In the wonderful book The Little Prince, there's a scene at the end where the fox says to the little prince "Please tame me!". And he then says: "One only understands the things that one tames. Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops...."
I had to think of that when I went for a spin on my bike on Steven's Creek trail last weekend. It was a glorious day, a break in the rain, and the bush with the pink flowers was special to me because I knew it was a native current, and that its berries would nourish the native birds in the fall.
The small tree with the pink blossoms next to the creek was a California Redbud (Cercis occidentalis), and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the baby tree in my front yard will also blossom soon.
And the Arctostaphylos, in full bloom, was a special delight (though I got tired of getting off the bike for pictures after that).
"And now, here's my secret, a very simple secret," said the prince, "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye....It's the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important."
In that way, I feel that a native plant garden can bring special joy to us all not only when looking at the garden, but also when we're out and about and meeting old friends everywhere.