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(Horia Varlan/flickr)

This week on Parentheses:

Lately, I've been perusing garden books and catalogs and visiting web sites where images of green growing things abound. Giving no consideration to my designated USDA plant hardiness zone, or my gardening abilities, I want everything I see. Dreams rise from these pages and sites.

I've also been contemplating our courtyard, where space is divided into beds and walkways. Tiny tufts of Mexican feather grass, festive pink muhly, and English lavender - all from local nurseries - have been planted. We're going for a mostly drought-resistant, low-maintenance garden. 

Roses from the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham, Texas, are also in the ground.

There's Mlle. Franiska Kruger - a shrub that produces yellow flowers tinged with apricot.

There's Madame Alfred Carriere - a climber described as having "intensely fragrant" flowers that turn from the palest of pinks to a creamy white.

And Mermaid - a climber that promises saucer-sized, creamy yellow flowers.

I can imagine those climbers covering the south-facing courtyard wall. Their blooms, pale in color, holding their own by day and turning into a moonlight garden by night.

The courtyard doesn't look like much now - but I can imagine tall grases waving in the wind, aprigs of lavender adding fragrance to a room, a vase of roses on a dinning room table.

Some day - we'll capture rainwater in a storage tank. And we'll add more plants that attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees.

Gardening directs thought toward tomorrow. It gives shape to dreams and ambitions. Desire becomes tangible. Think about Eden and the words of Sir Francis Bacon, "God Almighty first planted a garden."