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Time to take a walk around the park

Diane Becker, "Country Life"

It’s time to break out the spade and garden gloves. I’ve been inspired by recent visits to unbelievably beautiful flower gardens. I think we could transform an empty spot around the farm into an oasis of color.

This is what happens when you have a little extra time in Lincoln and decide to stop in at the popular Sunken Gardens.

I’ve driven by the spot on 27th Street for years and seen a glimpse of colorful flowers, but I had never walked through it. Now that I’ve been there and gotten a glimpse of the 1 1/2 acre garden that’s listed as one of 300 Best Gardens in the United States, I plan on stopping there the next time we’re in Lincoln just to sit on a bench and soak it all in.

Make a stop if you haven’t already and take the whole family as we saw babies to teens to millennials to senior citizens taking photos, watching the fish, admiring the wonderful colors.

I took pictures of plants I have to find and plant in our landscaping. I recognized the 8-foot tall orange cannas and masses of begonias and impatiens. I had never seen purple decorative peppers and the huge elephant leaf plants.

I already had a hankering to redo some empty spots around our lawn after seeing the flowers planted in roundabouts in Norfolk. There are perennials mixed with brightly colored annuals that make you want to go in circles just to see what all is planted.

The flowers in the parks in Norfolk are some of the most beautiful in the state, which I think inspires other people to spruce it up a little in their own yards.

If I really want to get excited about planting, I’ve been told I need to visit Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha. I was there years ago, but it was about 100 degrees, and I remember just wanting to get back to the air-conditioned car.

I know it’s little late in the summer to be planting. Not too many people set out plants in one of the hottest weeks of August. Still, I think I can take advantage of the cool mornings and evenings to drag some landscaping rock around or maybe pull out a few scraggly bushes and haul in dirt so I’m ready next year. There’s always fall to drop in a few hydrangeas or hardy hibiscus.

You read how the settlers would carefully haul little bare rose bushes wrapped in a damp blanket across the prairie in hopes of planting them at their new homes. Everybody likes to see a little beauty out their back door, and I’m hoping to see more of it.

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It’s time to break out the spade and garden gloves. I’ve been inspired by recent visits to unbelievably beautiful flower gardens. I think we could transform an empty spot around the farm into an oasis of color.

Jimmy Johns