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This all started because our neighbors sit out on their front patio and have coffee on weekend mornings and sometimes wine in the evenings. Their dog would wander around their front yard. I would watch them and think how sweet—–they would wave and talk to people walking by. Over the top of their newspaper they’d acknowledge someone with a smile. I suddenly realized that I wanted a place to sit in front of our house. One of our cats spends a lot of time in our front yard. Some of the most precious moments Angelique and I have is when I go out in front with her. Oh wait—-I have no place to sit. I’ll just make myself comfortable on this little sidewalk step. Meanwhile, our neighbors are smiling at us while they sit comfortably in their patio chairs—-I’m imagining that they’re feeling badly that I’m having to sit on the sidewalk while they’re enjoying respectful chairs. “I want a bench in front” became a mantra for the last couple of years.

One of the features that is almost a requirement in a Feng Shui garden is the element of water. "Shui” means water, after all, so it is appropriate to incorporate this element in some way. Water symbolizes flow and movement. It is the place from which all life arises and the place to which it returns. It symbolizes eternity since its flow is perpetual and eternal. Water represents renewal and is used in many ceremonies for that reason. Carole's garden was part of the Masters Gardeners tour in Hennepin County, Minnesota. It was unique because it is a Feng Shui garden. True to form, there are several expressions of water in her outdoor space. [gallery ids="1379,1378,1375,1377,1384,1376,1380"]

“Wedding season” is quickly approaching. There is something about the summer that makes it a prime time for saying vows. It could be that travel plans are more flexible with kids out of school. Or that the warmer weather is a nice background for strapless...

I am sitting here at my desk looking out the window at the snow that still covers our lawn. Weather can affect so much about our day. It can be both beautiful and challenging at the same time. A pretty snowfall can be so peaceful,...