making the rounds

We have a vivacious dog named Miles.  He is part lab, part basset hound and part chow with thick glossy black coat, short legs and a black tongue.   Very friendly and always excited.  Miles is my companion in the morning as I make my rounds around the neighborhood to look at gardens. 
The dyes that I am making require a lot of plant material and I’ve found that its difficult to ask for all of someone’s blooming flowers.  Fresh is best when making dye.  So, I’ve designed a route that weaves through the neighborhood so I can watch the plants grow and find several locations with the same plants and drop one of my cards in their mailbox.  Within days, I receive wonderful responses!  Four gardeners have bee balm and coneflowers and are willing to donate.
One of my favorite stops a beautiful, turn-of-the-century Victorian.  The garden is a perfect example of sustainable growth and the owner’s have mastered blooming transitions with the season.  As one layer fades, the next takes over with a splendor of color. 
David, a retired social worker has been working on his yard with his wife for over 20 years.   It’s a rich environment of established plants.  We talked about our neighborhood, his house and his plants.  Beyond, the cone lowers and bee balm, David pointed out many varieties and said to take as much Phlox as I wanted.    It grows like a weed, was too prolific and takes over area’s he explained.  Phlox- tall, bright and showy and everywhere, I soon noticed.

Emily Donovan