I just love how so many Burlingtonians create absolutely gorgeous flower gardens (and sometimes vegetables!) right in the heart of "urban" Burlington. Burlington also hosts a "garden tour" of individuals' gardens, and holds a contest for the best garden. A few years ago, a friend won, and I stopped by to see his creation- his old house was on a very busy street, and built into a hillside requiring that I climb about 40 steps to get to his front porch. Cutting through the house to the back door, I looked out and it was almost like being in the "land of Oz..." (no munchkins to be seen, but the feeling of Dorothy's awe was definitely there)! His secluded backyard continued to gradually slope upward, and he had created these wonderous nooks and crannies filled with the most magnificent and exotic blooms, trellises with climbing vines, secret paths, and he had also built a small goldfish pond...needless to say, it was a little Garden of Eden...right in the heart of urban Burlington! The time and effort that goes into creating these mini paradises is incredible! Another favorite of mine is a house on North Avenue- every year the owner creates a new look, but the front and side of his house are just exploding with bright and vibrant color! Each year I vow to ask for permission to take a photo to make a greeting card, but so far I continue to drive by and admire his creation. Last summer, on my way to Advance Music, I took a wrong turn and ended up on South Champlain St. On the corner of King and So. Champlain (the heart of Burl), the occupant of a red brick apartment building had planted a garden of flowers and tomatoes right on the corner near the mailbox. It was almost comical that the "STOP" sign seemed to be telling all to "STOP! and smell the flowers..." Well, my imagination was captured, and I was inspired to try painting this scene...so, here is (a segment) of my oil on canvas, titled, of course, "Stop! and Smell the Flowers..."