"I would not like nights so bright you could not see the stars." -- Akira Kurosawa

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Atlanta
I grew up in a family of Southern storytellers. Back in 2004, I started Whole Bean to continue the tradition in a new medium. Over the years, I've written about families and friends, peculiar situations, extended road trips, recalcitrant home appliances, and many things for which I'm truly grateful. I hope you enjoy your time here.
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Bloomfest


I will go even in winter. The spring and summer crowds can be almost overwhelming, but Pike Nurseries (any of their multiple Atlanta locations) are possessed of a sweet dormancy in winter that is soothing to the soul. Sure, there are empty pots here and there, a few hopeful seedlings and generally a wayward tree or two that may not make it until May, but overall, there's one thing that you can't help but be reminded of, and that is hopefulness. There is something so satisfying about that -- to know that even in an upside-down world with more that its share of challenges and problems, Mother Nature just keeps on giving, every single year. In the words of Audrey Hepburn, "To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow." 

We are fortunate in Atlanta to have an abundance of beautiful landscapes. My Boston in-laws joke that this is the only city they've ever seen where gas stations are landscaped. It's true that even the most crowded spots in town make an effort to keep the place looking nice, and it shows. My feeling is that if we have to sit in traffic, there might as well be something nice to look at while idling.

There is a price to pay, of course. In wicked storms, we see trees toppling onto houses, snapping power lines, and blocking roads. There is an unmentioned philosophy here that putting up with tree damage is worth keeping the city green. I guess that depends on your homeowners insurance, but yes, we basically have a city in a forest. With all this greenery going on, there is a healthy inventory of garden stores all over town. One of my favorite things to do is just to roam these. It's like visiting a public garden or an arboretum for free.

But this year, partially emerged from the pandemic, has been spectacular in terms of gardening. I have lived in Atlanta since 1982 and have never seen anything like it. We had a mild winter but lots of rain, and the gentle warming trend we've experienced has spurred some outstanding plant growth. So for this post, instead of writing more myself, I'm going to let our back yard pictures do the talking. Be well, friends!