A Walk through Our Friendship Garden…

      “It takes a long time to grow an old friend.”  

~   John Leonard  ~

Our Friendship Garden warms my heart!

Our Friendship Garden is filled with heartwarming stories!


Hi Friends!

Every day as I walk past our Friendship Garden, I stop and linger a bit. “It takes a long time to grow an old friend.”  So true! The seeds of kindness and nurturing help friendships to blossom. This special garden bed is living proof that dear friendships grow and flourish over time. For me, one of the special joys of gardening has always been sharing plants with perennial friends. It’s such fun to dig up perennials from my garden and plant a little happiness in my friends’ and neighbors’ gardens!  In early June, our Friendship Garden suddenly bursts into color!  Should we take a peek?

The perennials in our Friendship Garden celebrate nearly thirty years of dear friendships. Located near our back door and garden arbor, it’s the perfect place to reflect and remember all of the special friends that have become part of this garden. Over the years, each plant in this bed was a gift from the garden of a friend. What could be sweeter?

Yellow Bearded Irises are the first to bloom in our Friendship Garden.

Yellow Bearded Irises are the first to bloom in our Friendship Garden.

Every plant in this garden bed tells a special story of friendship. These yellow Bearded Irises are from the Wisconsin lakeside cottage of of dear friends. We transplanted them here so long ago. Every Spring, they celebrate our friendship in the sunniest of ways!

Spiderwort, with blossoms lasting a single day,  attracts bees to the garden.

Spiderwort, with blossoms lasting a single day, attracts bees to the garden.

This Spiderwort was a surprise gift from a dear next-door neighbor. We always stopped to chat as we worked in our gardens. She was from the island of Guernsey and her British English filled me with delight. I could listen to her charming stories forever! We were both surprised to find this Spiderwort from her garden growing in my Friendship Garden one day. It landed in just the right flower bed. Gardening magic!

Dwarf Siberian Irises bloom near a birdbath.

Siberian Irises bloom near a special birdbath.

Siberian Irises are a gift of friendship from a sweet gardening friend. They were plentiful in her garden and are now thriving in our Friendship Garden, too.

Peonies, Anemones, and Dwarf Siberian Irises fill the garden with color each Spring.

Peonies, Anemones, and Siberian Irises fill the Friendship Garden with color each Spring.

The Peonies are the oldest perennials in this garden bed. They have lived here longer than I have! Every June, they bloom vigorously reminding me of the special lady that lived in this cozy, little home before me. She wanted to be sure that someone would take care of her garden when she moved away. She even wrote me letters to see how the gardens were growing. She told me that this little house had such a pretty garden when she moved here many years earlier. So she wanted to leave a pretty garden for me! What a lovely tradition! Over nearly three decades, I’ve moved so many of her perennials to new places in the garden, to create a garden of my own. Yet her perennials always provide history and tradition in our garden.

Purple Bearded Irises were transplanted from the garden of a special friend.

Purple Bearded Irises were transplanted from the garden of a special friend.

Irises have always grown near my door to celebrate the special gift of my faraway friend! As I pass by, I happily greet them, with “Hi, Iris!”  ♡


Oh, how sweet to be named after a flower!


Now our Friendship Garden is overflowing with abundant blooms.

It’s the perfect reminder of how my life is overflowing

 …with the blessings of friendship! ♡


There are so many other plants shared by my perennial friends sprinkled throughout all of our garden beds ~

         heirloom Hollyhocks from Julie’s garden in Minnesota,

lush ferns from Anna’s shade garden,

 delicate “Blue Mist” Bluebeard bushes from Candy’s garden,

a beautiful Rhododendron, Yucca, sage, and chives from my mom’s garden,

 bright, cheerful Daisies from Kim’s garden,

pale pink and rose-colored Hollyhocks from Mildred’s garden next-door,

and very old ferns from Mildred’s hometown garden in Wisconsin.

Recent gifts of friendship also have a very special place in our garden…

Garden Stones by Kristin (hand-lettered, and oh-so-beautiful),

“Tiny Dino” Asiatic Lilies from a young student (Celebrating our ‘dino-mite’ year together!),

 pretty wildflowers from Sabine in Rheinstetten,

and lovely, old-fashioned “Lenten Rose” Hellebore from Sandie’s garden. ♡

As I walked through our gardens today, 

I realized that everywhere I look

there are perennial gifts

celebrating friendships that continue to grow and flourish in my life!

“It takes a long time to grow an old friend.”

… and new friends add more sweetness every day.


 All of my friends are such blessings in my life!


♡ Dawn

P.S.   What special memories have you planted in your garden?







48 thoughts on “A Walk through Our Friendship Garden…

  1. Dawn, your Friendship Garden is the most special gift of friendship that you could have. It brings such beauty every year wiithout fail, reminding you of how blessed you are! You are such a dear to create something so special! Thank you for sharing it with us! xo

    • Hi Karen! Thanks for your lovely thoughts! Do you have any plants from your mom’s garden in your yard? As I was writing the post, it dawned on me just how special a garden can be! Counting my blessings out loud! ♡

  2. Loved your post. My dad died a few years ago & I took cuttings from his garden and some bulbs. I have a little Lemon Tree that reminds me of him everytime I see it, Lavender Bushes, Fig Trees, Snowflakes and Grape Hyacinths. From my sister-in-law I have Buddleja and from other friends garden featurs. Another garden feature was given to me when I retired so I am also reminded of friends as I go about my garden.

    • Hi Sue! I’m so happy that you stopped by! It’s just wonderful that you have special plants from your dad’s garden. Such treasures! Your garden sounds so lovely, with a Lemon tree, a Fig tree, and so many colorful flowers! Your whole yard must be a friendship garden! Are you able to garden all through the winter? Wishing you happy Autumn days in your garden, Sue! ♡

  3. What a great quote to begin with. I think gardens are meant to stroll in, to contemplate in and to nurture, like a friend. I just adore your picket fence, and what special memories have I planted in my garden? Hard work and patience because that’s what it took to get it to be where it is today.

    Happy Saturday, Dawn! Anita

    • Your sweet words are so true, Anita! Gardening is truly a work of heart. It’s the perfect time to think, while listening to the birdsong in the garden. Lately, I’ve been thinking about blogging ideas during the quiet hours working in the garden. Does that happen to you? Definitely patience… and hope for the future! We are so fortunate to have quiet time during the summer to nurture our gardens! Wishing you sunny days this weekend, Anita! ♡

  4. Every year Craig’s sister Gail and her wonderful friend Reggie come to help me with my garden. This year they planted beautiful light and dark pink perennial carnations! They also put together two container plants at the front on the steps! The front of the house looks so cheery now!

    • Hi Cathy! Gail and Reggie are definitely kindred spirits. Your garden is always charming. You have more gardening expertise than anyone I know, Cathy! We must come visit to see your new carnations… and YOU! ♡ Can’t wait to see you!

  5. My mom doesn’t really garden except for annuals so, no. I’ll have to bring something from my garden for you when we get together. xo

    • Karen, it would be such fun to exchange plants from our gardens! Think about something you would like to take home with you! ♡

  6. Good Evening Dawn from wibbly wobbly windy Wales ~~~ I bookmarked this first thing and only now do I have thyme to pop in and read ~~~ oh! wasn’t it worth the wait? What a lovely idea, memories all tied up in shared plants. My parents built my cottage, so much of the planting is theirs, but it changes over the years with gifts for anniversaries and birthdays, some things from people now gone from our lives, and some that have arrived here as gifts from seeds blown in on the wind, and more ~~~ part of the memories, fun and joy of gardening!

    • Thanks so much for floating by on the wind, Debs! What a treasure to be living in the cottage that your parents built. You are truly wrapped in their love! You even have a family garden, filled with memories to last and last. What a lovely blend of tradition and new surprises! Hope you are enjoying some garden hours this weekend, too! ♡

      • Oh, not much dry to garden somewhere in between the thundery showers this weekend! Today looks fair though. I have asked the new owners of my Great Grandmother’s house in the next street over if I can go and get some cuttings from the rambling rose on their hedge which she and my Great Grandfather planted. Praying the cuttings take! Oh! My! I’ve just realised that I haven’t put up the photographs of my GGF gardening! Well, that is the subject for the next blog from the Garden in The Shire! D xoxo

      • Hi Debs! There is so much family history all around you. I just love that! It’s a great idea to add cuttings from your Great Grandparents’ rambling rose to your garden!! How many people live in your village/town? It really sounds lovely! I’ll pop over to see your family heritage photos. What time is tea? ♡

  7. Dawn, your friendship garden is so beautiful — and such a sweet idea. Your friends not only have a place in your heart, but also their own little spot in your garden to ensure that they’re always remembered and thought upon.

    • Hi Chris! Thanks for coming to visit. You always say the sweetest things! Each time I write a post, I discover something surprising…
      I’ve always thought of one flower bed as my Friendship Garden. As I wrote about the special plants from special friends, I realized that they are also scattered throughout all of the flower beds (sunny & shady). Now I realize that my whole yard is a “Friendship Garden!” Such a happy discovery! Wishing you sunny days in your garden this week, Chris! ♡

  8. Tea is now, but I’m not sure if I am having a late high tea or an early supper tonight! Anyway, it is now and I should be serving up the food not sitting here visiting! I hope to put up the photos soon, but in my fervour to make my laptop run faster I’ve moved them off the hard drive! 🙂 Debs

  9. Lovely flowers…reminds me of the old Girl Scout song “Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” A wonderful mix!

    • Hi Anne! It’s just like the old Girl Scout song. Nurturing flowers and nurturing friendships makes life extra sweet! So happy that you stopped to visit today! ♡

  10. Oh I wish to have a garden someday! And Peonies are my favorite flowers! All this pretty flowers and loads of green color are so soothing for my soul. I can imagine drinking tea and eating cherry pie in a pretty garden as this one. My biggest wish!

    Have a lovely day Dawn!

    Xs, Neja

    • Hi Neja! Thanks for coming all the way from Slovenia to visit today! So many Peonies are blooming this week. It smells heavenly in the garden! It would be lovely to sip tea… and I know who can bake a wonderful cherry pie! Wishing you happy days in your kitchen! ♡

  11. HI- lovely garden and post! ( and blog) lots of special plants in my gardens. Solomans Seal from Girl Scout Leader and dear family friend. Perennial Blue Forget me knot from a patient years ago that had RA, a lovely Blue Geranium from another dear wrist fracture patient. Early Spring Spurge from my Great Grandfathers garden. Many plants from my moms garden. They are like old friends as I walk around and see them I think of each person they came from. Such good memories.

    • So glad you stopped by, Carol! Your gardens are just lovely… and filled with so many special memories! Isn’t it wonderful how just seeing a plant brings back all of the wonderful memories of a special person? It’s really amazing that you have a plant from your Great Grandfather’s garden! Wishing you many happy hours in your garden this weekend! ♡

  12. Lovely post and flowers! 🙂 I used to have two huge perennial beds where I lived before ( quite awhile ago now ) and your photos remind me of them. My sister’s MIL lives on property close to me and I was enjoying her spiderwort and peonies over there not too long ago. I’m coming back for that lemonade another time! 🙂

    • Hi Deb! I’m so happy that you stopped by to visit! My garden has really evolved over the years ~ from lots of annuals to entirely perennials. I’ve even been using some perennials in containers recently. As I write, there is a stoneware pitcher filled with pink peonies and spiderwort on the front porch. The lemonade will be waiting! Wishing you happy summer days in your sweet, little bungalow, Deb! ♡

  13. Hello dear Dawn! Thank you for coming by to view my post. I so hope you get a chance to read The Waiting. I just became so attached to Minka, the mother who finally found her daughter after 77 years. Just today however, dear Minka passed away at the age of 102. She became a part of my life as I relished her story!

    Enjoy a wonderful week of relaxation and gardening! We are having intermittent thunderstorms here! Anita

    • Bonjour Anita! Visiting your blog is always an enchanting, little vacation! The Waiting is on my summer reading list, thanks to you. I’m so sorry to hear the news that Minka has passed away. Her story will certainly live on in the hearts of all those who experience her story. Congratulations, Anita! It’s so exciting to read that you have published more articles! What a wonderful summer you will have… and it’s only just beginning. Today I spent many hours in the garden. The Annabelle Hydrangeas are just beginning to bloom. Can’t wait to fill pitchers, crocks, and Mason jars with their creamy, white flowers! Have a lovely week! ♡

  14. Dawn, this is lovely! I’ll have to come back when I’m not at work 🙂 and really read and enjoy fully. Thank you for sharing! Maybe you will inspire me to start posting again – it’s been months!

    • Ginnie, it’s great to see you here! You were one of my inspirations! Last Fall, at the Tea Party, you told me about your blog. I think that’s where my curiosity about blogging began! Hope you are having happy days in your garden this summer! ♡

  15. Dawn, how ironic that I was
    just thinking about my friend Kathleen’s
    garden (which her mother tearfully
    told me looks very neglected since
    she died…..) and how I would just
    love to ask her husband and kids
    if I could take a little something
    from it home with me on Sunday,
    since I’ll be nearby walking in the
    Relay for Life. I’ve often compared
    real life friendships to gardens —
    some are annuals, where you are
    thrown together due to school, a
    job, a volunteer position, etc. and
    then there are the perennials : )
    Each has its own place in making
    the overall garden of life beautiful,
    don’t you think?

    Love your pictures and sweet

    xo Suzanne

    • Oh Suzanne, do ask to bring home something from Kathleen’s garden. Wouldn’t it be nice to plant something that Kathleen started, near a little bench or chair in your yard? It would be a lovely place to sit and stay close to your dear friend. If you nurture a perennial from her garden, one day you would be able to divide up to share with her grown children. You might also think about pressing some flowers from her garden. They could be tucked into books, made into bookmarks, or cards.
      I love your thoughts on friendships and the garden of life, Suzanne. In fact, everything that you write inspires me and stays in my thoughts for such a long time. I’ll be thinking of you, as you walk on Sunday. I know that you will be honoring so many by carrying their names on your arms and in your heart.
      Heartfelt thanks for visiting, Suzanne! ♡

  16. Oh dearest Dawn, how kind of you to inquire about US out here in Minneapolis! Yes, we have had the most incredible down pours; we have broken the record now for rainfall and we are also out of the drought condition category in which we were placed for the last two years. I live in a section of the city where we are not too close to any lakes, rivers or creeks. But I feel for the folks that live near these bodies of water that are literally overflowing. I was shocked to learn this morning that not too far from me, a portion of earth upon which a University of Minnesota Medical Center sits slid into the Mississippi River. Cars are also stranded in what appear to be PONDS of water on highways and residential streets and FISH are swimming on the sidewalks, the water is so high.

    Thank you for thinking of us. I just wish we could divert this water to other states that are suffering from no rain!

    We are due for more rain starting tomorrow, but thank goodness, we have a pause for the day.

    Many thanks and hugs, Anita

    • So glad to hear that you are fine, Anita! Our hearts are breaking for all of the people affected by the flooding there. So, we are checking on all of our friends. I have lived through flooding twice in my life, and know what a terrible experience it is for all those affected by the power of too much water! It’s so good that you have a pause in the rain today. Hoping that you can celebrate the summer solstice in a special way! ♡

  17. Hi Dawn!
    I love your blog and I’m all signed up! We have so much in common! 🙂
    I was very very inspired by your friendship garden- this is a fabulous idea and definitely something I want to do in my own garden.
    Hope your week is starting well . . . take care!

    • Hi Jennie! So happy that you stopped to visit. Kindred spirits! It will be such fun to visit one another’s gardens to see what’s in bloom. I know you will love a Friendship Garden of your own! Wishing you happy hours in the garden! ♡

  18. This is heart warming. It made me think of the garden my Mother tended for over 50 years and cared so much to pass on to the new owners. But they ripped everything out, and her heart was broken. What a wonderful thing you have done in your garden, adding to the good karma that surely dwells there!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by today, Jayne! Your mother’s garden must have been a real treasure after 50 years of her loving care! We put so much heart into our gardens. They are filled with the stories of our lives and the friendships that we have nurtured over the years! Enjoy your brand new garden in Savannah! ♡

  19. That is such a lovely idea having such a special place in your garden. Your garden and blog is lovely thank you for visiting me too and introducing me to your blog. Sarah x

    • Hi Sarah! So happy that you stopped by! Your garden is lovely and being near the sea must be just heavenly! Hope you will make many special family memories in your garden this summer! ♡

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