I could say that my journey to Elizabeth Lawrence's garden began on Friday morning, June 29, when I backed the car out of my driveway and headed with a friend to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, via Charlotte, North Carolina.
Or maybe the journey began on January 2nd when we made reservations to stay for a week on the Outer Banks of North Carolina?
I did have to convince my travel companion that Charlotte, North Carolina was "right on the way" to the coast.
Google Maps gave me this route to the Outer Banks which takes about 14 hours.
So I forced this preferred route.
That's not too far off this preferred route, so I added a side trip to Charlotte. It only added "about an hour" of drive time.
But that's not really the beginning of the journey.
For the beginning of my journey to the gardens of Elizabeth Lawrence, I could go back to January 19, 1988, when I purchased her book, The Little Bulbs. I know the date because I tucked the receipt in the book and it's still there.
Later, in 1989, I made my first visit to the Outer Banks and stopped at Manteo Booksellers where I purchased Lawrence's Gardens in Winter. At least I think that's the book I bought there. I'm going from memory and a process of elimination to figure out which book I actually bought because I didn't keep the receipt. But I know I purchased one of her books there.
Over the years, my admiration for Elizabeth Lawrence and her writing and gardening grew as I found out more about her and read her books. I somehow have managed to purchase all the books written by or about Elizabeth Lawrence, including the compilations of her newspaper columns, her biography and two collections of letters.
I've quoted her often on my blog and credit her quote "We can have flowers nearly every month of the year" for inspiring Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.
I didn't know nearly 24 years ago that purchasing one book would start such a journey. That's how it is sometimes. It makes me wonder anytime I find a new garden writer, like Cynthia Westcott, or Ida Dandridge Bennnett or Alice T. A. Quackenbush what journey they might take me on, what people I might meet even today through them.
It was something to ponder a week ago last Friday, as I was finally heading to Charlotte to see Elizabeth Lawrence's garden.