No Thanks, Just Looking

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My drooping wedding bouquet accompanies me and my morning coffee alongside my new husband. It is on its last leg and is doing surprisingly well a week after the wedding, traveling alongside us as we ventured north for our honeymoon. After much thought and slight hesitation, I decided not to preserve my cut wedding flowers, but rather enjoy them while they were beautiful and blooming. I knew that I would be coming home to a household full of lush leftover planters (and hopefully some cake too). 

All of our wedding planters have been returned to The Garden Corner and placed proudly on display. It is an odd sight to see if you are a regular customer, as the floor is filled with new and unusual baskets and the inspiration garden is now home to two matching sets of window boxes. Some of these masterpieces have an opportunity to travel and represent The Garden Corner at the Street of Dreams. It makes me just a little bit proud to see memories from my happy day on display for all individuals to enjoy. Yet, all of these carefully selected planters and delicate displays of blooms cannot hold a candle to some of the natural masterpieces that we witnessed on our honeymoon. 

The breathtaking scenery on our trip cannot be accurately described, the views that we witnessed on our drive up into Washington. I use the term “we” very loosely because I believe there were many nature experiences I missed as I was catching up on sleep in the passenger seat. Andrew hand-selected our drive to take us through winding passes and forests rather than stick to the industrial views of I-5. 

Some scenery was very pointedly chosen. I spent a good portion of our mornings at each stop googling local nurseries to visit while we were in town. I knew that it would be irresponsible for me, as a garden rebel, to visit a new area and not check out the local garden centers. I would send a quick text to my dad, letting him know which stores we would be stopping at. Admittedly, I went in knowing that July is an adventurous time of year to visit, as many stores have started their transfer of plants over to fall. The experience was very different than if we had visited in the rush of spring and early summer. I was consistently and pleasantly surprised, even overwhelmed on occasion with the results of these gardens. 

Each garden center had its own mini-masterpiece on display, a hidden jewel. Even though they were all transitioning through their annual selections, many new plants were added to our knowledge base. Sure, many had displays that were in progress or obvious signs of change, and still, there were amazing plants to be seen. With each nursery we visited, I felt less and less bad about dragging my new husband along with me and scheduling our honeymoon time with plant viewing. Even he was impressed and requested a picture in front of a 15-foot fig tree. 

At each nursery, without fail, we were stopped and asked if we needed any help. All it took was a simple smile and a “no thanks, we are just looking,” and they were on their way to help the next avid gardener. Our gardening confidence grew with each location we visited. Both Andrew and I learned that it was perfectly okay just to be looking and experiencing the garden, seeking inspiration. The tranquility and happiness that it brought both of us skyrocketed beyond anything we could have found in another retail center. In the end, I am glad we took the time to go visit garden centers, and I will make an effort to come to visit our garden center more frequently, remembering that it is always okay just to walk through and enjoy “just-looking.”