend, Rob Kessel:


But what I was really referring to is how empty our “dorms” are after so many going-home celebrations last week. At least George will be on our list this week. Happy life, George!

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But don’t feel sad for those of us left behind today. It was blissfully quiet, with plenty of friends to keep us company.


The bunnies are surprisingly patient posers…


And the birds are nesting everywhere.

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They are so resourceful, hiding their nests in grape vines, shrubs and under chairs (leave it to the Killdeer!). But this one pretty much takes the cake.

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Speaking of bunnies…yes, indeed…they were the culprits. The dahlia replacements protected by chicken wire are alive and thriving.

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We have delicious apricots on the tree…


apples and grapes in our future…


just don’t ask about the lawn. We’re sacrificing it in favor of the beds this year with even more limitations on water.


By August, we’ll be brown, but today – the kennels are nearly empty, the garden is lovely, and all is well.

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“Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.” ~ Montaigne

Going Home Parade

It’s beginning to look a lot like summer, with the return of the Asiatic lilies,




Monarch butterflies,


and snakes.


There is just one thing missing: my dahlias!


When I last saw them, they were healthy, six-inch tall plants shooting rapidly skyward. Upon my return this weekend, they were barely stubs. Maria says they fell prey to snails. I’m not so sure that bunnies weren’t involved.


There certainly are enough of both in the garden. Do you think we can help the snake develop a taste for escargot? I brought out six backups that had been started at home and created fortresses of chicken wire and Sluggo.


They made it through the night. We’ll see if they make it through the week. Saturday was such a blur of “going home” photos that I got little accomplished. A parade of happy faces marched before my camera. Thankfully, Ina parachuted in to rescue me on Sunday with both Maria and Anna away.


“I am joy in a wooly coat, come to dance into your life, to make you laugh” ~ Julie Church

Congratulations to Roxie,

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and Romeo.


But the sweetest of all was Simba’s going home with Lyana – one of our devoted volunteers. She has renamed him Balou, after our beloved sanctuary dog who recently passed. We think it is a fitting tribute, and we suspect Balou approves too.


“And then it happens all at once and unexpectedly. You pack your bags and find yourself walking yourself home.” ~ Shannon L. Alder

Happy life to you both.

Back to Reality


Back from an adventurous week on Kauai and returned to a whirlwind of work and house guests. Among them was my sister, Beth and her husband, Gordon. Their stay was brief, but good – with a request to see Homeward Bound and the Memorial Garden which they have known only virtually.


We made our way there Friday, where the garden is beginning to look a lot like summer…

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and the puppies put my sister through her paces. Yes, those are razor sharp puppy teeth hiding behind all that cuteness!


Sunday was puppy aptitude test day,


which apparently involves umbrellas (something we have little need for!) –










and naps! Puppy tests are exhausting!


These little monsters are spoken for, but we have three remaining from the litter that was left in a box and delivered to our door. They are adorable 100% mix-breed, nine-week old pups named after the Lion King characters. Mufasa:




And Rafiki.


Other guests included Allie, a rescue, who is about to be enrolled as a therapy dog for our local Lend A Heart organization…

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And Sedona, the Homeward Bound alum of Martha and Randy.


Needless to say, I got little work done – which is just my speed right now! I’ll be back to my old self soon (I think). I may even sneak in a few more pictures from Kauai if you’ll indulge me. Until then … mahalo. It’s good to be back in the garden.


Allerton Garden: Kauai

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Protected by the great wealth and social standing he was born into, Robert Allerton lived a sheltered, but secret life. When public sentiment threatened his future, he and his adopted “son” and lifelong companion, John Gregg Allerton, found peace, privacy, and sanctuary on Kauai. In 1937, he purchased an 86-acre valley complete with a pristine beach for $50,000.

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Together they built a magnificent garden which they maintained until their deaths and left in trust.

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In the early 1990’s, management was assumed by the National Tropical Botanical Garden – with the garden named after its founding fathers.

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There are only three rules: Replace whatever is lost with more of the same.

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Leave the garden un-manicured, as nature intended.

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And let the garden age gracefully, including the statues and art that were carefully placed here.

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The result is a stunning, romantic oasis – full of secret rooms and surprises.

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Where art and nature live happily together.

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The gift they left us all can make you rethink your notion of gardens…

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And what it means to leave a living legacy.

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The Allerton Garden; part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Kauai.

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A gift.

The virtues of getting lost


“If you don’t get lost, there’s a chance you may never be found.” ~ Author Unknown

I’m going to get lost for a week or so. Time to take a travel break and find some serenity, inspiration and rejuvenation where there is rain and lush, green forests. Ina and Anna will tend to the garden as Maria is also away. Who knows what mischief they will get into?!


When the cat’s away…

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Spring is quickly slipping by. I said farewell to its blooms today in case they are not here when I return.


All signs point to summer’s arrival including the sprouting of sunflowers,




and the nesting mourning doves in the garden trees.

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I feel better about leaving knowing that this pup has left as well.

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Junior was the last of our hunting dogs. Deaf, it took a little while longer to get him home. But home he went this weekend, with previous adopters who gave Lisa (now Ellie) her new chance at life.


His new people are renaming him “Orion” – for the Greek hunter – and the constellation by the same name. Not that he can hear it. But no matter. I’m pretty sure he knows that his life just got much brighter. Instead of chasing ducks in a field, he can light up the lives of his new people.

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Happy life, Orion. We’re going to miss you.
And happy week to all of you. Aloha. See you soon.