Cottage Living - Tuesday with Mary

"A bosom friend—an intimate friend, you know—a really kindred spirit 
to whom I can confide my innermost soul. 
I've dreamed of meeting her all my life." 
-- Anne of Green Gables

God has blessed me with wonderful friends through the years. I've lived in six different states, and have lost count of the number of moves I've made within each of those states. I know, though, that's all totaled it's pretty close to 30 times, give or take 5 moves. I always wondered as I said good-bye to one home and set out for another if I'd again find that one woman who would become my "bosom friend." I wondered who she would be, but I never doubted that she would come into my life. God always has been faithful to bring her.

After this last move, to a little mountain town in NE Oregon, God brought Mary. Mary with the crystal blue eyes and beautiful white hair. Mary with the deep throaty laugh that lights up her face. The woman of faith who has grieved the loss of two beloved husbands and has now come to a place in her life where she most likely will remain single. She's five years older than me. I call her "Big Sister". She is my bosom friend, my kindred spirit. We built our small cottages at the same time, we both love to garden and decorate, and we both love Jesus. It's a friendship made in Heaven, for sure.

Spending time with Mary is the best kind of therapy, and yesterday I had the pleasure of enjoying her company for most of the day. She picked me up at 10:30 in the morning and we headed east through the countryside to Enterprise -- a 30 minute drive. Just enough time to catch-up on the latest news.

I pulled out my smart phone and took a photo 
while she drove.

"Are you going to blog this?" Mary asked.

I laughed. "Why, of course." 

She knows me well.

I didn't take photos of everything we did. Just the really pretty parts. You'll see what I mean as the day unfolds.

We ate an early lunch at Cloud 9 Bakery and Cafe in Enterprise, then stopped in at our favorite thrift store Soroptomist where I scored --  a gardening hat, tote and some vintage dry goods.

After that we drove 5 minutes out of town to Alder Slope Nursery. In this photo I took at the entrance you can see a bit of the mountains rising up behind it.

Randy and Pam the owners of Alder Slope Nursery are really nice. We have two excellent nurseries in the county, both family-run businesses. In case you're wondering, this is not the nursery where I worked last summer. I'll have to do a post on that one another day.

Mary and I spent a lot of time exploring and managed to fill up her trunk with flowers and veggies.

By the time we finished it was time to drive 10 minutes to the town of Joseph for a kick-off meeting of The Garden Group. Here's where this post gets photo heavy, and you'll soon see why. 

The woman who hosted the meeting has a beautiful view of the mountains from her backyard.

But it was her garden shed that won my heart.

In addition to being an accomplished gardener, she's an artist. Can you tell from her door?

I really haven't seen a garden shed this charming in person.

It's a hard-working shed, you can see that by her tools and supplies.

At the same time she's created a sweet sanctuary.

Even her storage containers are a delight for the eyes.

Did you notice the broom?

Such a cute garden shed.

Speaking of cute, how darling are the bunnies peaking out of this flower box on the shed's exterior.

I'd like to add flower boxes to my garden shed.

Soon it was time to leave The Garden Group and accept the invitation of one of the members to drive over to her home. She's in the process of dividing her Grape Hyacinth and offered to give us some. How could we say "no" to that?

D's vintage home is delightful. I'm crazy about her brick walk.

I took a photo of her garden bed for you.

You can see she has a lot of Grape Hyacinth. GH pairs so well with Daffodils.

D dug up and gave each of us a bag of Grape Hyacinth. Then it was time to return home. But not before D took a photo of Mary and me with the spectacular mountain view in the background. 

I thank God for my friend Mary. The older I get, the more precious friendships mean to me. Thanks, Mary, for a fabulous day. Love you, Sis.

And now I'm off to clean up my garden shed, plant Grape Hyacinths and some Snapdragons and other things I picked up at the nursery, and dream some cottage garden dreams.

Have a great day wherever you are.


  1. Oh, my! I've only seen one other garden shed that would come close to being as charming as THIS one! You would have had to PRY me out of this one! Thanks for all the photos of everything I would have wanted to see :)

  2. Nancy, this post was delightful from start to finish. It was also fun knowing the locations and all the little towns along the way. You scored at The Soroptomist Store, it is the best little thrift store that I have ever visited. That garden shed has inspired me to get my shed cleaned up, right now it is over flowing with tomato and pepper plants, but this weekend is our planned planting day :)
    Here wishing you a wonderful week.
    Connie :)

  3. What a fabulous post filled with gorgeous scenery and a delightful garden shed. Thanks for posting about your day trip with Mary.

  4. That's a great "She Shed". And those mountains are incredible!
    I agree with you, friends are more valuable as we get older.


  5. What a great day!! I could have spent all day in that nursery....or that garden shed....or in that garden! You're blessed to have found such a good friend in Mary!

    1. She's a blessing, indeed. Thanks for popping in, Debbie! xo

  6. Nancy, What a glorious time you had with your dear friend. I loved the pictures of your adventure. What an adorable shed. Blessings to you, xoxo, Susie

  7. Thank you for sharing such a special time with your friend. Her gardening shed is a delight full of sweet surprises. Hugs.

    1. Hi Joy. It was a wonderful day, and the next best thing was being able to share it here. xo

  8. Loved this Nancy . . .
    To meet your soul friend Mary . . .
    To see the mountains . . .
    To learn about your day . . .
    And see the Garden House . . .
    So many ideas went buzzing through my mind . . .
    Love the picture of the two of you . . .
    Sweet, sweet post!

  9. Beautiful! Loving Post !! loved it !

  10. This sounds like such a fun day! Friends, gardening, and tours....wonderful. :)

  11. Oh Nancy that view behind you two beautiful souls. Just gorgeous. What a gorgeous shed! A garden girls dream. Nothing better than sharing a day with a great friend. So happy you and Mary had the day together.

  12. Dearest Nancy,

    Being a transplant is exciting, but difficult for making friends. I've only moved three times in the last 35 years, and in each place, I enjoyed having at least one great friend with whom I could be myself and create memories. Currently, my best friend is a blogger who lives in the state of Washington, and for at least 9 years now, we correspond daily. In our correspondence, we adventure and dream together, we rejoice together over God's graces, and though it may never happen for us to meet in person, I know that eternity will be good to us.

    WHAT A COTTAGE Mary has! And her views! Enjoy it all my friend.

  13. What a lovely post about friendship, the beauty of God's creations, garden tours, the sweet garden shed, and the gift of plants. You and Mary are blessed to have found each other.

    Happy Spring ~ FlowerLady

  14. I love this post. I completely agree with you since we have moved a few times. Lucky you AND lucky Mary. Great picture of you both. Jackie

    1. Thanks, Jackie. You would have laughed over us trying to take a "selfie" of the two of us and get the mountain in the backgrond. Finally D offered to take our photos, and I'm glad she did! LOL

  15. Love that she-shed... and the bunnies! And so happy that you have a Mary!

    1. Aren't all bunnies sweet? And not one of them nibbles on the garden goodies. :)

  16. What a fun day! Mary has sweetness all over her, you both do, in the picture. Love the garden shed. My grape hyacinths went crazy this year and I am not parting with any yet!

  17. Friends are the best! It looks like you had a wonderful day. I did notice that door right away. Now I want to paint the inside of my pool cabana and my garage. And find a friend like Mary!! ;)

  18. Sweet potting shed. Friends matter! So nice you have a local dear friend that you can go out to play with. It is one thing emailing back and forth but to actually get away from technology and experience life together is just the best IMO. Hope you take many more play days and dance like nobody is watching.

    1. You are so right, Tonita. To unplug for the day and experience real life is so uplifting. I need to do more of that. Have a great weekend!

  19. Oh, what a lovely day the two of you had together! God is SO good to bring special friends into our lives, right when we need them the most. SO thankful to "meet" Mary and thank you for introducing her to us! Sending love and hugs to both of you. ;)

  20. This was an awesome trip! I have always been curious about Oregon. Such beautiful mountains. We knew some wonderful people from Eugene Oregon who were in Atlanta, Ga with us during mission training. Some day I hope to convince my husband to do a short vacation there. I love the things you got, the hat and the bag etc. Very cute! What an awesome garden shed!!! Her place is beautiful! Great photo of you and Mary!! Hugs!!

  21. It was a pleasure to read this post--well it always is! But I loved reading about your friend Mary and the day you spent together sharing the common joys of gardens and thrifting and being out together on a May day in your beautiful part of the country. It sounds absolutely lovely, Nancy!

  22. Oh my, did I love this post Nancy!!
    I enjoyed reading about Mary. Friendships are so very special, I agree.
    I love the garden shed. I pinned your post, to look back at the inspiration of the shed.

  23. This is one of my very favorite posts. Yes, the views, the house and the shed are wonderful, but your story of friendship was even more so. I think everyone wants that kind of friendship and when they get it, I hope they appreciate it as you do :)


  24. This is a wonderful post, Nancy. How nice to spend such a day with a good friend. You deserve amazing friends, you are so generous with your heart.
    And that shed! Big sign.

  25. So much about this post that resonates with me, where shall I begin? With Mary? How utterly amazing and wonderful that the Lord provided you with such a special and precious like-minded friend to spend time with! I know what you mean with all the moves, and how hard it is to maintain friendships with those moves, and how wonderful it is to find someone who you can be yourself with, and have fun. Praising the Lord with you for that! And oh my, the finds at the thrift store, the visit with the ladies at the garden club, that amazing garden shed, and the views, oh my goodness! Such delight all rolled up in one day! Now that garden shed has got me to thinking... I wonder if I could finish out my little garden shed and make it into something to store things more permanently... hmm! Thank you for sharing the pictures and such a fun day... I'm so happy for your new found friendship. Hugs to you today!

  26. A close friend you can share everything with is such a precious thing... I believe truly provided by the Lord... you are so graced to have a friend like Mary.. and right there in your own town! I also have moved around many many times over the years.. and each time losing (eventually) touch with a dear friend. Nothing is better than having someone to share time with in PERSON! That garden shed is every gardener's dream! how wonderful to have a spot for each and every thing, rather than having it all crammed in a couple of buckets like I do... or hidden on a shelf somewhere - now where did I put that fertilizer? You are truly blessed to have settled in that gorgeous, wonderful Godly area! The mountains are truly stupendous and such a wonderful backdrop for the photos you took! Enjoy those flowers you got at the nursery too! My official planting here will not begin until at least June 1st, as too many night time freezes going on still. Hugs.. Marilyn

  27. Oh, my! I love everything you've shared here! Your kindred-spirit friend is such a blessing, I know. I have one or two such friends and I 'get it'! As my sweetheart and I drove homeward through Eastern Oregon two days ago I told him my heart so longs to live with a view of the mountains. I love the sea but the mountains always call to me. I found several places along the way that were perfect for building a little cottage but, alas!, they were not land that could be owned by someone. Thank you for sharing the darling garden cottage and the views of the flowers and mountains but most of all you and your dear friend, Mary.


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