Gardens are a form of autobiography.
-- Sydney Eddison
It was my best boxwood.
Big and green and trimmed square, it had stood as a sentinel to the left side of my front door for almost two decades.
I like to think it has flourished because of my careful attention, but it was probably just lucky that I curled the garden hose behind it.
But that was then.
Two weeks ago it began to quickly turn brown, almost overnight. I ran my hand over what had once been a thick, green texture of tiny leaves, and they rattled away, brown and brittle and dead.
I weighed my options. I could pull its dried carcass from the flower bed and throw it away, but that would leave a gap.
I could replace it with a new boxwood, but it might take a while to grow this big. And I'm not so sure it would live either. We are facing the year's hottest month, and you know what they: You can't spell Augusta without "August."
I decided to innovate.
I got a can of green spray paint out of the garage and painted the dead brown leaves a more verdant hue.
In my bachelor youth, I once did this with a Christmas tree, and no one noticed.
If this works on the shrubbery, I plan on touching up some lawn spots, too.
CONGRATULATIONS: Pat Harter won a gold medal in bowling earlier this month at the Special Olympics in Savannah. Her sister DeeDee said she likes to read this column and would be glad to share news of her achievement.
Way to go, Pat.
MORE MAIL: You're still traveling. Andy and Ruth Forbes are having a great time at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. The Brodbeck family is enjoying cool weather in Michigan. Steve , Diane , Tyler and Cole saw Vermont.
Rob Hamilton is fishing in Alaska. Tim and Connie Zello , of Washington, Ga., are enjoying New York's Finger Lakes. Diane Smith , of Graniteville, also is enjoying upstate New York, where the temperature is 30 degrees cooler than here.
Craig and Sandy Ham , of Grovetown, are back in Portland, Ore., after 10 years, visiting childhood homes and relatives.
Rhea Markowitz sends a card from Kiawah Island -- a "favorite beach."
A card from Edisto Beach reports "The Pearmans and friends have gathered for about 29 years for fun, food and time at the beach. We've made lots of good memories and hope to carry on the tradition."
Cathy Edick , of Augusta, is vacationing in West Virginia with family and friends.
Flo and Bob Morris were in "Clearfield, Pa., home of Denny's Beer and the 15-pound hamburger!"
They also sent a card from Niagara Falls.
James and Camilla Hooper , of Edgefield, visited Mile-High Stadium in Denver.
Pat and Wayne Fuller , of North Augusta, are heading home from visits to Maryland and Washington, D.C.
TODAY'S JOKE: His wife's graveside service had just barely finished when there was a massive clap of thunder, followed by a tremendous bolt of lightning, accompanied by even more thunder rumbling in the distance. The little old man looked at the pastor and said, "Well, she's there."
Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.