Coming Home

July 11, 2017

By: Barb Holtz

Been on vacation yet this summer? I just returned from time in a West Virginia holler to sand between my toes in Grand Cayman. Both very different, both very wonderful!

Because I'm a plant nerd, I plant watch when out-of-town. I spy side-of-the-road plants, yard plants, natural area plants, sidewalk crack plants, as well as what critters may visit said plants. My family is well aware of my "squirrel" mentality, expecting me to lag behind to scratch and sniff the greenery or stop mid-sentence to shout out about a bloom or bug.

Vacation drips with anticipation. You can't wait to go, savoring each minute separated from the regular. But why is it when it comes to a close, we often are horses headed for the barn? I just want to be home.

Today I attempted to reclaim my gardens after traveling to and fro. While I delighted in mountain forests and coastal palms, I was wide-eyed at the verdant jungle before me in good 'ole Cleveland, Ohio. Orange Butterfly Milkweed, Purple Lemon Mint, yellow Evening Primrose, and so many more natives on bud break verge. Sedges and ferns stand tall, hop hornbeam fruits for the first time, and yes, deer ravaged cardinal flower tops. To paraphrase Katherine Hepburn, "The flowers, the flowers! They're welcoming us home." (That's an On Golden Pond reference just in case you missed it.)

Each place I visit becomes a part of me. Each place leaves its mark. Not only through the people and places, but the plants and landscapes. It humbles me. So much beauty and wildness to discover worldwide while at the same time, so much beauty and wildness in my backyard. Go ahead...wander and play. nature will be here to say, "Welcome home!"

Beautiful West Virginia!
The sandy beaches of Grand Cayman.
Lemon Mint in bloom at Barb's!
Butterfly Milkweed starting to open up at Barb's house!
Emily, our Marketing Coordinator, arrived home from vacation to find Black-eyed Susans and Purple Coneflower aplenty outside her window!