It was 58 degrees, when I went outside. Gee, whiz...jeans on the 9th of July...The sky is overcast and the ground is wet. A perfect time to tidy up the beds. As I moved around the house, I saw the wild life waking up. A wren went into a house that has never had an owner. Going back and forth making her home comfy....very disturbed that I was right below her. Do you suppose it is the same wren, who tried to shoo me out of the woods? She probably thought..."At last I'm away from that gardener and now here she is again!" A little chipmunk scurried away at the first sight of me. A little snake was coiled near a hole by the house. I didn't check him out...dead or alive, I'm not curious. The rain made the job very easy and I filled two large buckets in no time. This cool weather has taken it's toll on my flowers. They just aren't quite so pretty, tho the foliage is beautiful. I visited two gardens this week without my camera...drat! Kelly's, across the road and Betty's up the road. Two entirely different styles of gardening. Kelly has more sun and the flowers show it. Her huge purple alliums can be seen as far away as our house...beautiful row of purple to make way now for the lilies. The lilies there are beautiful. Some were as tall as I. Little frogs are placed here and there in the gardens. She used to collect them and her Grand kids would go out and find different frogs, for a game with Grandma. A fountain tinkled in the back garden. This is a fairly new garden and taking shape well. We could hear her friendly dogs barking on the deck....they wanted a tour too....actually they wanted to see me. Making our way toward the side of the house, is a little woods. When Kelly moved in...it was full of debris and so overgrown with weeds. After many hard hours...Kelly has cleared this woods...and I mean cleared...so that the tree trunks are shown off. She has planted woodland plants and put stepping stones for a path. A bench there to rest. I remember the beginnings of this garden. I would see her trudging back and forth with wheelbarrows full and sitting on the ground for hours pulling out the garlic mustard. Then loads and loads of mulch were laid. It was certainly worth all the work. She did a wonderful job that very hot summer. The woods is like a different world than the rest of her yard. Very quiet and serene...undisturbed. I loved the tour she gave...so pretty. Then last night, Betty from up the road said, "Come on over later....the clematis you gave me is in bloom." So over I went, just before dark. Her yard is the exact opposite of Kelly's and mine. Her home is right in the woods.Oh, I wish I'd taken pictures. I felt like her garden must be what the Garden of Eden looked like. Down the drive the woods were full of all manner of woodland plants. The hostas are chartreuse and green with bright white and yellow edges. In the near dark...they stood out beautifully. A little water feature in the front yard was bubbling away. She has the workings of the feature hidden so well...it's like it has always been there. The trees are so beautiful in this yard and so varied. The edge of the woods features special trees and bushes. Hydrangeas in white stood out in the dark. There are cement leaves in many places made by Betty, for she is an artist. One thing she works with is copper. There is a huge copper archway dividing the front and back yard. Clematis go up each side. She had another arch, but the wind took it down. This one is here to stay...she made sure of that. Now in the back yard is a huge water feature. A bog and pond with Koi. Oh, I wish you all could have been there. Why didn't I take my camera? This area looks so natural with her knack of planting. So many blooming water loving plants, but not so many that you lose the pond. The view from her house must be wonderful in all seasons. Her woods behind looks never ending. Not like my little one at all. The wonderful thing about this yard is the birdsong. I heard my first Carolina Wren last night. A beautiful sound. They have never come to my yard...they love these undisturbed woods. The mosquitoes were biting, but I wanted to go on. We toured the whole yard. She is a generous soul and said I could have things from her yard. I didn't ask for anything...it is so perfect...I wouldn't want to disturb anything. All in all, I've had a great week of gardening. My own yard and two neighbors. They are all so different...just like people. The differences are make life so interesting.