The late afternoon hours were always the pups playtime. Even in Dante’s grey muzzled years, after the full warmth of the day had past and the air began to soften, Dante and Sierra would become puppies again. Playing tug-o-war. Chasing each other around with the randomness only the youth possess.

If you dared to step on the central lawn you were fair game for playtime. 100lbs of wheaten red muscle would come bounding up, simultaneously followed and circled by a white wiggling scamper.

During the hours surrounding the departing sun, as photographers we tend to wax poetic over the quality of the light, but in the garden it seems to go beyond that. The scents are a little sweeter. The air soft. Birds flit about more as they gather their evening’s meal. There isn’t a time in the day we crave to be in the garden more than at those setting hours.

For the longest time it wasn’t an option. We only saw the garden on our one day off, except for the morning glimpse and the nighttime strolls. But now we’ve been able to change our schedules. To get out of retail driven business.  And now we finally get to soak in the last rays of day and the opening embrace of night. Quality of life.

When friends come over, this is the time we try to set up the gathering. It isn’t always easy, especially for those driving down from LA, but it is worth it. It is as if every drop of sweat, bruise, and scrape that has gone into the garden has transformed exponentially into something more beautiful. From a many legged fuzzy worm-like caterpillar to a floating butterfly.

It isn’t just the pre-dusk hours which give a special tingle, but also the hour or so after. That is when the dinner conversations sink into your soul. Night’s blanket begins to wrap you up. The moment of a deep breath slowly released.

This is our garden in its magical hours.

– Todd

Some previous Spring garden recipes you might enjoy: 

Kumquat Marmalade Recipe 

Orange & Fennel Salad with toasted Fennel Vinaigrette 

Margarita with Bitters 

Grilled Artichoke Stems w/ Tarragon Garlic Butter