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A few weekends ago, I had the chance to get together with my high school friends for a great girls’ weekend and reunion in Laguna Beach, California.  One of my all time favorite garden stores is nearby—Rogers Gardens, and we had planned to end our trip with a visit to Rogers and a Sprinkles cupcake. What could be better!

Along the way, we discovered a second wonderful garden shop—a quirky place full of unexpected and wonderful gardening ideas. Laguna Nursery on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) was not hard to miss with its red hearts and funky metal garden sculptures standing out as we drove by. A quick u-turn and we parked in the back and entered the garden shop that seemed right out of a fantasy novel.

In the front garden, a giant white glass orb floats on the water’s mirror surface and seemed to glow in the bright morning sunlight.

Fountains at every turn, some with smoke (or steam) coming out of them.

This downspout fountain really intrigued me. You could hang this in a tree and run a drip line up the tree and onto the top of the downspout, and then the water flows into a pool or basin below. I want to try this.

This garden room was a big hit. With soft, fresh pine needles on the floor, it smelled like a forest. The moose also gave a forest look to the place. That was eclectic!

Little finches in fancy cages:

This passion flower was something we all took pictures of:

Well, that was a fun tour—I bought some seeds too. I recommend stopping in and exploring.

Then we went by Corona Del Mar and drove through the beautiful neighborhoods. What is it with that place?  Every garden is perfect—no mildew on the roses, no wilt, not one piece of grass out of place. It’s all cubical boxwoods, iceberg roses and fox gloves. There are maybe four or five perfect blocks of gardens. Maybe they all get advice at Rogers Gardens up the hill! We stopped at the house where I first met my husband.  It was totally remodeled and almost unrecognizable. The night I met him, we walked through that neighborhood after dinner and he picked rose petals off the rose bushes lining the streets and “popped” them, which means you smack them in a certain way that they kind of pop like a balloon and fly apart.

That’s a funny memory of this neighborhood. I guess it was a perfect place to meet.

: – )

Anyway, we stopped in Rogers for a quick tour of the Halloween shop there, which is incredible and the home goods, not to mention the plants. I just look away. “Look away,” I tell myself. You can’t drive home with all these!

It’s really hard for me to create an order and cohesive look in my yard when I am attracted to so many different plants.  I’m like a crow that can’t resist shiny objects…. Maybe that’s why I can’t live in Corona Del Mar! My gardening style is not that organized.

We ended our garden touring at Sprinkles, a sweet ending to a fabulous weekend.

Here’s to the getaway gals—thanks for decades of friendship (did I just say decades?):

Sorry, Michelle, you’re in the photo above!

And here’s a little Flashback Heart Attack for you!