How green is your garden; enjoying tea at Filoli’s

Grand and glorious gardens

This has been a summer of visiting grand and glorious gardens. It all started with urging by my friend Ann Peden, who was the co-chair of the Sonoma Master Gardeners Tour, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s a new activity for me. I am not, by any means, a gardener myself.

When I was a child, my parents had a large garden in our home in Eureka. Beyond just the expected vegetables, we had small livestock, including chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits and an occasional turkey. That was in addition to family dogs and cats, plus huge pet toads that helped keep garden bugs at bay.

Despite E.B. White’s comment, “Every garden should have geese, for comic relief,” it was the geese that spoiled my love of gardening. They were mean and wicked and loved to chase young Sylvia around the garden, hissing loudly, wings a-flapping. Their nasty nips were a deterrent to peaceful gardening.

Our family summer home in the Trinity Alps featured a more peaceful garden, devoid of animals — well, if one didn’t count the bears that enjoyed the fruit trees and berries as much as we did.

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