October 1, 2011

I Made A Mistake

Every month Joene sponsors GOOPS, or Gardening Oops --- those mistakes we make in our gardens and need to confess.  You can read more on her blog.

Last month I made a mistake, not in my own garden, but when I went to visit a friend's place.  The error?

I didn't bring my camera.  

My sister's friend Julie invited us to lunch at her house.  I knew she lived in a wooded area, in a lovely house with a dog kennel (she breeds Labradors) and acreage for horses.

But I didn't bring my camera.

What a mistake.  The house was right out of the 1770s, with every detail reproduced in exquisite detail to evoke the Revolutionary period in Connecticut.  Period-specific but warmly livable and homey.  A cottage garden inside a picket fence.  A sweep of lawn embraced all around by beech woods.

And I was there without my camera.

The barns were a treasure too, one big weathered gray one nestled into the hillside like it had been there forever, with a spotlessly clean dog kennel, and a six stall horse barn up the slope where hilltop breezes blow through open doors end to end, keeping it cool all summer.  Sugar, an old white pony, living out her quiet life in the paddock.  A big vegetable patch producing exuberantly by the compost pile.

Why didn't I bring my camera?

And then Julie took us down the shady lane to her neighbor's house, where we wandered through a beautifully built Japanese garden in the woods.  A pond, a teahouse, a burbling stream, shade loving plants spilling everywhere.  A deep ravine, with dappled sunlight pouring through the tree trunks like liquid light.

I did have my iPhone with me, but. . . .

It was lunch and a visit and a lovely afternoon, not a photo shoot.  I had a great time and enjoyed the company and the tour without being distracted trying to capture everything I saw on film.  You miss a lot looking through a lens.

But you can't show your blog readers what was so enchanting if you don't bring a camera to a house and garden tour of one of the prettiest places I have seen.

My mistake.


  1. Just this week I was at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston ... without my camera and just my cell phone in tow. I took a few shots with my cell phone but missed the opportunity to capture camera-ready shots of a lovely oriental garden from above.

    At least we both have fond visual memories of our camera-less visits. Thanks for partaking in another confessional GOOPs.

  2. Hi Laurrie, At least this is a mistake easily corrected. The only solution is to go for another visit. It doesn't sound like it would be much of a chore at all.

  3. Jennifer is right. Besides, a picture isn't always worth a thousand words. Sometimes the right words are better than any picture.

  4. I've made this mistake more than once. How frustrating, yet as you say, you do relax a bit more and therefore see more.

  5. Laurrie, I think we've all been caught camera-less at some point. I was just in PA with my son looking at colleges and we drove by a nursery with a 15' tall hill covered in mums. It was such an unexpected surprise to see it as we whizzed by and my immediate thought was 'wish I had my camera'.

  6. This is the constant dilemma I have with cameras. I love the photos afterwards but I hate disrupting my experience, especially if it's with other people, by having to take photos. Sorry we didn't get to see some pictures but your description tells me what a lovely day you had.

  7. Thanks, everyone, for stopping by. I know you all agree that a visit without a camera can be much more enjoyable, but how I wish I could have shown you this lovely place!

  8. Go back! Go back!!! And take your camera. :o) My last GOOPS was forgetting to post a GOOPS because I was so busy with my new bed.

  9. I did the same thing this summer when a group of us got to visit the home and gardens of a local horticulture professor and gardening expert. Thirteen acres of gardens and mini-prairies, and me without my camera! The place you describe sounds wonderful; I wish you could have shared photos with us. But sometimes it's good to just enjoy the beauty without always looking through a camera lens.


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