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Special garden heals mind, body and soul

Judi Meyer

The homeowners spend a lot of time in the yard, or relaxing on the deck, which features comfortable furnishings, plantings, and an adjoining outdoor shower. Photo by Charles Sternaimolo

Indeed, every part of this yard has features that invite outdoor living and appreciation of the gardens. There is a covered porch along the rear of the house, wooden lawn chairs, and a picnic table in the back. A hot tub and small deck are positioned to one side while in the center of the backyard a living area welcomes rest and reflection with comfortable chairs and tables.

Meyer and Browning pay constant attention to the creation and maintenance of their home and landscape. “Ron and I work on the house and gardens every day, and he does much of the heavy lifting,” Meyer says.

Every year the couple readdresses each of the beds and separate living areas, keeping the weeds at bay and adding new plantings. In addition to the established beds, the garden is punctuated by a plethora of containers that showcase an assortment of colorful annuals.

Meyer says that she frequently will spend about five hours a day in the garden, and it’s clearly a labor of love. “I have some professional landscapers to help once a week for lawn care and spring and fall cleanup,” she says, “but Ron and I do the rest.”

Meyer and Browning might put great effort into this small property, but they also spend hours relaxing and enjoying what they’ve created. In addition to appreciating the gardens from the wine bar and hot tub, they can often be found in their outdoor living room, which they illuminate in the evenings with candles. “I’ve enjoyed burning candles my whole life,” Meyer explains. “Ron and I both love candles, and we light them every night no matter where we are. We’ve been lighting candles every evening since the beginning of our time together on Cape Cod.”

The romantic atmosphere created by the glowing gardens often draws in neighbors walking by. Meyer says that there are many people who make it a point to stroll by in the evenings because the spot is so charming.

So the garden that was started as a distraction from her cancer treatments has become a landscape where life is constantly being celebrated. “I’d say that this garden was crucial to my healing,” Meyer remarks. “It gave me something to look forward to when I got up every day. To be out there in the dirt was a big part of my recovery. Now, it’s just a peaceful, beautiful place to be.”

A resident of Sandwich, C.L. Fornari is an author, a radio host and self-described “joyously, out-of-control plant person.”

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