Greening mountains in the background, a field of dandelions in the lawn, and flowering crabapples everywhere. Just add in some chilly temperatures and you have spring in the Berkshire Mountains.
A potting shed with living sedum roof and raw timber posts would, of course, be perfect for my needs.
Shades of pink and white are everywhere in early spring.
It is a small botanical garden and can be walked in an hour, even with lingering. There are educational areas, plant sale areas, a tropical hothouse, several beautifully designed perennial borders, an inventive children's garden, a tidy vegetable demonstration garden, all packed in 15 acres.
But we visit just for the views like this one.
I usually come back from a visit to a mature and elegant public garden all pumped up with ideas for my own garden, which quickly turns to deflation as I look around my yard and see so much to do, so many immature and dinky plants, and little cohesive design.
But last week something different happened. We arrived back home from the Berkshires late in the afternoon and the light on this cold May day was still pretty.
I looked around, took a walk in the yard and out into the paths Jim has mowed in the meadow, and I thought . . .
. . . this is just as nice.
My own garden is immensely pleasing in its own smaller scale and relative immaturity. I like it all, even on the same day I saw an established and professionally cared for garden.
I do not have pink and white clouds of flowering crabapples, but there are pinks and whites in my garden to be seen.
It's not that my own garden looks anything like the botanical garden or could rival it in any way. It was simply that it felt as nice. What I saw as I walked around really pleased me in just the same way I had felt at the Berkshire Botanical Garden.
That doesn't happen very often.