At the nursery, Miranda’s cart burst with color and variety: several trays of mixed red, orange, and magenta impatiens; pots of red, pink, and white geraniums; deep blue periwinkle and yellow begonias, and two of the purple clematis for around the garden house door. She came across a variety of petunia she hadn’t seen before, and added it to the cart. She always had a hard time stopping, once at the nursery. Every plant seemed to call to her – like the purple alyssum that would match so nicely. She broke apart a few trays and arranged them around the clematis, and took a step back to imagine how they would look in the planter – then she added some white alyssum for contrast. And might as well get some marigolds, she thought; they’ll bloom well into the fall.
As she loaded the cartons of flowers into her car, she realized that, just like the French toast, she had overdone it. It would take her all day to plant so many flowers.
By late afternoon, she had planted the window boxes, several pots of flowers, and on either side of the door, two tubs of alyssum and clematis. After watering them all, she hauled down a bench from the garden and set it next to the door. She stood back and admired her work. It was beautiful. She wondered if the older teacher would appreciate it. No matter. It gave her pleasure to see it looking so pretty, and it brought her one step closer to having it fixed up as a studio.
She went inside the garden house and began to clean, sweeping and dusting. Though she tried to ignore the pile of wood and canvas for the screen, it stared at her from the corner, asking for completion. It would have to wait. She rolled up the canvas, and used the wood slats to prop open the door. The day had grown warm and she welcomed the light breeze.
Tired now, she sat down on the floor, resting her elbows on her knees. Then with a sigh of fatigue she stretched out, the hardwood floor feeling good against her sore back. She gazed up at the shifting shadows of leaves and branches on the ceiling and wall. I could trace them, she thought – paint them in gold and pale green. It could be beautiful.
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