Carol Hegel Lang: Peace and tranquility found in garden this summer, bird feeder entertains

Published 9:00 am Saturday, July 22, 2017

Serendipity Gardens by Carol Hegel Lang

Carol Hegel Lang is a green thumb residing in Albert Lea. Her column appears every other week. Email her at

On an early Sunday morning, Roosevelt and I were sitting on the back step enjoying the peace and tranquility of the gardens. It was so still — with only the very tips of the neighbor’s cottonwood tree barely swaying with the slight breeze. Hardly a sound could be heard from traffic and only a few birds were out and singing. You could feel the humidity starting to rise, signaling a warm day ahead of us.

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A wren was scolding Roosevelt as he walked closer to their house, while a mourning dove was enjoying picking at the seeds on the elevated feeder. Soon, another dove sitting on the ridge of the roof was cooing at his mate. Oh, how I enjoyed the break in the silence. A couple of chipping sparrows were scouting the ground under the feeders, while off in the distance the sounds of blue jays could be heard.

As I gazed toward the oval gardens, the eyeliner lilies were almost all in bloom with only a few buds left to open. My, how they outdid themselves this year! Such beauty to highlight the early July gardens in anticipation of the other lilies that would yet bloom. Over the past couple of years, I have been adding more and more lilies in the different varieties to add color to the late June through early August gardens.

The red oak tree we planted a few years ago really has done well and must love the location as it has grown taller. A few of the leaves at the top have started turning red already and will continue their color transformation throughout the summer. You can never have enough trees in the yard, for me to be happy. There is a bur oak that was planted by a squirrel — and is not in a very good location — but I have let it grow to be a reminder of the magnificent one we had to take down some years ago.

The fragrance of milkweed and snow princess alyssum wafts through the gardens — how I love to smell them. My amber flower carpet roses have been gorgeous this year with so many blooms on them. I didn’t even get to fertilize them this year or add Epsom salt around the bushes but they still performed well.

Roosevelt has wandered back to my side and is sitting in front of the gate, watching the activity of the cats on the south end of the yard. Smudge loves to curl up in the bird feeder and sleep away the day until Roosevelt chases him from his spot. More birds have come to the feeders to see what I am offering them that day. The chickadees flit from branch to branch as they talk back and forth with each other. They make such a lovely sound!

My small fountain is bubbling away and occasionally a bird will fly over and land on it to enjoy a sip of fresh water. Overhead, a jet has left a vapor trail as it streaks across the sky. A few clouds are building to the north now making me wonder if we will have showers later in the day. Hopefully the rain will water the gardens and fill my containers under the downspouts again.

In the cutting garden, zinnias are filled with buds and every day a few more open — adding so much color to this garden. Soon the monarch and swallowtail butterflies will land on the zinnias and sip nectar. It is a wonderful way to spend some free time enjoying all of these beauties as they glide from flower to flower in search of nectar.

The sound of the air conditioner kicking in broke up the peacefulness I have enjoyed on this morning of sitting in the gardens. It is nearly a perfect morning and not a mosquito has been sighted either. How I love this time spent enjoying the beauty God has blessed me with in the gardens.

“The flowering plant is a metaphor, easily observed, for the whole of life. Everything is contained within the bud, which holds all the promise; but the glory of the open flower is beyond all anticipation.” — Linda Funk