A Real Garden

During the past three or four years, I’ve often posted photos of the flowers in my yard, which made it seem as if I had a real garden rather than the truth — that those flowers were the totality of my garden. A couple of days ago, as I was showing an acquaintance around my yard, it occurred to me that this year, I actually had a real garden. There is so much to see! The wall of larkspur, of course, that planted itself where the grass died and that mesmerizes everyone who sees it.

Siberian wallflowers have made a big presence in one of my garden areas, though I’m not sure where they came from. There were a few seeds in a wildflower mix I threw out there a few years ago, but this was the first time I’d seen any of flowers. They are such a vibrant color! The pink flowers are cottage pinks, returning from last year’s planting.

At the forefront of the wallflowers are coreopsis, also returning from last year.

My yellow iris are beautiful this year.

Although they’ve been coming up each spring, they never seemed healthy, but this year, they are doing exceptionally well.

The wild roses always do well, both the yellow

and the red. Unfortunately, the flowers don’t last long, but that makes me more appreciative of them when they are in bloom.

I always try to create whimsical vignettes, such as my miniature gnome house,

and corners that come as a surprise. Gardens that can be seen at a glance are beautiful, of course, but I wanted to be able to see different things as I wandered around my yard. One of my favorite corners this year is the flamingo corner. The flamingo was a gift from a friend, and though I didn’t purposely choose colors of petunias for the planters to match the flamingo, they turned out to be the perfect choice.

In another couple of weeks, the spring flowers will all be gone, but then there will be summer flowers coming into bloom, and if not, well, there are always seeds I can plant or seedlings to purchase at the local hardware store.

It’s amazing how with a bit of persistence and a lot of luck, all of a sudden one day, a person can end up with a real garden.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

A Perfect Day for Hunting

The sun was warm today, but the air was cool and breezy — perfect weather for hunting. Armed and ready to shoot, I went out to the desert with a group of hikers to search for . . . wildflowers.

It wasn’t hard to find what we were looking for. Lupine and coreopsis lined the road.


Goldfields carpeted vast swaths of land.


Patches of poppies and chia sprung up on hillsides.

poppies and chia

And dainty cream cups soaked up the sun alongside poppies.

poppies and cream cups

Most of the time, the desert seems drab, with little color to break the beige monotony, so today was a real treat!


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.